Blue and gold fireworks soared into the sky over Sydney Harbor Bridge as they do every year, but the streets were relatively quiet. There was no pyrotechnics at all in Melbourne. It was a fitting farewell for a year that shouldn’t be missed.
There was no light show illuminating Beijing from the top of the TV tower. The lions of London’s Trafalgar Square were barricaded, as was the Red Square in Moscow. In Rome the crowds were told not to gather in St. Peter’s Square and that there would be no Pope and no Mass.
Only New Zealand seemed « normal » on a New Year’s Eve that was almost normal nowhere else on the planet. Both Auckland and Christchurch had concerts and fireworks like any other 31. December. New Zealanders rightly felt a bit complacent after wiping out the coronavirus.
New Years Eve celebration in Hagley Park in Christchurch as « normal » life in New Zealand. Credit: AP
NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian probably best summed it up: « What a damn good year this has been, » she said. « Hopefully 2021 will be easier for all of us. «
With more than 1. 7 million people died and 82 million became infected worldwide since New Year’s Eve. The end of 2020 was remembered like no other.
Angela Merkel said this in her address on 16. New Year’s Eve as German Chancellor. « I think I’m not exaggerating when I say: Never in the last 15 years have we found the old year so difficult, » she said. « And despite all the worries and some skepticism, we never looked forward to the new one with so much hope.
« I can only imagine how bitter it must feel for those grieving loved ones who have been lost to corona or are battling the effects of illness when the virus is denied and denied by some hopeless people. «
In the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the pandemic began a year ago, thousands should be gathering at popular landmarks across the city center for the countdown to 2021. Some said they were careful but not particularly concerned.
Tradition has been thrown out the window in Madrid’s normally lively Puerta del Sol square. Spain’s midnight lock had been extended to 1. 30pm, but most of the people stayed home.
When police dragged metal barriers across the square, retiree Jose Angel Balsa, 61, said he would be « spending the evening with the family, just the four of us at home, making lots of video calls and hoping this ends. ». » as soon as possible. «
In the UK, where a highly contagious variant of the virus is raging and most people are severely restricted, official billboards instructed the public to « watch the New Year safely at home ». . Barriers have been erected in London’s Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square.
In Italy bars, restaurants and most shops were closed and a 10pm curfew was imposed for New Year’s Eve at 10pm. Pope Francis had canceled plans to lead New Year’s and New Year’s services, blaming a flare-up in his sciatica.
In France, a curfew at 8 p.m. and a limit of six adults per household restricted the celebrations. But that was France: small maybe, but with style.
At A la Ville de Rodez, an upscale Parisian deli, manager Brice Tapon prepared packets of foie gras and truffles for groups of two or three people.
« I will . . . stuff me with foie gras, champagne and all that food, « said Annie Chaplin, a customer. « And I’ll stay home. «
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New Year’s Eve, Times Square Ball Drop, Fireworks
World news – USA – Liberation, 2020: Fireworks give way to hope
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