New Year's Eve celebrations kick off around the world

Gallery: New Zealand welcomes 2011; fireworks light up Australia's skies; Japanese offer final prayers for 2010.

ADELAIDE, Australia — New Zealanders sang and danced their way into 2011, with firework displays and sold-out concerts entertaining revellers in one of the first countries in the world to welcome the new year.
In the biggest city, Auckland, explosions of red, gold and white burst over the Sky Tower while tens of thousands shouted, danced and sang in the streets below.
In the southern city of Christchurch, thousands of partiers shrugged off a minor 3.3 earthquake that struck just before 10 p.m. and celebrated in Cathedral Square.
As the clock ticked closer to 2011, cities across Asia readied for midnight events ranging from traditional prayers in Japan to a massive pyrotechnic display in the shape of a dragon in Taiwan. Europeans were looking forward to celebrations that could help them forget their economic worries.

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