The new year arrived in a burst of celebrations around the world last night. Fireworks brightened night skies in London, Berlin and beyond. Around the globe, people made resolutions that they may or may not keep, but for now, hope is present.
Revelers flocked to Times Square in New York as early as Saturday morning when crews were still setting up, and an estimated 2 million people came together on Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach to celebrate, as the Associated Press writes.
In Japan, 21-year-old Horie Soichiro told the BBC his wishes for 2012: "I hope it will be a year full of smiles. For those who are crying now, I hope they'll be smiling too."
World leaders also shared their thoughts on what's to come. In his address on French TV Saturday, President Nicolas Sarkozy cautioned that the debt crisis in Europe was not over, and 2012 will be "full of risks, but also of possibilities." As NPR's Marilyn Geewax reports, economists are hoping to see a brighter future in 2012, and control of Europe's debt crisis will play a part in the result.