Hundreds of thousands of revelers crowded into New York City's Times Square to watch the crystal-covered ball make its annual descent and gathered around New Jersey to ring in the start of 2013.

Revelers celebrate the new year in Times Square (Monika Graff/Getty Images)

The festivities joined a slew of others around the globe, from fireworks in Sydney and Hong Kong to the first public countdown in years in Myanmar.

New York City's countdown was the first in decades without television host Dick Clark, who died in April. One of the crystal panels on the ball was engraved with his name.


Yvonne Gomez, a 53-year-old physician from Grand Forks, N.D., beamed with pleasure as the ball descended.

"I couldn't begin the new year in a more beautiful way," she said pointing to her husband, Greg Halverson, a 63-year-old potato farmer. "I married him two weeks ago and here we are in the middle of Times Square celebrating the new year.

In Seaside Heights, although the traditional daytime First Night celebration was cancelled due to superstorm Sandy, several businesses on the boardwalk were open to ring in 2013 including Lucky Leo's Beachcomber Bar & Grills, Steaks Unlimited & Seaside Original Steaks according to the Ocean County Police Blotter.

Paint party at Atlantic City's Bader Field (WMGM TV)

Atlantic City hosted an unusual New Year's celebration at Bader Field: a Paint Party reports WMGM TV. Upwards of 7000 were expected to attend the Life in Concert electronic music festival that includes attendees getting sprayed in paint,


Newark Mayor and possible US Senate candidate Cory Booker tweeted a New Year's message early Monday.  "Happy New Year: May we resolve to let our capacity for love increase; so we may be better agents for local, national and global peace," said Booker.

Celebrating On New Year's Day

The 12th annual Hillsborough Resolution Run 5K begins at 11AM to benefit the Resolutions For Others Foundation and to help those who resolved to get fit in the New Year reports the Star Ledger.

The New Years celebration continues today as many will head to Philadelphia for the annual Mummers parade. The Fralinger String Band that had some of its props damaged in a warehouse fire in Philadelphia earlier this month says it's ready to strut today and  everything has been repaired.

Pope convinced of peace in 2013 despite world woes

Pope Benedict says he is convinced that peace will prevail in 2013 despite the inequality, terrorism and "unregulated financial capitalism" that afflict the world today.

Benedict celebrated a Mass today in St. Peter's Basilica to mark the church's world day of peace. In the front pews were diplomats accredited to the Holy See, who next week will attend the pope's annual address about the plight of the world's poor and its war-torn regions.

In his homily, Benedict said despite today's terrorism, criminality and the inequality between rich and poor he was convinced that the "numerous works of peace, of which the world is rich, are testimony to the innate vocation of humanity to peace."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.