2001 Arrives Around The World

“Stern action will be taken against those who create public nuisance, blast firecrackers and block traffic to celebrate the new year,” the Dhaka Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

Cold, rainy weather canceled fireworks celebrations in Liverpool, England, and Londonderry in Northern Ireland.

In London, the Millennium Dome had a rare full house for a dance party before closing for good, ending a year of controversy over the expense of building the world’s largest enclosed space and its inability to attract enough customers to pay its own way.

Year of the Snake

In Japan, as the Year of the Dragon gave way to the Year of the Snake at midnight, temple bells sounded 108 times, symbolically driving out the 108 sins in the Buddhist catalogue.

Many people began the customary visits to shrines and temples that will take place over the next few days.

“The Japanese will refresh their minds with these visits,” said Tsutomu Kurita, an official at Tokyo’s Meiji Shrine.

Taiwan marked New Year’s Day by lifting a 51-year-old ban on voyages from tiny Taiwanese-controlled islets near the Chinese coast to the mainland. Supporters look on the first legal voyage Monday — along a route taken by smugglers for years — as a step toward easing tensions with the rival Beijing government.

People partied throughout Hong Kong to greet the new year, some gathering in Victoria Park for a government-organized carnival, which included a live concert by over 20 local pop stars.

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