The world celebrates the entrance to 2023 after a turbulent year

The world welcomed 2023 and left behind a turbulent year marked by the war in Europe, price rises, the deaths of Queen Elizabeth, Pelé and the emeritus Pope Benedict XVI and the World Cup glory of Lionel Messi.

For one night, many decided to put budgets aside increasingly adjusted by inflation and a virus that still wreaks havoc in China to join the festive atmosphere of New Year’s Eve after years marked by the covid.

Without sanitary restrictions In recent years, in Rio de Janeiro, the mythical Copacabana beach has received crowds for a fireworks display and a dozen concerts.

These are shocking times in Brazil, which bids farewell with three days of mourning for soccer legend Pele and awaits, this January 1, the assumption of power of the leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva after four years of government of the far-right Jair Bolsonaro.

"There is hope for a new government that looks more at people’s health"said Ana Carolina Rodrigues, from Rio de Janeiro, dressed in white as is the tradition for New Year’s celebrations in Rio de Janeiro.

The Champs Elysees in Paris were filled with around a million people to watch the fireworks.

Sydney was one of the first big cities to enter in 2023, retaking its crown of "New Year’s Eve capital of the world" After two years of confinements or celebrations suspended in Australia due to the covid.

In Madrid, which a year ago was one of the few European cities with regular New Year’s Eve festivitiesThousands of people gathered at the Puerta del Sol to eat twelve grapes to the rhythm of the midnight chimes.

And in London, crowds gathered on the banks of the Thames to watch for the first time after three years of cancellations the end-of-year fireworks and audiovisual show, which this time paid tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II.

At a religious service in Rome, Pope Francis greeted as "loved" to his predecessor Benedict XVI who died hours before at the age of 96.

The celebrations were marred by the tragedy in Uganda, where at least nine people were killed and several more injured in a stampede at a shopping mall in the capital, Kampala.

 "the year of Ukraine" 
The long-lived sovereign heads the list of personalities killed this year: from the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to the former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, including the Spanish writer Javier Marías and the Cuban singer Pablo Milanés.

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They were joined in the last bars of 2022 by the legendary Brazilian soccer player Pelé and the emeritus pope Benedict XVI, who died on Saturday at the age of 95.

But if for something it will probably remain in the memory this 2022 will be for the return of war to Europeshaken since February by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

"It was our year. the year of Ukraine"said its president Volodimir Zelensky in his New Year’s Eve speech.

after more than 300 days of conflict, some 7,000 civilians have died, more than 10,000 have been injured and some 16 million displaced, according to UN figures.

Despite the war toll, curfews, power blackouts and Russian bombings that continued to rock the capital kyiv on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Eve, some were determined to party the night away.

"Our enemies, the Russians, can destroy our calm, but they cannot destroy our spirit. This year it is important to have people close"said the filmmaker Yaroslav Mutenko, 23, next to the rubble left by a bombing in kyiv.

In Vladimir Putin’s Russia, Moscow decided to cancel its fireworks. Resident of the capital, Irina Shapovalova, a 51-year-old nursing home worker, simply wished "a peaceful sky above our heads" by 2023.

In his New Year’s speech, Putin assured that "moral and historical justice" it is on the side of Russia, subject to significant Western sanctions for the war.

Fireworks
In New York, huge amounts of confetti rained down on the crowd after the famous Times Square ball drop, a tradition dating back to 1907.

Under a cold rain, the Mexican tourist Fabiola Cepeda waited for eight hours in the emblematic square. "Definitely worth it"said.

In the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates welcomed the new year with a fireworks display from the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest skyscraper in the world at 830 meters.

Some laser lights accompanied the show and formed messages like "hugged again"in an apparent reference to the anticovid restrictions that are beginning to go down in history.

But The virus has not disappeared as the situation in China shows which, after dismantling its containment strategy, is facing an uptick in infections that is putting pressure on hospitals and crematoriums and has led to the cancellation of some festivities.

"We are still in a difficult time"but "the light of hope is before us"said President Xi Jinping in a televised New Year’s address.

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