Dec 31 2012 By Cheryl Mullin
SYDNEY’S skyline erupted in a riot of colour, as tons of fireworks helped thousands of revellers mark the world’s first major celebration for 2013.
The enthusiastic welcome to 2013 was continuing on a grand scale across Asia.
Increasingly democratic Burma was having a public countdown for the first time. Jakarta planned a huge street party befitting Indonesia’s powering economy.
The buoyant economies of the Asia-Pacific are prepared to party with renewed optimism despite the so-called fiscal cliff threatening to reverberate globally from the United States and the tattered economies of Europe.
Celebrations were planned around the world, with hundreds of thousands expected to fill Times Square in New York to watch the drop of a Waterford crystal-studded ball.
Major cities across austerity-hit Europe were to burn off part of their battered budgets in spectacular fireworks displays, although some municipalities - including the Cypriot capital, Nicosia - cancelled their celebrations in light of the economic crisis.
Sydney’s balmy summer night was split by 7 tons of fireworks fired from roof tops and barges, many cascading from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, in a £4 million pyrotechnic extravaganza billed by organisers as the world’s largest.
In Hong Kong, this year’s fireworks display is said to be the biggest ever in the southern Chinese city.