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The world welcomes the New Year 2023 – as it happened – DW – 01/01/2023

The world welcomes the New Year 2023 – as it happened – DW – 01/01/2023

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  • Celebrating, ready to party without pandemic restrictions
  • Some parts will have fireworks for the first time since 2019
  • Germany’s Olaf Scholz calls for greater unity in his New Year message
  • Natural disasters and conflict will mean subdued celebrations in parts of the world, including Ukraine

All updates in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

New Year celebrations around the world

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0500: Despite the appalling weather, tens of thousands of people gathered in New York’s Times Square.

It’s the first big no-holds-barred New Year’s Eve gathering in Time Square.

Partygoers watched the world famous ball drop as they counted down to the new year.

South of the border, Mexico also celebrates New Years, meaning 2023 is now well underway in North America.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will host US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Mexico for the North American Leaders Summit in just over a week.

0400: The year 2023 has reached the Caribbean.

Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada and Haiti are ringing in the new year.

US President Joe Biden is also celebrating 2023, slightly ahead of the rest of his country. Biden and his wife, Jill, arrived in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Tuesday, celebrating the new year with family.

The new year has also begun in the easternmost parts of Canada.

0300: ​​​​Revelers celebrated the beginning of the new year on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro.

Fireworks on Copacabana Beach in Rio de JaneiroImage: Aline Massuca/REUTERS

Brazil is also awaiting the inauguration of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in a few hours. In addition, soccer fans will gather in Santos on Monday to say goodbye to Pele, the country’s most famous soccer export.

Lula’s swearing-in will cap a remarkable political comeback for the 77-year-old, who returned to Brazil’s presidential palace less than five years after he was jailed on controversial, overturned corruption charges.

Around 300,000 people are expected at the ceremony and a huge concert that will include performances from samba legend Martino da Villa to drag queen Pablo Vitar.

Other South American nations that celebrate in the new year include Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Fireworks went off over the Elizabeth Tower and the London Eye in the UK capital
London welcomed the new year with a 12-minute sunriseImage: Aaron Chown/dpa/picture alliance

0000: The UK and Republic of Ireland welcomed the new year with huge fireworks displays in London, Manchester, Cardiff and Edinburgh – where the annual Hogmanay party is in full swing. Dublin’s display at North Wall Pier attracted around 16,000 visitors.

In his New Year’s message, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak admitted that the country has had a difficult 12 months due to political and economic problems and its problems will not “go away” in 2023.

But he believed the coronation of King Charles III in May would help unite the country.

2023 has just arrived in Iceland, Portugal and Spain’s Canary Islands.

In Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Senegal are among the countries ringing in the new year.

2306: One hour after the start of 2023, Ukraine reports new explosions around its capital, Kyiv.

Kyiv city and region authorities said on the Telegram messaging app that the air defense systems were working.

It is not yet known if any targets were hit.

2300: It’s officially 2023 in Berlin, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Stockholm, Belgrade and Warsaw among other European capitals.

Several African countries, including Morocco, Algeria, Nigeria, Ghana and Angola, also welcome the new year.

In his New Year’s address, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said 2022 was not “purely war, suffering and anxiety”. He said the government was “making our country and Europe independent of Russian gas in the long term” and pledged to continue helping Ukraine.

Scholz’s New Year’s speech focused on Ukraine

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Hotels in Berlin reported 90% occupancy ahead of the midnight fireworks at the Brandenburg Gate – the first since the pandemic.

President Emmanuel Macron also pledged France’s support for Ukraine “until victory”. He urged the French public to continue their efforts to save energy, but warned that 2023 would be the year the pension reform would be implemented.

About half a million people gathered in Paris for the first New Year’s fireworks since 2019.

Sweden takes over the EU’s rotating presidency on Sunday and has pledged to broker a joint EU response next week to COVID tests for travelers from China amid concerns over an explosion of infections in the country.

Midnight in Zagreb was also the moment Croatia abandoned its kuna currency and adopted the euro, becoming the 20th member of the eurozone.

2200: Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, is under curfew tonight on the eve of 2023. Russia has recently increased its attacks on Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, prompting the stay-at-home order.

