Crowds enjoyed massive fireworks displays all over Germany, as the country, along with much of western Europe, rang in the New Year.
Sydney, Australia, one of the first major cities in the world to welcome in 2013, celebrated with multicolored fireworks at midnight. Pop star Kylie Minogue started the show with the press of a button.
1.5 million people turned out to enjoy the celebrations on a warm summer night.
The Pacific communities of Christmas Island, Kiribati and Samoa were the first populated places to reach 2013. New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga were an hour behind them.
Scotland started its traditional celebrations, known as Hogmanay, early. Torchbearers marching in the capital, Edinburgh bid farewell to 2012 in a celebration on Sunday night drawing inspiration from pagan traditions called the "river of fire." Celebrations there will continue for two more days.
Asian countries are also among the first countries to see 2013. Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is to celebrate a public countdown for the first time.
In Hong Kong, this year's fireworks display is billed as the biggest ever in the southern Chinese city.
jm, hc/ccp (AP, Reuters, AFP)