While there were no sparks in the sky, there were plenty of flames on the ground, as French Youths torched over one hundred cars in Paris alone:
The French city paper, Le Parisien, carries some additional details, including a rather depressing video, where the soundtrack rings with showers of glass breaking and bursts of tear gas cannisters:
"The night was relatively calm, without notable incident, there were very few direct clashes with the security forces," said a spokesman for the national police.
At 12:00 a.m. EST, the Interior Ministry said 372 vehicles had been burned -- 144 in the Paris region and 228 in the rest of France. That was down from 397 last New Year's Eve.
... Police had stepped up their presence on French streets in anticipation of the year-end celebrations and the sale of petrol in cans was banned in some places.
It was hardly ten minutes after midnight before fights broke out along the block. Groups that seemed not to be organized started harassing the CRS [riot police] and bombard them with glass bottles and beer cans.... On four occasions, within a short radius of 100 meters, [the riot police] launched counter-attacks. Three times, they used tear gas to dislodge the rioters, who were all very young, for the most part.
Many strollers who came to celebrate the passing of one year to another left with tears in their eyes, caused by the tear gas.