Celebrations kick off in Asia as world enters 2023 | Gallery

Australia celebrates its first unrestricted New Year’s Eve after two years of disruption due to COVID, as the world begins to bid farewell to a year marked by many by the war in Ukraine, economic tensions and the effects of heat. up globally.

Revelers celebrate across Asia from China to the Philippines to Thailand.

Sydney, one of the first major cities in the world to welcome the new year, did so with a typical dazzling fireworks display, featuring a rainbow waterfall beyond the famous Harbor Bridge for the first time.

“This New Year’s Eve, we want to say that Sydney is back as we kick-start festivals around the world and deliver a big New Year,” said Clover Moore, the city’s mayor. events.

The lockdown at the end of 2020 and an increase in Omicron infections by the end of 2021 have resulted in crowd restrictions and reduced festive activities in Australia. However, restrictions on celebrations were lifted this year after Australia, like many countries around the world, reopened its borders and lifted social distancing restrictions.

The Sydney show featured thousands of fireworks launched from the four sails of the Sydney Opera House and from the Harbor Bridge.

In China, strict COVID restrictions were lifted just this month when the government reversed its “no COVID” policy, a change that has resulted in a spike in infections and has meant a… Some people are not in the mood to celebrate.

In the city of Wuhan, where the pandemic began three years ago, tens of thousands of people gathered to celebrate in the presence of strict security.

Barricades were erected and hundreds of other police officers and security personnel stood guard on the night of the city’s first large-scale spontaneous gathering since nationwide protests at the end of the month. 11 – soon the Chinese authorities almost abandoned the COVID-free policy.

In Shanghai, many people gather at the historic riverside walkway, the Bund.

“We all traveled from Chengdu to celebrate in Shanghai,” said Da Dai, a 28-year-old digital media executive who is traveling with two friends. “We had COVID, so now it feels safe to enjoy ourselves.”

Days after Hong Kong lifted its limit on mass gatherings, tens of thousands of people gathered near the city’s Victoria Harbor for the countdown. Lights stream from some of the largest buildings in the city’s harbor front.

It was the city’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration in years. The event was canceled in 2019 due to the often violent social unrest and scaled back to 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

The Malaysian government has canceled a New Year’s countdown and fireworks event at Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur after flooding across the country forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people and a landslide killed 31 people this month. this.

Celebrations at the country’s famous Petronas Twin Towers were curtailed without a display or fireworks.

Earlier that same day, Russian President Vladimir Putin dedicated his annual New Year’s speech to rallying the Russian people to support his troops fighting in Ukraine.

Paris is scheduled to host its first New Year’s fireworks display since 2019. The 10-minute fireworks display will begin at midnight, with 500,000 people expected to gather at the grandstand. Highway Champs-Elysees to see.

Heavy rain and strong winds on Saturday meant fireworks shows in major Dutch cities including Amsterdam and The Hague – and a national TV show in the port city of Rotterdam – were canceled. cancel.

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