RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
So how did you ring in the New Year this year: among friends with a pop of champagne and a kiss? Or did you join with the millions of celebrants in cities all around the world, who gathered in public places, to bring in 2014 with a bang. In London, a spectacular fireworks display kicked off with Big Ben chiming in the New Year.
(SOUNDBITE OF A CROWD AND BIG BEN)
MONTAGNE: An added twist to tradition this year in London: edible banana confetti was thrown, and strawberry mist rained down on celebrants for a multi-sensory experience.
In Paris, fireworks lit up the sky behind the Eiffel Tower and timed to music. The tower itself sparkled in the glow.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC AND CHEERING)
MONTAGNE: Tokyo welcomed the New Year with the sound of a gong.
(SOUNDBITE OF A GONG AND CHEERING)
MONTAGNE: While on Shanghai's waterfront, there was a massive sound and light display.
(SOUNDBITE OF A SONG)
MONTAGNE: There were even fireworks in places without a lot to celebrate, like the capital of the repressive nation of North Korea.
(SOUNDBITE OF FIREWORKS)
MONTAGNE: And in New York City, as always, Time Square was packed with an estimated one million revelers enjoying live musical performances from the likes of Macklemore and Miley Cyrus, with some much loved classics also played for the crowd.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NEW YORK, NEW YORK")
MONTAGNE: And, of course, the annual drop of the Crystal Ball.
CROWD: Eight, nine, ten, five, four, three.
MONTAGNE: One city stood above all the rest in this revelry: Dubai, which already boasts the record for the world's tallest building, set another Guinness World Record for World's Biggest Fireworks Display - ever.
(SOUNDBITE OF A DRUM ROLL, CHEERING AND FIREWORKS)
MONTAGNE: The show used over 400,000 fireworks and lasted about six minutes, incorporating Dubai's biggest landmarks.
(SOUNDBITE OF EXPLOSIONS, FANFARE AND FIREWORKS)
MONTAGNE: And the finale you just heard was so spectacular it created the illusion of a sunrise over the city.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MONTAGNE: On this New Year's Day celebrating with you, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.