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    New Year’s celebrations around the world

    People dressed as the Russian Santa Claus, Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost) (2R) and his companion Snegurochka (Snow Maiden) (2L), kiss during a New Year parade in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, on December 31, 2011. New Year, which was the biggest informal holiday of the year in the former Soviet Union, is also very popular in predominantly Muslim Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan. AFP PHOTO / VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO (Photo credit should read VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images)
    VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images
    In Russia, the Snow Maiden, left, kissed Grandfather Frost during a New Year’s parade.

    New Zealand and Australia are among the first in the world to welcome 2012 with New Year celebrations.