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Asia-Pacific nations welcome in 2013

Staff writers
December 31, 2012 — New Year's celebrations began around the world Monday, with the Asia-Pacific region starting off the festivities.

New Year's celebrations in Dubai
New Year's celebrations in Dubai

Auckland was the first major city to celebrate 2013 but the honour of first nation went to the central Pacific Ocean island of Kiritimati (Christmas Island) and the eastern-most island in the tiny nation of Kiribati

In Sydney, celebrations were billed the "world's largest" as 7 tons of fireworks were fired into the night-sky, with a reported cost of over $6-million Australian dollars ($6.2 million CDN).

Tens of thousands of people lined the Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong to view the city's biggest ever New Year's celebration - officials placed the cost of fireworks at 12.5 million Hong Kong dollars ($1.6 million CDN). 

Festivities were especially joyous for the people of Myanmar. 

Residents in the former capital of Yangon gathered to party for the first time after decades of military rule that discouraged public gatherings.

Sydney Harbour Bridge dazzles in the night sky
Sydney Harbour Bridge dazzles in the night sky

New Year's was brought in on a sombre note in New Dehli, India as a mark of respect for a young women that recently lost her life after being raped. 

Officials decided to cancel planned festivities and instead asked residents to light candles in support of the victim, whose death has drawn public rallies for women's safety.

In Dubai, they say everything is done bigger and the New Year's party was no exception as the world's tallest building was lit-up.  

Fireworks engulfed the 828-metre Burj Khalifa tower, while also being synchronized and choreographed to a live performance by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

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