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January 4, 2012

2012: Marking the New Year

Around the world people celebrated with fireworks, kisses, blessings, gatherings, cheers, watching the sunrise and plunges into icy bodies of water to welcome in a new year. Here's a look back at how some of them marked the transition. -- Lloyd Young (41 photos total)

Fireworks explode in the sky over Bucharest, Romania, at midnight, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, during street celebrations of the new year. Large crowds gathered downtown Romania's capital taking advantage of the dry weather to attend the celebrations. (Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press)

Steve Macwithey kisses Lauren Macwithey in Times Square during a celebration to mark the start of the new year in New York, Jan. 1, 2012. (Kena Betancur/Reuters) #

The historic riflemen corps fire gun salutes to welcome the new year on Jan. 1, 2012 in Villingen-Schwenningen in the Black Forest, southern Germany. The traditional shooting has taken place for the first time in the year 1633. (Patrick Seeger/AFP/Getty Images) #

A long time exposure shows Filipino youths creating "2012" to bring in the New Year with sparklers at a public park in Manila. Filipinos welcomed in the New Year with fireworks and celebrations. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images) #

Family members raise their hands to receive the first sunrays of 2012 in Cancun, Mexico, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012. ( Israel Leal/Associated Press) #

Malaysians react as they watch fireworks explode during New Year celebrations at Independence Square in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012. (Lai Seng Sin/Associated Press) #

Patty Pique, of Jackson, Tenn., comes to Peach Drop 2012 to celebrate their New Year's Eve at Underground Atlanta, Dec. 31, 2011, in Atlanta. (Hyosub Shin/Associated Press/Atlanta Journal-Constitution) #

Wishes for 2012 written on confetti that will be released in New York's Times Square during the New Year celebration are on display at the Times Square visitor center, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011 in New York. The Times Square Alliance conducted it's airworthiness test Thursday in preparation for the release of one ton of confetti by hand from various buildings in Times Square at midnight on New YearÌs Eve. (Mary Altaffer/Associated Press) #

Revelers cheer behind police barricades in Times Square in anticipation of midnight on New Year's Eve, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011, in New York. Some revelers, wearing party hats and "2012" glasses, began camping out Saturday morning, as workers readied bags stuffed with hundreds of balloons and technicians put colored filters on klieg lights. (John Minchillo/Associated Press) #

Workman begin the task of cleaning up after thousands of revelers gathered in New York's Times Square to celebrate the ball drop at the annual New Years Eve celebration on Dec. 31, 2011 in New York City. (Jemal Countess/Getty Images) #

Fireworks light up the London skyline and Big Ben just after midnight on Jan. 1, 2012 in London, England. Thousands of people lined the banks of the River Thames in central London to see in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) #

Fireworks explode over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House during a pyrotechnic show to celebrate the New Year Jan. 1, 2012. (Daniel Munoz/Reuters) #

Fireworks light the sky above the Quadriga at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin shortly after midnight, greeting the New Year, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012. Hundred thousands of people celebrated the beginning of the New Year 2012 in Germany's capital. (Michael Sohn/Associated Press) #

People gather to celebrate the new year 2012 at the Temple of Heaven, the city's historic landmark in Beijing on Jan. 1, 2012. Spectacular fireworks and crowded parties will ring in the New Year for people around the world, as billions mark the end of 2011 with noisy celebrations from Sydney to Stockholm. (Jin/Agence/AFP/Getty Images) #

Confetti drops as a Filipino blows his paper horn as they welcome the New Year at Manila's Rizal Park, Philippines on Sunday Jan. 1, 2012. More than 200 people have been injured by illegal firecrackers and celebratory gunfire in the Philippines despite a government campaign against reckless New Year revelries, officials recently said. (Aaron Favila/Associated Press) #

A Pakistani barber gives a 2012 hair cut on a man to celebrate New Year at a barber shop in Rawalpindi, on Dec. 31, 2011. (Strdel/AFP/Getty Images) #

A friend pours Jon Knebel, of Iowa City, Iowa, a glass of champagne at Airliner in Iowa City on Jan. 1, 2011. ( David Scrivner/Associated Pres/The Gazette) #

People dance during New Year's celebrations in Madrid, Spain, Jan. 1, 2012. (Andres Kudacki/Associated Press) #

A couple stands in a doorway at sunrise wearing fancy dress following New Year celebrations, in Pamplona northern Spain, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012. (Alvaro Barrientos/Associated Press) #

People gather on Red Square to celebrate the New Year Day in Moscow, January 1, 2012. (Denis Sinyakov/Reuters) #

Vikings lead the torchlight procession as it makes its way along Princess Street for the start of the New Year celebrations Dec. 30, 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Thousands of people joined in the torchlight procession, followed by the burning of a Viking long ship, to mark the start of Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) #

