New York City kicked off 2023 with a dazzling spectacle on Saturday night in the iconic Times Square, anchoring New Year’s celebrations across the United States. The night culminated in a countdown as a glowing geodesic ball 12 feet in diameter and weighing nearly six tons descended from its lofty perch above One Times Square.
Officials said its surface was made up of about 2,700 Waterford crystals that lit up in a palette of more than 16 million colours.
At midnight, tons of confetti rain down on the revelers, shimmering amid huge screens, neon lights and pulsations.
Last year, A.J graded crowd About 15,000 spectators wore the mask and watched the ball go down while basking in the lights and a hoopla. Because of the pandemic rules, they were far fewer than the tens of thousands of revelers who usually descend on the world-famous square.
Before the ball dropped, there were heavy thoughts about the past year and the new year.
“2023 is about resurgence – the world coming back after COVID-19 and after the war in Ukraine. We want it to end,” said Arjun Singh while at the Times Square Theatre.
“New York City, I hope, will come back and thrive after COVID,” a woman said before the festivities in Times Square.
New Year’s celebrations around the world mark the end of a year that brought war in Europe, a new chapter in the British monarchy and global concerns about inflation.
The new year began in the tiny atoll nation of Kiribati in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, then traveled through Russia and New Zealand before heading deeper, time zone by time zone, through Asia, Europe and the Americas.
At least for a day, thoughts focused on possibilities, even such elusive ones as world peace, and mustered—finally—a determination to sustain the next set of decisions.
In a sign of this hope, the children met Saint Nicholas at a crowded metro station in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
However, the Russian attacks continued on New Year’s Eve. In the middle of the night, the streets of the capital, Kyiv, were desolate. The only sign of the New Year came from locals chanting from their porches, “Happy New Year!” and “Glory to Ukraine!” And just half an hour into the year 2023, sirens rang out across the Ukrainian capital, followed by loud explosions.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported an explosion in the Holoseevsky district, and authorities reported that fragments of a downed missile damaged a car in the central region of the country.
In Paris, thousands celebrated on the Champs-Elysees, while French President Emmanuel Macron pledged continued support for Ukraine in a televised New Year’s address. “Over the next year, we will be at your side tirelessly,” said Macron. “We will help you until victory and we will be together to build a just and lasting peace. Count on France and count on Europe.”
Big Ben coincided with more than 100,000 revelers gathering along the River Thames to watch a spectacular fireworks display around the London Eye. The show featured a drone light display of the crown and the image of Queen Elizabeth II on a coin hovering in the sky, in honor of Britain’s longest reign. He died in September.
Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach welcomed a small crowd of a few thousand for a short fireworks display, and several Brazilian cities canceled festivities this year over coronavirus concern. New Year’s celebrations in the Brazilian capital usually drew more than two million people to Copacabana before the pandemic hit.
Turkey’s most populous city, Istanbul, has brought in the year 2023 with street celebrations and fireworks. In the Catholic Church of Saint Antoine, dozens of Christians prayed for the New Year and the commemoration Death of Pope Benedict XVI. The Vatican announced the death of Benedict on Saturday at the age of 95.
In Australia, more than a million people thronged Sydney’s waterfront to celebrate a multi-million dollar rally around the themes of diversity and inclusion. More than 7,000 fireworks were launched from the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and another 2,000 from the nearby Opera House.
“We’ve had a rather challenging couple of years; this year we are absolutely delighted to be able to welcome people back to the shores of Sydney Harbor for Sydney’s world-famous New Year’s Eve celebrations,” Stephen Gilbey, Principal City Producer of Events and Festivals, told The Sydney Morning Herald. .
In Auckland, New Zealand, large crowds gather under the Sky Tower, as fireworks precede a 10-second countdown to midnight. Festivities are back in New Zealand’s largest city after Covid-19 forced it to cancel a year ago.
In China, people were cautiously looking forward to 2023 after the recent easing of epidemic restrictions unleashed the virus, but also signaled a return to normal life. Like many, salesperson Hong Xinyu has stayed close to home for the past year in part because of travel restrictions.
“As the new year begins, we seem to see the light,” he said in a countdown display that lit up the towering structures of a former steel mill in Beijing. Hopefully there will be more freedom in the future.
Fears about the Ukraine war and the economic shocks it has wrought around the world were felt in Tokyo, where Shigeki Kawamura has seen better times but says he needs a free hot meal this New Year.
“I hope that the war in Ukraine will end so that prices will stabilize,” he said.