Millions of people around the globe gathered for parties, shot off fireworks and held out hopes for a peaceful and prosperous 2008.
A million revelers in Australia staked out prime spots along Sydney's iconic Harbor Bridge foreshore, ushering in 2008 with a massive fireworks display. With a theme "The Time Of Our Lives," the Australia fireworks extravaganza included 20,000 pyrotechnic effects to be fired from the bridge, according to City of Sydney creative director Wayne Harrison.
In Russia, Vladimir Putin, gave the final New Year's Eve address of his eight-year presidency, boasting of economic improvements and claiming to have restored a sense of unity among Russians. Thousands gathered on Red Square in Moscow to ring in the New Year, watching a concert on a stage beneath the colorful onion domes of St. Basil's Cathedral, and fireworks above.
In London, people gathered in Trafalgar Square and along the banks of the River Thames to watch a fireworks display and hear Big Ben welcome the New Year with 12 resounding bongs.
In a quirky tradition in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries, Madrid residents planned to dine on 12 grapes -- one for each chime at midnight.
Berlin was braced for a massive fete: In a stretch leading from the city's famous Brandenburg Gate along Tiergarten park to the western part of town, officials set up three stages, 13 bands, 40-yard tall Ferris wheel and over 100 beer stands and snack joints.
In New York, more than a million revelers in Times Square cheered as the giant crystal ball made its 100th drop and a ton of confetti rained down on the urban canyon, ushering in the New Year.