2021 New Year’s Eve celebrations: from fireworks to empty streets
Fireworks over deserted cities: the world meets 2021
In many countries, traditional holiday festivities have been canceled due to the pandemic
As every year, the sky above the building of the Sydney Opera House lit up with blue and gold lights, but this time the embankments are unusually deserted. Around the world, the difficult outgoing year is seen off in an atmosphere of restrictions and precautions.
The Beijing TV Tower did not have a traditional light show. Trafalgar Square in London, Red Square in Moscow and Puerta del Sol in Madrid are blocked. In St. Peter’s Square in Rome, there is no usual crowd of celebrants, the Pope does not hold a festive mass, and the traditional New Year’s jumps into the Tiber have also been abandoned..
Some cities, like Sydney, have chosen to launch fireworks over empty streets. Others, like London and Paris, have canceled fireworks altogether. Curfews apply in Paris, Rome and Istanbul.
In New York, there will be a traditional ball drop at midnight, but instead of the usual crowd of thousands in Times Square, a small group of paramedics and employees from other key industries will gather, who will have to strictly observe social distance..
Since last New Year, 82 million people have become infected in the world, more than 1.7 million have died. While vaccines offer hope for positive change, the year is ending on a very somber note. German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke about this in her 16th New Year address.
“I can say without exaggeration: never in the last 15 years has the outgoing year been so difficult. And we have never looked into the coming year with such hope, despite all the excitement and some skepticism, “she said..
In Germany, the sale of fireworks has been banned to avoid crowds on the streets. Berlin authorities warn violators will be punished.
In the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the pandemic began a year ago, thousands of people will gather on the streets to celebrate the outgoing year. People are cautious but not particularly worried..
Australia, where fireworks kick off New Year’s celebrations around the world, has banned mass events and closed external borders. Sydney city center closed.
In North Korea, the virus did not interfere with celebrations. State TV shows masked people gathering in Pyongyang’s main square to watch a concert and fireworks.
Barriers have been set up in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol, where the Spaniards usually count down the last seconds until midnight, eating a grape for each beat of the clock..
In the UK, restrictions have been tightened due to the emergence of a new, more contagious strain of coronavirus. Banner ads all over the city call to celebrate the New Year at home.
Bars and restaurants are closed in Italy and there is a curfew from 10pm.
In France, no more than six people can gather at the festive table. A la Ville de Rodez, an upscale deli in Paris, offers shoppers a set of foie gras, truffles and pâtés for two or three so citizens can enjoy the delicacies at home without breaking the rules.