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New Year's Eve: Dubai blasts old record in fireworks blitz

By Holly Yan, CNN
updated 7:57 PM EST, Tue December 31, 2013
Fireworks fill the air over the San Francisco skyline, near the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge, as part of New Year's Eve celebrations just after midnight on Wednesday, January 1. Click through to see other New Year's celebrations around the world: Fireworks fill the air over the San Francisco skyline, near the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge, as part of New Year's Eve celebrations just after midnight on Wednesday, January 1. Click through to see other New Year's celebrations around the world:
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Revelers in London were treated to edible confetti choreographed to fireworks
  • Dubai's huge firework show certified as largest by Guinness World Records
  • 40,000 new laws go into effect in the U.S., some involving pot, placentas and shark fins
  • A bar in Florida celebrates by lowering a drag queen from a giant shoe from the building

Watch Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin ring in the New Year from Times Square live on CNN TV starting at 9 p.m. ET.

(CNN) -- Yes, it's New Year's Eve again, time to bust out the champagne and make resolutions you probably won't keep.

But this year's different. Cities around the world were hosting some of the most amazing celebrations ever. Edible confetti raining over London? Check. How about 400,000 pyrotechnics exploding over Dubai? That happened, too.

And let's not forget that the new year also means bizarre new laws.

Here's what people experienced across the globe:

1. Taste the rainbow

New Year's Eve Around the World

Why have a fireworks show that only looks good? Revelers in London stuck out their tongues during Tuesday's extravaganza and enjoyed banana-flavored confetti that was choreographed to the fireworks. They also saw floating oranges drifting through the night sky and popped them to enjoy a citrusy scent!

Food artists Harry Parr and Sam Bompas worked working on the show for an entire year. They even made sure their edible treats were kosher, vegan and hypoallergenic.

"We developed a special confetti that's actually biodegradable, and in the rain it will magically dissolve," Parr said. "Even better, it tastes amazing."

2. Dubai goes big -- really big

In Dubai -- a city obsessed with superlatives -- organizers pulled off a world record for the biggest fireworks display near the world's tallest building.

The spectacular show featured 400,000 pyrotechnics over 400 parts of the Dubai shoreline. That's 100 kilometers (62 miles) of waterfront lighting up.

The Guinness World Records staff later labeled it the largest ever. The show blew Kuwait's world record out of the water when last year it set off 77,000 fireworks over 64 minutes.

If you were there, send your photos or video to iReport!

3. Have a ball -- an 'odd' ball

Sure, New York has a massive sparkly ball they've been dropping for the past century or so. But what other objects can you relinquish to gravity to mark the new year?

In some U.S. cities, it's a fruit. In Honolulu, it's a colossal glowing pineapple. In Atlanta, it's a giant peach.

The North Carolina mountain town of Brasstown prefers a possum -- slowly lowered and then set free.

But Key West, Florida, takes the cake with its drag queen drop.

For years, female impersonator Gary "Sushi" Marion has been lowered from the Bourbon St. Pub in Key West while riding in a massive high-heel shoe.

"It was inspired by 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert' when it first came out, with the whole high heel on top of the bus," said Joey Schroeder, owner of Bourbon St. Pub. "I wanted to take that idea and do something fun on New Year's Eve."

4. 25 hours of celebrations

Samoa and American Samoa are virtually neighbors, with just 101 miles between them. But they're also 25 hours apart.

So one was among the first to ring in the new year; the other will be among the last.

How can this happen? Let's just say the international date line isn't even close to a straight line.

And because the date line isn't fixed by any international law or agreement, it can zig and zag to accommodate government and business interests. It's as close to a time machine as we'll probably get.

5. Yes to placentas, no to shark fins

More than 40,000 new laws will take effect in the U.S. on New Year's Day. While Colorado's legalization of marijuana has racked up plenty of headlines, here are some of the more peculiar ones:

In Oregon, mothers will be allowed to take their placentas home from the hospital. Some say placenta capsules can help with postpartum depression, CNN affiliate KGW reported, though there's not a lot of medical research backing that up.

Delaware will join a growing number of states where you can't own, sell or distribute shark fins, which is considered a delicacy in some East Asian cuisine.

And thousands of companies will have to provide calorie counts for products sold in vending machines.

Because if you're going to a vending machine, clearly you care the most about calories, right?

Depends on what day of the resolution you're on.

CNN's Isa Soares, Margaret Conley, Leigh Ann Caldwell and John Zarrella contributed to this report.

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