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1 Jan, 2008 15:04

New Year celebrated around the world… and in space

The New Year has been celebrated around the globe, as the festivities spread from East to West – from Sydney to New York.

New Year celebrations got off to a stunning start in New Zealand.

Next came Australia's east coast. Celebrations there went off with a bang as a spectacular firework display lit up the Sydney skyline and the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge.

2008 was then ushered in throughout Russia – the county's eleven time zones have now all seen in the New Year.

In Germany, the historic Brandenburg Gate was lit up with fireworks in Berlin.

Fireworks went off and the crowd cheered at the end of the countdown to the New Year in Malta, where the adoption of the euro was an extra cause for celebration.

The champagne flowed among party-goers on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

Thousands gathered in central London and Edinburgh to welcome the New Year.

In Brazil, revellers on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro went mad, greeting the New Year with exuberance.

New York's celebrations

As the New Year continued to claim its territory around the globe, 2008 arrived in the United States.

New York was in the first time zone in the United States and the 17th in the world to see in the year 2008 in and hold the celebrations. Thousands gathered at Times Square to watch the traditional dropping of the New Year ball.

Hours before this, those who had gathered at Times Square saw live pictures of New Year celebrations in Moscow and St. Petersburg, broadcast by Russia Today.

New Yorkers had a chance to see the first 15 minutes of 2008 in Russia as Russia Today's correspondents brought the first reports from the festivities held in the key points of the country.

Revellers in Times Square watched as RT correspondents met the people celebrating the New Year in Russia.

New Year in space

Yury Malenchenko, a Russian cosmonaut on International Space Station claimed he could celebrate the New Year for a whole day, though chose not to do it.

“Technically we pass the midnight zone 16 times a day, but in fact we celebrate like most of the Earth's population, according to the Greenwich Mean Time zone. Besides that we have two control centres in Moscow and Houston – that's where our families live – so we keep their New Year in mind too,” Malenchenko said.