Fireworks lit up the sky in big and small cities around the world as people said farewell to 2012 and welcomed the new year. Many hoped for a better 2013 after another year of economic uncertainty, and in New York City's Times Square, some of the hundreds of thousands of revelers could be seen checking their phones for updates on the fiscal cliff negotiations, the AP reports. "With all the sadness in the country, we're looking for some good changes in 2013," a visitor from Massachusetts said.
Festivities were muted in many recession-hit parts of Europe, while in New Delhi, big hotels and other venues canceled their New Year's celebrations to mourn a gang-rape victim whose death sparked nationwide rage over women's safety. But in Burma, the mood was joyous at a huge celebration outside the capital thrown by the reformist government—it was the first public New Year's Eve celebration held in the country. (Read more New Year's Eve stories.)