Millions around the world are welcoming the New Year 2023 in massive celebrations that started at the small Pacific island nations of Tonga, Samoa and Kiribati/Christmas Island.
More than a million gathered to watch the incredible firework display at the Opera House in Sydney as they celebrated New Year after Covid restrictions were lifted earlier this year.
🇦🇺 | 2023: Sydney: pic.twitter.com/dTHxIjXLyl
— Alerta News 24 (@AlertaNews24) December 31, 2022
In Beijing, New Year celebrations were seen at the Great Wall. It comes after the government made a U-turn on its Covid restrictions, leading to an explosion of cases.
Celebrations also took place in Shanghai where authorities said traffic will be stopped along the waterfront Bund to allow pedestrians to gather on New Year’s Eve. Shanghai Disneyland also held a special fireworks show to welcome 2023.
New Zealand Welcomes New Year With Fireworks
Fireworks light up the sky in Auckland, New Zealand, as the country stepped in to the New Year on Saturday.
New Zealand is one of the first countries in the world to mark the New Year. pic.twitter.com/dICyUOpBVb
— Punch Newspapers (@MobilePunch) December 31, 2022
Perth, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore also rang in the New Year at 4 pm GMT.
Happy New Year from Hong Kong ❤️ pic.twitter.com/iomRHf8WWx
— Marc | 馬可 (@MarcTaraz) December 31, 2022
happy new year from tokyo disneyland⭐️🐰 pic.twitter.com/Nkhx7HJxnn
— noey ꒰ ੭•᷅д•᷄ ꒱੭ (@noeysavitta) December 31, 2022
New Year celebrations in Greece and the US
The city of Athens welcomed the New Year with live music at Syntagma Square and an all-night party with DJs at the Varvakeios Municipal Market.
Festivities at Syntagma Square started as Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyiannis performed the traditional countdown to the New Year on midnight, alongside TV personalities Fotis Sergoulopoulos and Jenny Melita who hosted the evening’s stage events.
A ten-member orchestra and soloists, accompanied by tenor Marios Frangoulis and singer Giorgos Perris, presented a festive musical program under an impressive audiovisual show.
New York was among the latest to welcome the new year. The night culminated with a countdown as a glowing geodesic sphere 12 feet (3.6m) in diameter fell from its perch atop One Times Square.
The ball’s surface had nearly 2,700 Waterford crystals of more than 16 million colours officials said. Confetti rained down on those below.
Crowds returned to full capacity for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
— CNN (@CNN) January 1, 2023
On New Year’s Eve 2021, the annual Times Square celebration took place, but the outdoor event was restricted to people who showed proof of vaccination. In 2020, the usual countdown and famous ball drop happened, but no crowds were allowed on the streets.
As world rings in new year, war grinds on in Ukraine Russia launched another wave of missile attacks hitting cities across Ukraine in the run-up to the new year.
The mayor of the capital, Kyiv – Vitaly Klischko – said there had been several blasts in the capital, causing at least one death. A hotel has also been damaged.
The attacks happened two days after Russia carried out one of the largest air strikes since the start of the war.