Joyful and Peaceful New Year Celebrations all across Indonesia

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From Biak in Papua to Medan in Sumatra, fireworks, fiestas and excitement brightened up many parts of the archipelago as Indonesia bade farewell to 2011 and welcomed 2012 with colorful celebrations.

Just as Christmas was spent in peace and devotion, so this New Year’s Eve was enjoyed by all amidst the country’s peaceful conditions.

The crowds that filled the Imam Bonjol street in Biak, Papua, were among the first to joyfully sound their paper trumpets, lighting up fire-crackers as  this Eastern Indonesia Time region stepped into 2012 ahead of its Central and Western Indonesia Time neighbors. The heavy rain that poured down on the city of Jayapura, did not stop the enthusiasm of the people as the capital of Papua Province celebrated the turn of the year.

In Manado, capital of North Sulawesi, an hour of nonstop fireworks from multiple corners of the city lit up the nightsky reaching its grand finale with simultaneous fireworks as the clock struck midnight Central Indonesia Time. Crowds flocked to major streets of the city, especially at the Boulevard area where the fireworks fiesta was centered. The governor of North Sulawesi and the Mayor of Manado and several government officials attended the vibrant celebration. While in Makassar, capital of South Sulawesi, no less than 10.000 people thronged onto the beautiful Losari Beach, sounding their car horns and trumpets together as the countdown ended.

On the fabled island of Bali, locals and tourists mixed in vibrant celebration at favorite spots around the island such as at Kuta Beach, the Bali Bomb Monument, and Denpasar. In Denpasar, capital of Bali, celebrations were held at the Puputan I Gusti Made Ngurah Agung Field, Simpang Enam and several locations along the Teuku Umar Street.

The skies of Yogyakarta on Java sparkled with colorful fireworks, as the clock on Western Indonesia Time hit 00:00 on January 1st, 2012. Thousands of people, tourists and locals alike filled the area around Malioboro Street as they excitedly waited for the countdown. Aside from Malioboro, fireworks displays were also held at Tugu Yogyakarta, Zero Kilometer point near the Central Post Office, the North Square, and at the South Square.

Never ending sounds of trumpets and firecrackers highlighted Jakarta, as the metropolitan capital welcomed the coming of the year 2012. Situated right in the heart of Jakarta, The National Monument or Monas once again became main gathering place as people collectively shouted the countdown to New Year and watched exploding fireworks. Colorful fireworks were also launched from the shores of Ancol as crowds were also entertained with various musical performances.

The turn of the year was also celebrated in major cities of Sumatra, such as at Bandarlampung, Medan, Palembang, and Banda Aceh. In Bandarlampung, aside from the usual fireworks and musical stages, the turn of  the year was highlighted with a unique festival featuring the island’s renowned fruit: the Durian. Taking place at the Saburai Sports Building, the festival gave the audience to taste more than 10,000 durians as they waited for the coming of the New Year.  In Medan, as the countdown to 2012 ended, the exploding sound of fireworks launched reverberated from Taman Sri Deli. Minutes later the skies of Medan shone with ever changing colors and formations of fireworks as the crowds clapped and roared in amazement.

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