A new US president, the first Olympics in history without an audience, dashed hopes for democracy in Afghanistan, Myanmar and Hong Kong. However, for most earthlings, the pandemic has continued to reign over the past year.
Japan’s Emperor Naruhito delivered his New Year’s address via video link in front of a bonsai tree for the second year in a row, in contrast to the flag-waving crowds that usually celebrate New Year in front of the Imperial Palace.
“By evaluating connections between people more than ever, sharing our pain and supporting each other, I hope from the bottom of my heart that we can get through these difficult times,” the emperor said, according to the Associated Press.
traditionally in sydney
As countries around the world are now calling in 2022, the new omicron variant and fear of contagion have prompted a long string of cities, such as Seoul and San Francisco, to cancel or restrict New Year’s celebrations, according to Agence France-Presse.
The first to toast at twelve – 11 o’clock Swedish time – were the Line Islands in the Pacific Ocean, which mainly belong to Kiribati. Just 26 hours later, the year 2022 entered the entire Earth, when the clock struck the uninhabited Baker-Howland Islands.
Australia’s $1 million city of Sydney kicked off a traditional giant fireworks display at the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the world-famous Opera House at noon, which took place at 2pm Swedish time. Unlike last year, tens of thousands of spectators were allowed this year, despite the strong spread of infection in the city. Aside from the fact that some were wearing mouth guards, there was not much that reminded us of the epidemic when people made pilgrimages to parks, sidewalks, and lookout points several hours before noon to wait to enjoy the spectacle. In the botanical garden near the opera house, the city arranged a food and drink service and live music.
New Year’s rockets in Moscow lit up the night sky. Due to restrictions, the Röda torget was empty and spectators had to follow the fireworks some distance away.
In Dubai, crowds of people gathered outside the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, to watch a spectacular fireworks display.
In Paris, public fireworks were stopped on the Champs-Elysées, and the police patrolled the streets, looking for people who had violated the requirement to guard the mouth. Unlike last year’s New Year celebration, Parisians can at least celebrate in the city this year, even if bars have to close at 02:00.
Tivoli in Copenhagen chose to make – in their opinion – the best of the situation when forced to close, by arranging a resounding fireworks display of more than 5,000 pieces.
– It’s exceptionally large compared to what it usually is. Fireworks director Troels Hymøller said: ‘We’ve had to launch some of the more powerful aerial bombs because Tivoli has shut down. Doctor Earlier on New Years Eve.
Partying in Belgrade
Serbia went against the tide in Europe and allowed large outdoor crowds. Hours before noon, the streets of the capital, Belgrade, were filled with people hungry to party. About 100,000 people came to the city over the weekend, according to television station RTS.
Goran Fisic, deputy mayor of Belgrade, said he was proud of the thousands of people who took to the streets, the Associated Press writes.
appearances in New York
About 15,000 people attended the traditional celebration in New York’s Times Square. Huge difference compared to last year when only a few guests were invited, but far from the more than 50,000 who usually celebrate in a world famous venue.
A massive security event with roadblocks, fences, and throngs of police surrounded Times Square, where performances by Ja Rule and Ashanti, among others, and KT Tunstall performed John Lennon’s “Imagine” before the light-up ball was released.
– I like to celebrate. Wendy Kahn, who traveled to New York from New Orleans, says to New York times.
In Rio de Janeiro, where up to three million people usually gather in Copacabana to celebrate, the festivities went according to plan, with people partying in the glow of fireworks on the beach.
In South Africa, where the omicron variant was discovered in November, there has been a lot of partying since the curfew was lifted after the number of newly discovered cases dropped sharply.
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