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Farewell 2022! All eight billion Earthlings began celebrating the transition to 2023 on Saturday, leaving a turbulent year behind them.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1… Happy New Year! The countdown a few seconds before midnight has already taken place for the inhabitants of part of Oceania and Asia, who were the first to celebrate the transition to the year 2023, on the night of Saturday December 31 at Sunday January 1.
For many, New Year’s Eve is an opportunity to drive away memories of the Covid, as the virus leaves people’s minds, without disappearing.
>> To read also: Despite everything, twelve good news that marked 2022
Sydney, “New Year’s Eve capital of the world”
In Australia, Sydney was one of the first major cities to ring the bell in 2023, reclaiming its title as the “New Year’s Eve capital of the world” after two years of closures and festivities stifled by the Omicron variant.
Australia’s borders have since reopened and more than a million people were expected in Sydney Harbor to witness the launch of more than 100,000 pyrotechnic devices. City officials estimate nearly half a billion viewers watched the show online or on TV.
By midday, hundreds of people were already occupying the best places to watch the show. “It was a pretty good year for us, getting rid of the Covid is great”, commented David Hugh-Paterson, 52, installed in front of the Sydney Opera House.
“If we manage to get everyone on board and approach the coming year with renewed optimism and joy, then we will have succeeded,” said fireworks organizer Fortunato Foti.
>> To read also: These personalities who left us in 2022
A few hours after Australia and New Zealand, it is Japan which has passed to the new year. A particularly important festival for the Japanese who go to the temple to pray, explains the France 24 correspondent on site, Alexis Bregère.
2022, the year associated with the return of war in Europe
The very last days of 2022 also saw the departure of two popes with very different registers: Thursday that of football, Brazilian Pelé (82), and Saturday former head of the Catholic Church Benedict XVI (95 years old).
Global warming has not reversed, nor has world population growth: the milestone of eight billion humans was crossed in November.
This year also rhymed with the “Great Resignation”, a phenomenon of massive departure of employees from their jobs after the pandemic, with a slap in the face at the Oscars ceremony and the ruin of billionaires, swept away by the cryptocurrency crash.
But above all, it will forever be associated with the return of war to Europe with the Russian invasion. in Ukraine.
In more than 300 days, nearly 7,000 civilians have been killed and 10,000 injured, according to the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Sixteen million Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes. For those who remain, daily life is punctuated by power outagesthe Russian bombardments and the curfew.
The return of the Covid in China
In London, the traditional New Year’s Eve fireworks display, for the first time since the pandemic, is expected to bring together some 100,000 spectators, with tickets for the show.
In Vienna, 1,850 guests were preparing to attend the traditional New Year’s Day concert of the Philharmonic Orchestra, in the golden hall of the Musikverein.
In Asia, the Covid has made a resounding comeback in Chinawhile vaccination allows the rest of the world to return to a semblance of normal life.
beijing abandoned its “zero Covid” policy at the beginning of the month, a reversal immediately followed by an explosion in the number of contaminations. Hospitals, like crematoriums, may be overwhelmed, but rallies are planned everywhere for the transition to 2023.
the President Xi Jinping however wanted to launch an optimistic note a few hours from the New Year: “The light of hope is before us”.
New year, new president. In Brazil, the first day of January will rhyme with the return to power of former head of state Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
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New Year: the world passes into 2023