London, Berlin, Paris… All across Europe towns, cities and villages are ready to party, with music, fireworks, dances and drinks all featuring in the celebrations that will welcome 2011. But the arrival of January – named for the two-headed god Janus – is a time to look back as well as forward, so let's take a look at some scenes from last year's celebrations.
Forget the world recession and other worries. The night of December 31st is a time to dream; it's a time to focus on the positive and the world of possibilities ahead. Above all, it's a time to join with friends and eat, drink, dance and have fun. January is named for the Roman god Janus, the two-headed god of beginnings and endings, the god of doors, who stands on the threshold of the year looking forward and back. So, however you are planning to greet 2011, here's a round-up of images of the fizz and festivities that filled the streets of Europe last year. As the chimes of Big Ben welcome in the year, we'll raise our glasses in greeting and wish you Prosit neujahr, Bonne annee, Head uut aastat!, Felice anno nuovo, Feliç any nou, Feliz año nuevo... However you want to say it, the wish is the same: Happy New Year!
New Year is cause for celebration in cities all round the world, and Barcelona, Spain, is not one to be left out
Around a million visitors will greet 2011 at Berlin's impressive fireworks display at the Brandenburg Gate, symbol of the reunification of Germany
Hogmanay will be celebrated across Scotland on New Year's Eve, and in Edinburgh thousands of people will join in with street performances and festivities of all sorts
Ljubljana, the beautiful capital city of Slovenia, will also be celebrating in style
On the banks of the Thames, the London Eye adds its own light to the New Year firework display in the British capital
Back in 2006, Madeira claimed a place in the Guinness Book of Records for the New Year firework display and they've been trying to outdo themselves ever since
Paris is beautiful at any time of year, but, decked in its New Year best, it certainly lives up to its nick-name of the 'City of Light' '
In Vienna they understand how to celebrate New Year, and the beautiful Town Hall facade provides a perfect backdrop for the festivities
Zurich has its own speciality for December 31st, with a fantastic display of fireworks launched from boats on Zurich Lake
The fine architecture of the Croatian city of Dubrovnik on the Adriatic adds to the beauty of the end-of-year fireworks