Artists perform in the streets of Johannesburg on Dec. 31, 2011 during the New Year's carnival. (Stephane De Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images) #

People make offerings to Yemanja, the Goddess of the Sea of the Afro-American religion Umbanda, on Dec. 31, 2011 at a Paranoa Lake beach in Brasi¨-lia. Hundreds of worshippers are gathering at this place of the Brazilian capital to make their offerings and pray for the new year. (Pedro Ladeira/AFP/Getty Images) #

Young Sri Lankan boys play with firecrackers on the eve of the New Year, as the sun sets in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011. (Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press) #

Pakistani civil rights activists shout slogans in a peace rally to mark the New Year in Lahore on Jan. 1, 2012. Three people were killed and at least 60 wounded by stray bullets in the port city of Karachi today as Pakistanis celebrated the new year by firing their guns into the air, police said. (Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images) #

Sri Lankan Buddhist devotee offers prayers at a Kelaniya Temple in Kelaniya on Jan. 1, 2012. Many Sri Lankans marked the beginning of the New Year with religious ceremonies. ( Ishara S.Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images) #

Marco Fois of Italy dives into Rome's river Tiber as part of traditional New Year celebrations on Jan. 1, 2011. Divers jump from the Cavour bridge, continuing an annual tradition which dates back to 1946. (Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images) #

Hardy Dutch swimmers brave the icy North Sea on Jan. 1, 2012 in Scheveningen, Netherlands. A record number of 10,000 people took the plunge in this year's traditional New Year's dip. The high turnout was attributed to the mild weather with a sea temperature of 8 degrees compared to 4 degrees last year. (Jasper Juinen/Getty Images) #

A man takes part in the annual Coney Island Polar Bear Club New Year's Day swim at Coney Island on Jan. 1, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Coney Island Polar Bear Club claims to be the oldest winter bathing organization in the U.S. and attracts hundreds to the beach for the annual swim in the Atlantic Ocean. (Allison Joyce/Getty Images) #

Chinese winter swimmers perform a dragon dance on a frozen lake to celebrate the New Year in Shenyang in northeast China's Liaoning province, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012. (Associated Press) #

Revelers run into English Bay during the annual New Year's Day Polar Bear Swim in Vancouver, British Columbia on Jan. 1, 2012. (Ben Nelms/Reuters) #

A couple kiss during the New Year's Day Looney Dook swim at South Queensferry in Scotland Jan. 1, 2012. (David Moir/Reuters) #

NATO troops from the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) celebrate New Year's Eve in Kabul Dec. 31, 2011. (Omar Sobhani/Reuters) #

A shaman performs a ritual for good luck in 2012 as he prays in front of an image of Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez in Lima, Peru, Thursday Dec. 29, 2011. Fernandez was diagnosed with treatable thyroid cancer on Tuesday, and will undergo surgery on Jan. 4. (Karel Navarro/Associated Press) #

Children of migrant workers lie on the snow to form the number "2012" while celebrating the coming new year in front of a snow sculpture in Harbin, in northeastern China's Heilongjiang province, Friday, Dec. 30, 2011. (Associated Press) #

A man lights an Old Man effigy which symbolizes burning the past and getting ready to start a happy New Year without bad memories of the past in Mumbai, India, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012. (Rafiq Maqbool/Associated Press) #

The New Year sunrise lights up an area devastated by the March 2011 tsunami in Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture, in this photo taken by Kyodo on Jan 1, 2012. The tsunami reached three-fourths of the height of the tower seen in the center. (Kyodo/Reuters) #

A young girl from the Gurung community attired in festive clothing participates in a parade to mark Tamu Loshar, or New Year of the Gurung community, in Katmandu, Nepal, Friday, Dec. 30, 2011. (Niranjan Shrestha/Associated Press) #

Confetti pours from volunteers on the second floor of the Creative Discovery falls onto the several hundred children crowded together to celebrated the turning of a new year during the New Year's at Noon celebration at the museum, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011, in Chattanooga Tenn. ( Jenna Walker/Associated Press/Chattanooga Times Free Press) #

In a Sunday, Jan. 1, 2011 photo, Jolene Anthony (left) holds her daughter, Kylee, while her husband, John Anthony, holds their son, John, at Rapid City Regional Hospital in Rapid City, S.D.. Baby John was the first baby of the new year at the hospital while his sister was the last baby of 2011. (Ryan Soderlin/Associated Press/Rapid City Journal) #

A New Year's hat is seen among other debris in Times Square after 2012 New Year's Eve celebrations in New York, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012. (Tina Fineberg/Associated Press) #