Two nights ago, as the stroke of midnight rolled across the world's time zones, people gathered in private and took to the streets to celebrate the arrival of the New Year, 2015. Fireworks erupted from Auckland to Rome, and revelers gathered in Chongqing, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro, New York, and thousands of other places, raising a glass, keeping warm, making resolutions, and wishing each other a "Happy New Year!"
In Auckland, New Zealand, fireworks erupt from the top of the Sky Tower to welcome the New Year on January 1, 2015. (Dave Rowland/Getty Images)
Iraqi break dancers dressed in Santa Claus costumes celebrate the New Year at Firdous Square in Baghdad, Iraq, on December 31, 2014. In Iraq's war-scarred capital, Baghdad authorities ordered a one-off lifting of the overnight curfew in force for more than a decade to allow the city's revelers to stay out late on the streets. Traffic was unusually heavy starting shortly after sunset and authorities closed commercial streets to vehicles in the city's center as a precaution against possible suicide bombings by militants of the Islamic State terror group.(AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Chinese artist Kong Ning poses in a costume symbolizing a butterfly, which is decorated with 365 masks on its wings to represent the number of days in a year, during her performance art at the Badaling section of the Great Wall on the outskirts of Beijing on January 1, 2015. Kong, whose works include themes related to China's air pollution problem, named her new performance art "Hua Die" (transforming into a butterfly) and performed it on the first day of the new year as she hopes that China has clean air for this year. (Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon)
A man stands on a paddle board as fireworks explode above him during New Year's festivities on Copacabana Beach on January 1, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Up to 2 million revelers gathered on Copacabana Beach to watch the annual New Year's fireworks display which this year coincided with the start of the city's 450th anniversary celebrations. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)