People around the globe prepare to celebrate the coming of a new year. Katharine Jackson reports.
REPORTER: As the clock ticks closer to 2012, New Year's Eve organizers flip a switch, illuminating the famed crystal ball set to drop at midnight over New York's Times Square. Weighing nearly 12,000 pounds, the crystal-encrusted kaleidoscope of 32,000 LED lights dazzles even in daylight as it ascends into the air for a test run. Also well before midnight's strike, confetti rains down on New Yorkers as workers test how the colored pieces of paper float through the air.
JESSICA ARROYO: "It's awesome. I thought it was snowing for a second, but it's exciting to know that there is going to be tons of confetti for New Year's Eve, real excited."
REPORTER: In Rio de Janeiro, tons of fireworks are loaded onto rafts bound for three locations. Most will explode over famed Copacabana Beach at midnight. The beach is already attracting devotees of the Afro-Brazilian goddess of the sea and fertility. They cast flowers, floating candles and their wishes into the Atlantic before carrying the goddess' figure into the water. Across the globe in in India, women construct intricate chocolate bouquets by wrapping chocolate around a stick and molding it into chocolate flowers bound with ribbon. The chocolate treats are New Year's gifts for friends and relatives meant to begin the new year with cheer. In the Philippines, colorfully wrapped firecrackers draw a crowd looking to stock up before the celebrations begin. Despite some towns' campaigns to stomp out fireworks for safety reasons, many Filipinos practice the Chinese tradition of setting off firecrackers on New Year's Eve...a bang said to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck for a Happy New Year. Katharine Jackson, Reuters.
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