Hello, 2019: Revelry, Reflection as World Greets New Year

The New Year's Eve festivities in New York's Time Square, Monday, December 31st 2018. (AP photo)

The Associated Press

Fireworks, concerts, spiritual services and political addresses abounded to mark the transition to 2019 as revelers around the globe bid farewell Monday to a year filled with challenges to many of the world’s most basic institutions, including in the realms of politics, trade, alliances and religion.

A look at how the world is ushering in 2019:

NEW YORK

A drenching rain couldn’t keep crowds from packing Times Square for the traditional crystal ball drop and a string of star performances.

Christina Aguilera pumped up the crowd, performing in a snow-white dress and coat while partygoers danced in their rain ponchos.

Bebe Rexha sang John Lennon’s “Imagine” just before the midnight ball drop.

The celebration took place under tight security. Partygoers were checked for weapons and then herded into pens, ringed by metal barricades, where they waited for the stroke of midnight.

But the weather forced police to scrap plans to fly a drone to help keep watch over the crowd.

Revelers paid up to $10 for plastic ponchos trying to stay dry. Umbrellas were banned for security reasons.

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