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The Whole World welcomes The New Year 2023

On January 1, 2023, fireworks lit up the London sky to celebrate the New Year
On January 1, 2023, fireworks lit up the London sky to celebrate the New Year

WASHINGTON — With fireworks set off in London, Paris, and Berlin, hoping to end the war in Ukraine and return to normal life after the pandemic, Europe and Asia bid farewell to 2022.

2022 is a year of conflict, economic stress, and the effects of global warming in Ukraine. But the year also saw dramatic World Cups, rapid technological change, and efforts to tackle the climate challenge.

For Ukraine, the battle that began since Russia’s invasion in February this year shows no sign of ending in sight. On Saturday, Russia launched a series of cruise missiles that Ukrainian human rights monitors called “New Year’s Eve horrors.”

A curfew remains in place throughout Ukraine, making it impossible for many public places to celebrate the start of 2023. Some regional governors posted messages on social media warning residents not to break the rules.

In Kiev, however, as midnight approaches, people gather near the Christmas tree in the center of the city.

“We’re not going to give up. They can’t spoil our celebration,” said Yaryna, 36, who celebrated the New Year with her husband.

In a video speech to celebrate the New Year, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said: “I wish us all one thing: victory.”

Shortly after midnight, air raid sirens sounded again across Ukraine.

In his New Year’s address, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on the Russian people to support his army.

The celebrations in Moscow were silent, and there were no fireworks on Red Square as usual.

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“People should not pretend that nothing is happening and that our people (in Ukraine) are dying,” said Yelena Popova, 68. “The festival is being celebrated, but there must be restrictions.” Many Muscovites say they hope for peace in 2023.

At midnight, fireworks were set off in the British capital, and the London Eye turned blue and yellow to show support for Ukraine.

The Mayor of London, which called it the biggest celebration in Europe, also mentioned Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September, the red and white of the English football team, and the rainbow colors of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and suspicious) pride campaign that celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2022.

Elsewhere in the region, fireworks were set off over the Parthenon in Athens, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, and the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with people gathering on the Champs-Élysées to watch the French capital’s first New Year’s fireworks since 2019.

Like many places, Prague, the Czech capital, felt financially strained, so no fireworks display was held. City Hall spokesman Witt Hoffman said: “It doesn’t seem appropriate to hold a celebration.”

Heavy rain and strong winds led to the cancellation of fireworks displays in major Dutch cities.

But several European cities saw annual records for temperatures. In Prague, it was the warmest New Year’s Eve on record in 247 years, with temperatures reaching 17.7 degrees Celsius.

Météo-France’s official weather forecaster said it was also the warmest New Year’s Chinese New Year’s Eve on record in France.

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Australia began celebrating New Year’s Eve without restrictions for the first time after two years of Covid disruptions.

In Australia, which celebrates the first light of the new year in 2023, more than one million people gather Chinese New Year’s Eve night around the iconic Sydney Harbour to watch more than 13,000 fireworks set off from the sails of the Opera House and more than 100 points near the Harbour Bridge.

“This Chinese New Year’s Eve night, as we embark on the celebrations that lead the world into the New Year, we want to say Sydney is back,” said Sydney Mayor Clover Moore.

This year, Australia, like many countries around the world, reopened its borders, lifted social distancing restrictions, and lifted pandemic-era restrictions on celebrations.

In China, strict coronavirus restrictions were lifted until December, and the government lifted the zero-zero policy, a shift that led to a spike in infections, meaning some were in no mood to celebrate.

One social media user in eastern Shandong province wrote: “This virus should die; Can’t believe I couldn’t even find a healthy friend this year to go out with me. ”

But in the city of Wuhan, where the pandemic began three years ago, despite tight security arrangements, thousands of people gathered to release balloons into the sky as the clock struck midnight.

Barricades were erected, and hundreds of police officers were on the look. A message was playing on a loop over loudspeakers, advising people not to gather. But a large number of revelers ignored this.

In Shanghai, many people gather on the historic Bund.

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“We all came to Shanghai from Chengdu to celebrate,” said Dai Da, a 28-year-old digital media executive who came with two friends. “We’ve already passed the sun, so we can enjoy it with peace of mind now.”

In Hong Kong, days after authorities lifted restrictions on collective gatherings, thousands of people held a midnight countdown near Victoria Harbour, the city’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration in years. The event was canceled in 2019 due to frequent violent social unrest, and then the celebrations were scaled back in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

(This article is based on a Reuters report.)

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