World

940 cars set alight around France as reveler see in the New Year

  • Revelers photograph fireworks over the Arc de Triomphe as they celebrate the New Year's Eve on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, France, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    Revelers photograph fireworks over the Arc de Triomphe as they celebrate the New Year's Eve on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, France, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)  (The Associated Press)

  • Revellers celebrate the New Year's Eve on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, France, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. The Arc de Triomphe is illuminated in the background. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    Revellers celebrate the New Year's Eve on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, France, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. The Arc de Triomphe is illuminated in the background. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)  (The Associated Press)

France's Interior Ministry says 940 cars were set alight by revelers ringing in the New Year — 12 percent fewer than the 1,067 set aflame last year.

The figures issued on Thursday show that, despite the dip, setting fire to parked cars remains a firmly entrenched way for some French to send out the old and ring in the new.

Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said on BFM-TV that numerous cars were burned around the country, particularly in the east, as well as in suburban Paris, notably the Seine-Saint-Denis region — where fiery riots around France started in 2005.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Parisians thronged the tightly guarded Champs-Elysees Avenue to welcome 2015.