Vietnam joined other countries around the globe in welcoming the New Year with parties, art performances, and fireworks, with expectations for all things to be better in 2012. In the capital city of Hanoi, despite chilliness, thousands of people gathered in the area surrounding Hoan Kiem Lake enjoying the beauty of various kinds of flowers and counting down the time to the New Year. The New Year countdown party in the August Revolution Square in front of the Hanoi Opera House to welcome the New Year also attracted big crowds. Ho Chi Minh City greeted the New Year with special artistic performances on its main streets and in blaze of fireworks set off from the Dam Sen Cultural Park and the banks of the Saigon River. The city authorities decided to halt traffic to the inner area of the city during the night to allow thousands of people to join in the New Year countdown party on Nguyen Hue Street. First held in Vietnam in 2010 by Heineken, this year countdown party saw the participation of world famous singers, dancers and DJ./.