|Confetti flies around the countdown clock during the first public New Year’s event since the coronavirus pandemic at Times Square in New York City in the United States. [Andrew Kelly/Reuters]
Thousands of people braved the rain to welcome in 2023 at New York’s iconic Times Square which exploded into a spectacular light show as revelers watched the ball drop at midnight.
The magnificent light show was kicked off by New York City Mayor Eric Adams who had the honor of pushing the Waterford Crystal button signaling the 60-second descent of the New Year’s ball while partygoers watched on.
Crowds danced while singing to Frank Sinatra’s ‘New York, New York’ and after midnight cooed the lyrics to ‘What a Wonderful World’ by Louis Armstrong, according to Daily Mail.
At the stroke of midnight, confetti rained down on soggy revelers, glittering amid the jumbo screens, neon, and pulsing lights after the crowd sang ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon, along with Chelsea Cutler who headlined the show.
|People bring in the New Year as they watch fireworks explode over Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. [Bruna Prado/AP Photo]
In Brazil, the people of the South American country welcomed the new year with a spectacular fireworks display on Copacabana beach. The shining night sky with many brilliant colors impressed people from around the country and the world. This is the first year that the traditional fireworks ceremony has been reorganized in Rio De Janeiro after many years of postponement because of the Covid-19 pandemic. In rejoicing, the people of Brazil exchanged wishes for peace, happiness, and success in the year 2023.
The UK has ushered in 2023 with revelers across the country celebrating New Year’s Eve.
Partygoers defied wet weather to welcome in 2023 after the Met Office issued yellow warnings for rain in England’s South West and southern Wales, and warnings for ice and snow across the Scottish Highlands.
|Performers take part in the London New Year’s Day Parade in the United Kingdom’s capital. [Toby Melville/Reuters]
Big Ben bonged in England’s capital as a crowd of more than 100,000 people gathered along the Thames Embankment in central London to watch 12,000 fireworks streak across the sky.
The capital’s spectacular New Year’s Eve celebrations returned for the first time since 2019, due to Covid restrictions brought about by the pandemic.
The display also paid tribute to the late Queen, featuring a voice recording from her and words from Dame Judi Dench, before honoring the King, together with a message from the Monarch about the need to preserve our planet’s future.
An unexpectedly large crowd of 1 million people crammed onto the Champs-Élysées to celebrate the start of 2023, after two years of Covid cancellations – with Paris officials calling it a “renaissance” in people wanting to get together again and a taster for future big gatherings for the 2024 Olympics.
|Revellers watch a sound and light show projected on the Arc de Triomphe as they celebrate the New Year on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France. [Aurelien Morissard/AP Photo]
French authorities had expected about 500,000 Parisians and tourists to flock to the avenue, where a vast display of 340kg of fireworks was set off around the Arc de Triomphe at midnight during a special musical medley.
But a staggering 1 million people from Paris, across France, and tourists from as far as the US and Australia, turned out to cram themselves tightly into a dense, mask-free crowd on the avenue, amid high policing. The crowd was evacuated shortly after the fireworks ended after midnight.
The last Paris new year’s gathering on the Champs-Élysées took place on 31 December 2019, with 250,000 people present. In 2020, it was canceled amid Covid restrictions. Last year’s gathering was called off to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant.
“It was almost 2 million people if you take the wider perimeter,” said the interior minister, Gérald Darmanin. “It went off as well as it could have done.”
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, used his televised new year address to assert that 2023 would be the moment for his pension overhaul – a key, and controversial, plank of his election platform. Macron’s first push to overhaul pensions prompted weeks of protests and transport strikes in 2019, shortly before the pandemic hit and the changes were put on hold.
In the next few weeks, the French government is expected to announce how it plans to raise the retirement age – with a package of changes to pensions that could trigger clashes in the national assembly, street protests, and strikes.
“We need to work longer,” Macron said. He did not give details of his pension changes, nor his promised overhaul of the immigration system expected to go before parliament soon. He said both were necessary moves in difficult times, calling for “unity, audacity, and collective ambition in France in 2023”.
In Asia, this year, Thai people have flocked to welcome the new year at Wat Arun, on the Chao Phraya River, this is a famous architectural work in the land of golden pagodas. The event was organized by the Tourism Authority of Thailand with a spectacular 5-minute fireworks display.
Images of other countries celebrating 2023’s New Year
|Hiro Komae/AP Photo
A woman in Japanese traditional kimono attire rings in the New Year by joining a Buddhist ritual called “Joya no Kane” at the Sensoji Buddhist temple in Tokyo. In the ritual, temple bells are tolled 108 times, it is said, to get rid of people’s 108 vices and earthly desires in the previous year and to make a fresh start in the New Year.
|Fireworks explode over Sydney Harbour during the New Year’s Eve celebrations in the Australian city. [Jaimi Joy/Reuters]
|Fireworks are seen over Victoria Harbour at midnight in Hong Kong. [Anthony Kwan/AP Photo]