Thousands take to streets for New Year

People were out in their thousands to celebrate the New Year in Switzerland, with fireworks and even skating in the capital Bern.

This content was published on January 1, 2011 - 11:12 and agencies

However, events were marred in some places by fights, incidents and small fires.

Zurich’s hoteliers held their traditional firework display on the shores of the lake and attracted around 170,000 people. In Basel the fireworks were also mostly privately financed, with free mulled wine being handed out as well.

In Bern people were able to enjoy an ice rink on the square outside parliament. It will remain open to awaken interest in the European Figure Skating Championships in the city from January 24 – 30.

The night was relatively quiet in some places such as in canton Aargau and in Lausanne. Police in Geneva said that the night had been like any other normal Friday evening.

However, Basel and Zurich saw some injuries after several - mostly alcohol-fuelled - fights. In Basel the police and ambulance services were particularly busy attending to several small fires and other incidents. In addition, a man released several shots into a bar in the Rhine city, but nobody was hurt, police said.

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