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 — canceled their celebrations in light of the economic crisis. Nicosia said 16,000 euros ($21,000) saved from the canceled event will be given to some 320 needy schoolchildren.
Sydney's balmy summer night was split by 7 tons of fireworks fired from roof tops and barges, many cascading from the Sydney Harbor Bridge, in a 6.6 million Australian dollar ($6.9 million) pyrotechnic extravaganza billed by organizers as the world's largest.
Eager revelers camped Sunday night to get the best vantage points.
In Hong Kong, this year's 12.5 million Hong Kong dollar ($1.6 million) fireworks display is said to be the biggest ever in the southern Chinese city. Police expected as many as 100,000 people to watch.