ISLAMABAD: People around the world welcomed the New Year with fireworks, glitter, song, and well-wishing.
At least for this day, the world seemed to have one unique goal to join in celebration, although it was subdued in Indonesia, where people mourned those killed in this week’s AirAsia plane crash.
World leaders took the opportunity to broadcast messages of peace. More than 1 million revelers gathered in Sydney Harbor to watch the city’s famous fireworks display. Similar spectacles took place in major cities around the globe, Voice of America reported.
China’s capital, Beijing, offered winter sports demonstrations and art performances in its Olympic stadium, known as the Bird’s Nest.
The four-hour show was meant to showcase China’s bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
In Europe, Pope Francis reiterated his defense of the poor in the New Year’s Eve vespers service in St. Peter’s Basilica.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned burgeoning racist movements in Europe. She also had a tough message for Russia. French President Francois Hollande called for unity and mutual respect among different ethnic and religious groups.
Countries in the Western Hemisphere were the last to welcome in the New Year. In New York City, with the best-known of all celebrations in the U.S., the theme of this year’s party was ”the gift of fortitude.”