December 31st, Times Square.

31st December is undoubtedly the most electrifying day of the year, and one of the most surreal New Year's Eve experiences world-over is witnessed at none but Times Square, New York City.

It was way back in 1904 when New York saw two of its most historic innovations - the opening of the city's first subway line, and the first-ever celebration of New Year's Eve in Times Square.

Owner of The New York Times then, Alfred Ochs, spared no expenses in ensuring a party for the ages. On this day, scenes of celebration went on throughout the day, and at the stroke of midnight, a scintillating firework display set off from the base of the tower accompanied by a loud roar of joyful cheers from the 200,000 attendees that could be heard, it was believed, from as far as 30 miles away! This extravaganza was such a rousing success that in no time it captured the imagination of not just the nation, but the whole world


However, in 1907 the city banned the firework display. Yet, Ochs wasn't planning to back down - he arranged to have a large, illuminated 700-pound iron and wood ball lowered from the tower flagpole precisely at midnight to signal the end of 1907. And more than a century later, this tradition stands strong.

The ball's design has changed 6 times since its inception, and the latest design has kept pace with the world, weighing 11,875 pounds.

Yet still after a grand day of celebration, on 31st December at 11:59 pm each year, millions of eyes from all over the world gaze with bated breath at this symbolic Crystal Ball as it begins its descent, and in a united voice count down the final seconds of the year to commemorate together the start of a new year, a new beginning...