New Year’s Evening celebrations from around the world

How the globe said goodbye to 2020, one of the worst year’s in recent memories, and said hello to 2021


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The world said goodbye to 2020, one of the darkest years in recent memory.

The festivities were more subdued in places where the coronavirus is on the rise while those nations where infections are low or nonexistent marked the new year with crowds and fireworks. In Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand, it looked like a normal New Year’s celebration while in Europe crowds were mostly absent in places such as Berlin and London. In the United States, Times Square and other New Year’s Eve hotspots were empty as the fear of COVID-19 spread led to the elimination of large gatherings.

The year 2020 will be mostly remembered for the pandemic, which upended lives and killed 1.82 million people with 83.3 million cases worldwide.

New Zealand

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – JANUARY 01: Fireworks from the SkyTower during Auckland New Year’s Eve celebrations on January 01, 2021 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images for Auckland Unlimited) 

Taiwan

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TAIPEI, TAIWAN – JANUARY 01: Fireworks light up the Taiwan skyline and Taipei 101 during New Years Eve celebrations on January 01, 2021 in Taipei, Taiwan. (Photo by Gene Wang/Getty Images) 
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TAIPEI, TAIWAN – JANUARY 01: Fireworks light up the Taiwan skyline and Taipei 101 during New Years Eve celebrations on January 01, 2021 in Taipei, Taiwan. (Photo by Gene Wang/Getty Images) 

Australia

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Fireworks explode over the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge as New Year celebrations begin in Sydney, Australia, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. One million people would usually crowd the Sydney Harbor to watch the annual fireworks that center on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. But this year authorities advised revelers to watch the fireworks on television as the two most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria battle to curb new COVID-19 outbreaks. (AP Photo/Mark Baker) 

The Phillipines

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MANILA, PHILIPPINES – JANUARY 01: People watch a drone show during New Year’s Eve celebrations at a park on January 1, 2021 in Manila, Philippines. Philippine authorities have urged the public to avoid big gatherings and even threatened to jail violators during New Year’s Eve as the country continues to grapple with the rising number of coronavirus cases. (Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images) 
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JANUARY 01: People watch a fireworks display during New Year’s Eve celebrations at a park on January 1, 2021 in Manila, Philippines. Philippine authorities have urged the public to avoid big gatherings and even threatened to jail violators during New Year’s Eve as the country continues to grapple with the rising number of coronavirus cases. (Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images) 

China

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Visitors to a mall passes by Happy New Year greetings shown on a giant screen in Beijing Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. This New Year’s Eve is being celebrated like no other, with pandemic restrictions limiting crowds and many people bidding farewell to a year they’d prefer to forget. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) 

IndiaNew Year’s Evening celebrations from around the world 11

DELHI, INDIA – DECEMBER 31: Farmers raise their phones with the torches on as they participate in a vigil on New Year’s Eve remembering the 40 farmers who lost their lives during the protest on a highway leading to Delhi on the Gaziabad border on December 31, 2020 in Delhi, India. As per the local media reports even post the sixth round of talks both sides remained deadlock on the removal of the three controversial farm reforms and legal guarantee for the Minimum Support Price (MSP)policy. (Photo by Anindito Mukherjee/Getty Images) 

Russia

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Fireworks explode over the Kremlin and almost empty Red Square during New Year’s celebrations near the Spasskaya Tower during New Year’s celebrations, in Moscow, Russia, early Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. As the world says goodbye to 2020, there will be countdowns and live performances, but no massed jubilant crowds in traditional gathering spots like the Champs Elysees in Paris and New York City’s Times Square this New Year’s Eve, amid the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin) 

France

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PARIS, FRANCE – DECEMBER 31: Guests at the Pullman Hotel, which ran a silent balcony New Year’s party, welcome in 2021 near the Eiffel Tower on December 31, 2020 in Paris, France. New Year’s eve celebrations and fireworks have been cancelled throughout France and an 8pm curfew imposed in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19 infections. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images) 
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PARIS, FRANCE – DECEMBER 31: Guests at the Pullman Hotel welcome in 2021 near the Eiffel Tower on December 31, 2020 in Paris, France. New Year’s eve celebrations and fireworks have been cancelled throughout France and an 8pm curfew imposed in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19 infections. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images) 

Italy

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ROME, ITALY – JANUARY 01: Fireworks are seen over St. Peter’s Basilica on New Year’s Eve during the Coronavirus pandemic on January 01, 2021, in Rome, Italy. The Italian government continues to enforce the national lockdown measures to control the spread of COVID-19 in the final days of 2020. New Year’s Eve celebratory fireworks have been cancelled in most cities worldwide or broadcasted online in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19 infections. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images) 

Germany

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In this long time exposure image, a person appears blurred as he paints 2021 with a sparkler firework to represent the coming year, in the darkness on New Year’s Eve, in Briesen, Germany, late Thursday Dec. 31, 2020. (Patrick Pleul/dpa via AP) 
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BERLIN, GERMANY – DECEMBER 31: The Brandenburg Gate is seen without a live audience in front of it during the “Willkommen 2021” performance on December 31, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Berlin’s annual official New Year’s Eve festivities were broadcast over the ZDF television network without the celebration’s traditional public audience of thousands or fireworks display, as the government discourages gatherings under the second lockdown designed to prevent further spread of the virus that has so far killed over 33,000 people in the country. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images) 

United Kingdom

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Fireworks and drones illuminate the night sky over London as they form a light display as London’s normal New Year’s Eve fireworks display was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic Thursday Dec. 31, 2020. (Victoria Jones/PA via AP) 
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LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM – JANUARY 01: People gather on Everton Brow to watch unofficial fireworks and welcome 2021 on January 01, 2021 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. New Year’s Eve Celebrations have been curtailed in the UK this year dues to Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. With most of the UK in tiers three and four with socialising off limits. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) 
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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – DECEMBER 31: A man holds a sparkler in front of the London Eye, in what would normally be a ticket-only area filled to capacity waiting for the annual fireworks display, on December 31, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. New Year’s Eve Celebrations have been curtailed in the UK this year dues to Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. With most of the UK in tiers three and four, socialising is off limits. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

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