Thursday December 31, 2020
New Year’s Eve without restrictions
China celebrates leisurely, New Zealand loudly
Good for those who have the coronavirus under control: In China and New Zealand, people can slide into the new year carefree. It looks different in Berlin and other metropolises and capitals. In many places the stages are full, but the streets are empty.
In China, the new year started without any major restrictions. Since the corona pandemic is under control and there are hardly any infections, larger New Year’s parties would have been possible, but many people in the People’s Republic took it easy: New Year’s Eve is not a particularly important holiday for China. According to the traditional lunar calendar, the New Year in the Far East does not begin until February, and with it the great travel wave in which hundreds of millions move through the country to visit their families. Only then is there a really big celebration. Nevertheless, fireworks were set off in some cities at midnight on Friday. This included Wuhan, where the first major coronavirus outbreak occurred.
Other states have also arrived in 2021. As usual, the island states Samoa and Kiribati started, followed by New Zealand, Australia, Japan and South Korea, among others. Despite the pandemic, the Australian metropolis Sydney insisted on celebrating with huge fireworks. However, no spectators were allowed at the port and opera house this year. The authorities threatened rule breakers with fines equivalent to more than 620 euros. According to observers, people stuck to it: Sydney was like a ghost town, as they report.
It looked completely different in New Zealand, where, thanks to strict entry bans, no new corona case has been registered for weeks. Music festivals and fireworks shows could take place with no number of visitors or other restrictions. In the capital Auckland and other cities, huge crowds gathered to marvel at the fireworks.
Full stages in Berlin
In Germany, too, millions of people prepared in small groups for the New Year this year. For the second time since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, there is a tough lockdown with shops, restaurants and bars closed. This time there was a general ban on selling fireworks before New Year’s Eve. The main aim is to relieve the hospitals of additional patients.
For this reason, Germany’s largest New Year’s Eve party is canceled in Berlin. Nevertheless, the digital New Year’s Eve party “Welcome Berlin 2021” will be broadcast on ZDF, with Jürgen Drews and Vicky Leandros, among others, performing.
Curfew in Paris
Many parties and fireworks have also been canceled in other metropolises, for example in Rio, Sao Paulo, Amsterdam and London. There is a curfew in Paris, instead there is an online concert by Jean-Michel Jarre as an avatar in the French capital in the virtual backdrop of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame and a recorded live stream with star DJ David Guetta in front of the Louvre.
In New York, the “Ball Drop” in Times Square, a falling, shining crystal ball on a pole, is said to take place in front of a few people instead of the usual thousands. In Moscow, despite the Corona curfew, there should be a large fireworks display at the Kremlin from 11 p.m. local time. In the United Arab Emirates, the tallest building in the world, the 828-meter-high Burj Khalifa in Dubai, is again planning a spectacular fireworks display, including a light and laser show.
Until the whole globe has slipped into the new year, it will take until 1 p.m. German time. Last up are the uninhabited islets of Baker Island and Howland Island in the Pacific.