Several people hold a sparkler during a New Year's celebration in Kyiv, Ukraine, on December 31, 2022.
Several residents of Kyiv lit a sparkler next to a Christmas tree before the evening hourImage: Valentin Ogirenko/REUTERS

Before midnight, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said 2023 would be “the year of our victory.”

“Do you want miracles today? Ukrainians have been creating them for a long time,” he wrote on Telegram and posted a photo of himself and his wife Olena in front of a modestly decorated Christmas tree.

Other nations now entering the new year include Egypt, Libya, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

2100: Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain welcomed the new year along with Moscow, Russia and several East African countries including Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.

Iran marked the beginning of the year 2023 half an hour earlier.

2000: The United Arab Emirates, including the playground of the wealthy Dubai, has just welcomed 2023. Dubai is home to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, which is hosting an amazing fireworks display.

1900: India entered the new year. People gathered with friends and family to celebrate in Mumbai.

Illuminated sea promenade in Mumbai during New Year's Eve
People gathered on Mumbai’s promenade to welcome the new yearImage: Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images

1800: Croatia is due to adopt the euro as its currency and join the Schengen area in 2023.

Croatia, which joined the EU in 2013, will abandon the kuna currency and join the bloc’s free movement zone at midnight local time (23:00 GMT).

Meanwhile, dozens of cities in the Western Balkan country canceled New Year’s fireworks over concerns about the harmful effects of the noise and gases on animals and people.

The capital Zagreb replaced its fireworks show with confetti, visual effects and music, and the southwestern port city of Rijeka aimed to redirect fireworks funds to animal welfare associations.

Three women raise cardboard cups at New Year's celebrations in Fusine, Croatia
The southwestern Croatian town of Fužine has been celebrating the New Year at noon for more than 20 yearsImage: Goran Kovacic/PIXSELL/photo alliance

The town of Fusine in southwestern Croatia held New Year’s celebrations at noon, a tradition dating back just over 20 years.

1700: 2023 will be the year of the rabbit according to the Chinese lunar calendar.

The Lunar New Year begins on January 22.

Illuminated Blue Rabbit Symbol in Pagoda Park, Nanjiang, Jiangsu, China
2023 will be the year of the rabbit according to the Chinese lunar calendarImage: CFOTO/Photo Union

It’s already past midnight in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam, which celebrate both the solar and lunar new year.

1500: Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country was “standing on the right side of history” in his New Year’s address.

He said “the world is not at peace” but that Beijing will “resolutely advocate for peace and development”.

China’s leader said the country is entering a “new phase” in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Chinese authorities scrapped the country’s zero COVID policy earlier in December.

Light show at West Tour Park, Huai'an, Jiangsu, China
The city of Huai’an in the eastern province of Jiangsu held a light show over its West Tour ParkImage: CFOTO/Photo Union

Meanwhile, celebrations are taking place on the Great Wall in Beijing.

In Shanghai, authorities said traffic would be stopped along the Bund waterfront area to allow pedestrians to gather.

However, they said there will be no official activities there. The Bund was the site of a deadly stampede on New Year’s Eve in 2014. Around 36 people died after hundreds of thousands gathered to celebrate there.

Shanghai Disneyland will also hold a New Year’s Eve fireworks show.

Fireworks over the Harbor Bridge in Sydney, Australia
Australia’s largest city hosts a fireworks display over the Harbor Bridge to celebrate the New YearImage: Bianca De Marchi/AAP/dpa/picture alliance

1300: The Australian city of Sydney organizes an unforgettable night with a dazzling fireworks display at midnight.

Organizers predicted a crowd of more than one million people would gather in the city’s harbor area after two years of pandemic restrictions and quiet celebrations.

“We’ve had some pretty tough years; we’re absolutely delighted this year to be able to welcome people back,” said city major events producer Stephen Gilby The Sydney Morning Herald.

1100: The island nations of Samoa and New Zealand celebrated as they counted down to 2023. In Auckland, large crowds thronged the Sky Tower where the countdown to midnight gave way to fireworks.

An hour earlier, the Line Islands in the Kiribati atoll were among the first places on the planet to welcome the new year.

These live updates have now ended.

lo,mm,kb/ar,wd,dj (Reuters, AP, dpa)


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