New Year’s Eve celebrations around the globe as world says goodbye to 2020

The New Year has been ringing in across the globe, in a very different fashion to life as we knew it.

As First Minister Nicola Sturgeon spent Hogmanay reminding Scots to stay at home and avoid the usual celebrations with friends and loved ones in order to stop the spread of coronavirus, the show has gone on in other parts of the world.

But it’s been a much smaller scale of events which have taken place.

Fireworks on the Burj Khalifah tower in Dubai
(Image: AFP or licensors)

Dubai has once again spared no expense, laying on one of its most expensive firework displays yet.

Thousands of people, including an estimated 200,000 tourists, saw in 2021 in the luxurious city in the United Arab Emirates.

People watch fireworks during New Year celebrations in Rawalpindi on January 1, 2021. (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP) (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

Despite the coronavirus pandemic grounding some people it didn’t deter others from flying to Dubai – one of the world’s top destinations for New Year’s Eve.

Revellers take part in New Year’s Day celebrations near the Bolshoi Theatre in central Moscow, Russia
(Image: REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva)

Unlike previous years where spectators stood shoulder to shoulder, the pandemic saw the strict enforcement social distancing.

Everyone had to stand at marked areas while wearing face mask at all times.

The celebratory fireworks at Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest tower – lasted just under seven minutes and displayed the Pakistani flag.

A fireworks display is seen over the Sydney Harbour Bridge during New Year’s Eve celebrations

In Australia, it was a nation divided by coronavirus as revellers in Melbourne able to see in the new year with a bang due torelaxed restrictions, while in Sydney, residents were forced to watch the city’s famous fireworks from home.

Australians who would normally pack the country’s harbours, riverbanks and beaches to take in million-dollar fireworks displays were instead watching on TV from their living rooms.

New Year’s Eve fireworks erupt over Ras al-Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates, one of the world’s largest fireworks shows
(Image: AFP or licensors)

The country showed the show must go on as Sydney’s world-famous harbour and bridge still exploded with a seven-minute fireworks display at midnight, which lit the attraction up in a rainbow of blue, pink, green, purple and yellow lights.

Meanwhile, across Europe, police have been working hard on the beat to ensure crowds stay away from the usual Hogmanay hot-spots.

A couple of tourists take a selfie shot in front of the Blue Mosque during the new year’s celebrations in Istanbul
(Image: AFP or licensors)

In London and Paris, cops could be seen flocking to usually crowded landmarks to put any would be revellers off, while in Germany the Brandenburg Gate was illuminated during the ‘Willkommen 2021’ (Welcome 2021) concert on New Year’s Eve amid coronavirus restrictions in Berlin.

French police patrol on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris after celebrations and gatherings have been banned due to COVID-19 restrictions
(Image: REUTERS/Charles Platiau)

Lucky revellers in the UK’s only Tier 1 area toasted the New Year in pubs, but still had to go home before midnight. Scilly Isles locals were the sole British residents able to hit bars for celebrations.

Large crowds took to the streets at midnight on Friday in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

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They celebrated the arrival of 2021 after a year marred by a deadly pandemic that killed thousands there and required the city to be locked down between the end of January and early April.

Fireworks explode behind the Kremlin’s Spasskaya Tower during New Year’s Day celebrations in Moscow
(Image: REUTERS)

As per tradition, hundreds gathered in front of the old Hankow Customs House building, one of the city’s more popular New Year’s Eve spots.

When the building’s old clock reached midnight many people released balloons into the air, cheered and called out “happy new year”.

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