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.