In many parts of the world people are greeting the new year 2022. Again, New Year’s Eve was different than it was before the pandemic.
Berlin – So now it’s here, the new year 2022. Another turn of the year, which in many places is dominated by the corona pandemic, which is still dominating the news situation. And so it is noticeable much quieter than in previous years.
Sydney, Australia, which calls itself the “New Year’s Eve Capital of the World”, welcomed the year 2022 on Friday with its famous fireworks display. However, a noticeably small number of onlookers came to the harbor. In Germany, the traditional New Year’s Eve party at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin had to do without an audience – the ZDF broadcast a New Year’s Eve program from the Berlin landmark without any viewers. Nevertheless, the police had to repeatedly break up crowds of people celebrating on the sidelines of the event.
The Berlin police had pointed out on Twitter before midnight that the ZDF TV show “Willkommen 2022” was not visible from the outside. Several musicians appeared on stage – because of the pandemic without an audience. Among others Bonnie Tyler, Adel Tawil and the band Glasperlenspiel were there.
Karl Lauterbach spreads a little optimism
Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) was connected via video and said with a view to the pandemic that he saw “light at the end of the tunnel” for 2022. In Germany, there was usually an upper limit of ten people for private New Year’s Eve celebrations for those who had been vaccinated and those who had recovered; if those who were not vaccinated, it was a maximum of one household and two other people. Fireworks were not allowed to be sold and in many places also not to be ignited.
It tended to remain rather calm in Germany: “Here and there there were a few firecrackers, here and there a little brawl. In relation to the occasion, however, that was minimal, ”said a police spokesman in Hamburg early on the New Year’s morning. At the beginning of 2022 it was also relatively quiet in the Connewitz district of Leipzig, according to the police – “quieter than usual”. There had been riots there two years ago. In the Berlin accident hospital, among other things, five “firecracker victims with burns and hand injuries” were treated surgically. Two people were being treated who had split off body parts, said a spokeswoman in the early morning.
New Years Eve in Europe. Many parties have been canceled
Some streets in Germany looked like they had been swept empty. For many people at home in their living room the TV sketch “Dinner for One”, which has been broadcast for decades on New Year’s Eve, was realized, in which two people get drunk with friends who are not even there. This time Joko and Klaas also played the old sketch on ProSieben at prime time.
Many large parties and fireworks have been canceled in other countries around the world, including festivities in Paris and London. In the French capital, it was forbidden to toast with sparkling wine on the splendid Champs-Élysées. Even so, a large crowd gathered there. The police patrolled all night looking for people without a mask. Most were only told to wear a mouth and nose covering, but some who resisted had to pay a fine. Because of the pandemic, however, there were far fewer tourists than usual in the French metropolis.
In Great Britain’s capital, London, there was a laser show on the Thames instead of fireworks. In Madrid, Spain, only about half as many people were able to take part in the New Year’s tradition of eating grapes on the Puerta del Sol square at midnight. Twelve times – every time the bell struck – the 7,000 or so celebrants put a grape in their mouths.
Elsewhere in the world, people had to wait a little longer with the welcome for the year 2022: In New York it is only at 6:00 a.m. CET, Los Angeles follows at 9:00 a.m. and Honolulu in Hawaii at 11:00 a.m. It will take until 1 p.m. CET on January 1st for the whole globe to slide into the new year. At the very end, the uninhabited islets of Baker Island and Howland Island in the Pacific are your turn. (skr with dpa and afp)
Headline list image: © Christophe Gateau / dpa