Eight billion people across the world gathered on Saturday to welcome 2023 and bid adieu to a tumultuous year that saw conflict break out in Europe, prices soar, and Lionel Messi win the world cup. This New Year’s Eve, many people will be wanting to have fun after a few years that have been affected by the epidemic. They will be putting aside tightened finances and a virus that is slowly becoming less remembered but is still present. Sydney will be among the first major cities to ring in the new year in 2023, reaffirming its title as the ‘New Year’s Eve capital of the globe’ following two years of lockdown and Omicron-muted celebrations.
More than a million people are anticipated to line Sydney’s picturesque harbour as 100,000 fireworks light up the southern sky now that Australia’s borders are reopened. The city of Sydney anticipates that over half a billion additional people will watch the celebrations online or on television. Fortunato Foti, the man in charge of organising the fireworks, stated, ‘If we can bring everyone together in celebration and looking to the year ahead with fresh optimism and enthusiasm, then we’ll consider it as a job well done’.
For some, 2022 was a year of Wordles, the Great Resignation, a new Taylor Swift album, an Oscar slap, and billionaire meltdowns. In addition, it saw the passing of Shinzo Abe, Jiang Zemin, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Pele, a legend of Brazilian football. However, the year 2022 is most likely to be remembered for the return of war to Europe, which served as the theatre of two world wars.
‘A peaceful sky’
More than 300 days into Russia’s botched invasion of Ukraine, about 7,000 civilians have been killed and 10,000 more injured. An 11:00 pm to 5:00 am curfew will be in place amid periodic blackouts and Russian missile barrages. In Vladimir Putin’s Russia, there seems to be a dulled appetite for grand celebrations.
Despite the changes in the nation and the world, the state-owned broadcaster VGTRK has pledged to deliver a ‘New Year’s vibe’. Maxim Galkin, a dependable performer and important presenter who went to exile after criticising the Ukraine war, would noticeably be missing from this year’s show. Russian officials have now designated him as a ‘foreign agent’.
While Covid-19 vaccinations have helped most places in the globe to return to a state of semi-normalcy, the virus is still preventing progress in China. Following Beijing’s decision to relax stringent ‘zero-Covid’ regulations, hospitals in the most populated country in the world are being overrun by an influx of patients. There are still countless pubs, theatres, and shopping centres planning New Year’s Eve celebrations. However, Shanghai’s government has declared there will be no formal activities on the city’s famed Bund waterfront.