AUCKLAND — Celebrations are being held around the world to mark the new year, with the city of Auckland in New Zealand holding the first major events of 2013.
Hundreds of thousands gathered around Sydney harbour to watch the city’s famous firework display.
Big shows are also planned in many other cities globally.
Celebrations will also be held for the first time in Burma, where large public gatherings were banned by its previous military rulers.
Tens of thousands are expected to attend the celebrations in Rangoon, which will feature a fireworks display and performances by Burmese entertainers.
Reports say the festivities were broadcast live on Burmese television.
The celebration is seen as the latest sign of the country’s liberalisation under its military-backed civilian government.
However, there is a subdued atmosphere in the Indian capital Delhi, following the death last week of a 23-year-old victim of a brutal gang rape.
The army has cancelled its celebrations across the country, as have the governments in the states of Punjab and Haryana.
Thousands of residents and clubs have also called off new year celebrations.
Later on, festivities will be held in European cities including Moscow, Paris and London.
More than two million people are expected to be on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach.
New York will mark the new year with the traditional New Year’s Eve countdown and ball drop over Times Square.