A New Year around the world in photos Paris Match

A New Year around the world in photos Paris Match

The eight billion people on earth celebrated the transition to 2023 on Sunday and left behind an eventful year between war in Ukraine, inflation, the coronation of Messi and the disappearance of personalities such as Queen Elizabeth, Pelé or the former Pope Benedict XVI. After several years marked by the Covid pandemic, a virus that is still present even if it is gradually being forgotten, saying goodbye to 2022 offered a festive occasion for many.

In New York, confetti fell on the crowds that had gathered in Times Square for the traditional balloon launch since 1907. Visitors from all over the world waited several hours in the freezing rain to take part. In Rio de Janeiro, crowds packed Copacabana Beach – up to two million people were expected – for celebrations without health regulations ahead of the enthronement of the new president, the returning Lula. We have “hope for a new government that cares more about people’s health,” said Ana Carolina Rodrigues, dressed all in white as is Rio’s New Year tradition.

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The celebrations were neglected in Uganda, however, where at least nine people died in a stampede at a shopping center in the capital Kampala after fireworks outside the site. On the other side of the world, Sydney was one of the first major cities to ring the bell in 2023 with a pyrotechnic festival and renewed optimism.

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Somewhat in contrast to the feeling left in 2022 when Mikhail Gorbachev, Jiang Zemin and Shinzo Abe also disappeared. In the last days of the year, two very different popes left: on Thursday, that of football, the Brazilian Pelé, and on Saturday, the former head of the Catholic Church, Benedict XVI. In Marktl (Southern Germany), the birthplace of the “Bavarian Pope”, the mood was not to celebrate the New Year. A flag with a black ribbon flies in front of the town hall, watched by teary-eyed admirers.

The party against the war

The year 2022 has left its quota of challenges for 2023: global warming has not been reversed, nor has world population growth. It also rhymed with the departure of many employees from their jobs following the pandemic and the collapse of the cryptocurrency market. But most importantly, it will forever be associated with the return of the war to Europe with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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Less than an hour after the transition to 2023, a new series of explosions rang out in the Kyiv sky. In more than 300 days, nearly 7,000 civilians were killed and 10,000 injured, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Office. 16 million Ukrainians have fled their homeland. For those who stay, everyday life is interrupted by power outages, Russian bombings and the curfew.

Some wanted to celebrate the new year with peaceful candlelit prayers, others wanted to celebrate the night away as a sign of shared determination. Filmmaker Yaroslav Mutenko, 23, gave assurances that the shell that hit the hotel near his Kyiv home would not prevent him from partying at a friend’s house.

Desire for a “peaceful sky”

Vladimir Putin’s Russia was in no mood to have fun. Moscow has canceled its traditional pyrotechnic shows after the city’s mayor Sergei Sobyanin asked residents how they would like to celebrate the New Year. “A peaceful sky above our heads” is the only wish of Muscovites like Irina Shapovalova, 51, a childcare worker.

“Moral and historical correctness is on our side,” Putin assured in his vows. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he was “sure” of “winning this war”. In France, President Emmanuel Macron used his New Year’s address to renew his support for Kyiv “until victory”.

Before the Champs-Elysées returned to normal in the Parisian capital, their brilliance and a large nighttime crowd of around a million revelers arrived to enjoy a musical and pyrotechnic show, according to police. “We’re here for the atmosphere, to have a good time, to be together. And it’s beautiful!” said Ilyès Hachelf, 19.

In London, the traditional New Year’s Eve fireworks display, the first since the pandemic, brought together around 100,000 spectators with tickets to the show, which paid tribute to Elizabeth II. Drones have sculpted a crown and coin showing the face of the late sovereign before showing that of the current king, his son Charles III.

In Croatia, we welcomed the country’s entry into the Schengen area and the eurozone with mixed feelings, fearing a price hike but even better tourism prospects. In front of the Puerta del Sol in Madrid, thousands of people crunched 12 grapes to mark the last 12 seconds of 2022. A rite observed by the majority of Spaniards. In the Middle East, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building (830 meters), shone under fireworks that called for “hugs”.

Resounding return of the Covid

But in China, Covid has made a resounding comeback, while vaccination is allowing the rest of the world to regain some semblance of normal life. Beijing suddenly abandoned its “zero Covid” policy in early December, a reversal immediately followed by an explosion in the number of contaminations. President Xi Jinping, however, sounded an optimistic tone: “The light of hope is before us.”

Taiwan extended an olive branch by offering its help to China on Sunday to fight the resurgence of the epidemic. Videos posted on social media showed large crowds at the entrances of bars and nightclubs in Beijing, while groups of young people, masked, partyed on the Shanghai waterfront.

In Wuhan, where the pandemic began three years ago, many gathered in the central square to release a balloon at the midnight gong.