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Ringing in 2014: New Year celebrations explode all over the world

On Dec. 31 all over the world, 2014 was welcomed into reality during a host of happy New Year celebrations that took place before the official revelry in the USA had even begun. From London to Auckland to Beijing, millions were on hand to witness one year ultimately turn into another.

A big welcome to 2014 from around the world
A big welcome to 2014 from around the world
Getty Images/various photographers

Consider Dubai.

According to NPR, this Middle Eastern city of superlatives put on a pyrotechnics show for the record books. The Guinness World Records record books to be exact. To pull off this six-minute, jaw-dropping session, it took 500,000 fireworks set off from 400 locations.

Then, when all the hoopla was over, the folks who judge such events dubbed this the largest fireworks display ever to take place anywhere in the world. In doing so, the celebration in the United Arab Emirates blasted last year's title holder — neighboring Kuwait — out of the competition. For now.

Meanwhile, on a much, much smaller scale, Surabaya, Indonesia enjoyed that destination's own brand of creative fireworks to herald 2014. In part, these Asian revelers did the trick by spelling out the year in a wavy ring of colorful numerals.

And,, in Sydney, literally millions took strategic places on the lat day of the year in order to witness the iconic Opera House and the legendary Harbour Bridge light up throughout a rapid fire pyrotechnic display held every year in this Australian city. Millions of revelers who were located down under when 2014 showed up were present and part of this grand event.

At the same time, in Japan, some celebrations were executed in a more down low fashion. In one of these rituals held at the peaceful Zojoji temple, a handful of priests swung a wooden pole at a huge bell so that the oversized instrument would gong 108 times. Talk about literally ringing in the New Year.

That said, no matter how it was done or where it actually already happened, 2014 celebrations exploded all over the world in a very merry way. Now, all that's left to say to certain global citizens is happy New Year to all and to all a good night and an even better year ahead! May the games begin.