NEW YORK -- Illuminated by 200 LED bulbs, a 1 and 3, each one taller than most professional basketball players, arrived in Times Square, Wednesday morning, 12 days before 2013.
The numbers will be housed at the Times Square Museum & Visitor Center until Dec. 26.
After that, the 13 will be hoisted into place, joining the 20 that's already on the One Times Square building, 400 feet above "The Crossroads the World."
It will light at the end of the annual ball drop as 2012 gives way to 2013.
Because so many people are superstitious and consider the number 13 to be unlucky, museum visitors are being encouraged to leave lucky charms to counteract some of the negative connotations that often accompany 13.
the 2013 will be at the bottom of the special flag pole that will carry Waterford crystal ball from 2012 to 2013
That ball will have 288 new crystal panels with doves chiseled into them to mark the theme "Let There Be Peace."
The triangular panels replace 288 old ones on the 2,668-panel ball.
The first ball drop took place on Dec. 31, 1907. With the exception of the wartime blackouts of 1942 and 1943, the ball has dropped to count down the final seconds of each year since.
The tradition is one of the best-known New Year's celebrations in the world. As many as 1 million people pack Times Square to watch the spectacle. The global audience is estimated to be more than 1 billion.
Ryan Seacrest will host the countdown to midnight, with musical guests including Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen, Neon Trees, Flo Rida and Pitbull.
Highlights from the 2012 Ball Drop
The Associated Press contributed to this report.