- Celebrating, ready to party without pandemic restrictions
- Some parts will have fireworks for the first time since 2019
- Germany’s Olaf Scholz calls for greater unity in his New Year message
- Natural disasters and conflict will mean subdued celebrations in parts of the world, including Ukraine
All updates in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
0000: The UK and Republic of Ireland welcomed the new year with huge fireworks displays in London, Manchester, Cardiff and Edinburgh – where the annual Hogmanay party is in full swing. Dublin’s display at North Wall Pier attracted around 16,000 visitors.
In his New Year’s message, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak admitted that the country has had a difficult 12 months due to political and economic problems and its problems will not “go away” in 2023.
But he believed the coronation of King Charles III in May would help unite the country.
2023 has just arrived in Iceland, Portugal and Spain’s Canary Islands.
In Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Senegal are among the countries ringing in the new year.
2306: One hour after the start of 2023, Ukraine reports new explosions around its capital, Kyiv.
Kyiv city and region authorities said on the Telegram messaging app that the air defense systems were working.
It is not yet known if any targets were hit.
2300: It’s officially 2023 in Berlin, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Stockholm, Belgrade and Warsaw among other European capitals.
Several African countries, including Morocco, Algeria, Nigeria, Ghana and Angola, also welcome the new year.
In his New Year’s address, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said 2022 was not “purely war, suffering and anxiety”. He said the government was “making our country and Europe independent of Russian gas in the long term” and pledged to continue helping Ukraine.
Hotels in Berlin reported 90% occupancy ahead of the midnight fireworks at the Brandenburg Gate – the first since the pandemic.
President Emmanuel Macron also pledged France’s support for Ukraine “until victory”. He urged the French public to continue their efforts to save energy, but warned that 2023 would be the year the pension reform would be implemented.
About half a million people gathered in Paris for the first New Year’s fireworks since 2019.
Sweden takes over the EU’s rotating presidency on Sunday and has pledged to broker a joint EU response next week to COVID tests for travelers from China amid concerns over an explosion of infections in the country.
Midnight in Zagreb was also the moment Croatia abandoned its kuna currency and adopted the euro, becoming the 20th member of the eurozone.
2200: Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, is under curfew tonight on the eve of 2023. Russia has recently increased its attacks on Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, prompting the stay-at-home order.
Before midnight, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said 2023 would be “the year of our victory.”
“Do you want miracles today? Ukrainians have been creating them for a long time,” he wrote on Telegram and posted a photo of himself and his wife Olena in front of a modestly decorated Christmas tree.
Other nations now entering the new year include Egypt, Libya, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
2100: Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain welcomed the new year along with Moscow, Russia and several East African countries including Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.
Iran marked the beginning of the year 2023 half an hour earlier.
2000: The United Arab Emirates, including the playground of the wealthy Dubai, has just welcomed 2023. Dubai is home to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, which is hosting an amazing fireworks display.
1900: India entered the new year. People gathered with friends and family to celebrate in Mumbai.
1800: Croatia is due to adopt the euro as its currency and join the Schengen area in 2023.
Croatia, which joined the EU in 2013, will abandon the kuna currency and join the bloc’s free movement zone at midnight local time (23:00 GMT).
Meanwhile, dozens of cities in the Western Balkan country canceled New Year’s fireworks over concerns about the harmful effects of the noise and gases on animals and people.
The capital Zagreb replaced its fireworks show with confetti, visual effects and music, and the southwestern port city of Rijeka aimed to redirect fireworks funds to animal welfare associations.
The town of Fusine in southwestern Croatia held New Year’s celebrations at noon, a tradition dating back just over 20 years.
1700: 2023 will be the year of the rabbit according to the Chinese lunar calendar.
The Lunar New Year begins on January 22.
It’s already past midnight in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam, which celebrate both the solar and lunar new year.
1500: Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country was “standing on the right side of history” in his New Year’s address.
He said “the world is not at peace” but that Beijing will “resolutely advocate for peace and development”.
China’s leader said the country is entering a “new phase” in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Chinese authorities scrapped the country’s zero COVID policy earlier in December.
Meanwhile, celebrations are taking place on the Great Wall in Beijing.
In Shanghai, authorities said traffic would be stopped along the Bund waterfront area to allow pedestrians to gather.
However, they said there will be no official activities there. The Bund was the site of a deadly stampede on New Year’s Eve in 2014. Around 36 people died after hundreds of thousands gathered to celebrate there.
Shanghai Disneyland will also hold a New Year’s Eve fireworks show.
1300: The Australian city of Sydney organizes an unforgettable night with a dazzling fireworks display at midnight.
Organizers predicted a crowd of more than one million people would gather in the city’s harbor area after two years of pandemic restrictions and quiet celebrations.
“We’ve had some pretty tough years; we’re absolutely delighted this year to be able to welcome people back,” said city major events producer Stephen Gilby The Sydney Morning Herald.
1100: The island nations of Samoa and New Zealand celebrated as they counted down to 2023. In Auckland, large crowds thronged the Sky Tower, where the countdown to midnight gave way to fireworks.
An hour earlier, the Line Islands in the Kiribati atoll were among the first places on the planet to welcome the new year.
Refresh the page for live updates.
lo,mm,kb/dj (Reuters, AP, dpa)
#world #welcomes #Year #live #updates