People around the world have been waiting for two things: the end of Covid-19 pandemic and the end of 2020. While the pandemic continues to stay, 2020 ended for good.

2020 proved to be a year like no other. The starting of the year saw the Australian forest fires, the death of Kobe Braynat and the breakout of a global pandemic. To top it off, the world was almost about to witness World War III. Luckily, that did not happen but the world came to a halt because of the coronavirus. People were forced to stay at home, some lost their jobs and many lost their loved ones. People named 2020 “The cursed year”.

New year celebrations are a sight to watch around the world. But this year the celebrations shifted to television only. The world watched the clock turn to 12 and the big celebrations but only from home.
We can say that the impact of the pandemic did not leave the new year celebrations alone as well.

Starting with the US, the new year celebration of Times Square, New York is said to be one of a kind. Everyone wishes to see it once in their lifetime. But this year only a handful of people were allowed to enter the Times Square. The frontline workers, first responders and their families were the only few people who saw the midnight ball drop. Celebrities performed through a televised event as usual.
Use of fireworks remained suspended in the cities of San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Australia witnesses new year first around the world. It was also under strict restrictions on movements, gatherings and internal borders. Yet, the fireworks over the Opera House and Harbour Bridge went on like every year.
Melbourne imposed harsh restrictions and cancelled the fireworks altogether.

Germany is under a lockdown till January 10. The government has banned the sale of fireworks and has limited the number of people in public gatherings.

China, which is believed to be the birthplace of the coronavirus saw a scaled-down new year’s celebration. The light show in Beijing was also cancelled. Wuhan however, saw a grand celebration where thousands of people gathered to release balloons in the air.

Russia also complied with the coronavirus restrictions and banned the celebrations. Yet, the fireworks at the Red Square happened like every year. On Thursday, the bars, restaurants and clubs remained closed. They are set to reopen on Friday as Russia starts weeklong festivities that span over Orthodox Christmas.

Italy imposed an 8:00 pm curfew. Bars, restaurants and clubs remained closed.
People stayed at home and continued closed celebrations.

Ireland imposed the highest level of restrictions and banned all celebrations. Household visits were cancelled, travel was limited to 5kms. All the non-essential shops remained closed as well.

England is currently tackling the new coronavirus variant. No celebrations were seen in London. The traditional London Eye celebration shifted to various locations across London.

Hong Kong continued to celebrate the new year indoors for the second year. Earlier it was due to security reasons but this time it was due to coronavirus.
Japan also cancelled the traditional new year’s celebrations.
The South Korea government banned visit to the Gangneung beach where people gather to witness the year’s first sunrise.

In India, Delhi announced a night curfew and restricted public gathering to five people. In Maharashtra, clubs, restaurants and hotels closed at 11 pm. No celebratory events or gatherings were allowed.

The fear of the coronavirus still looms over people. It could be clearly seen all around the world. Even though the celebrations shifted indoors, enthusiasm was seen in people. Some celebrated with families while some were away from home. Everyone prayed that 2021 makes things better around the globe.

People cheered and hoped 2021 brings happiness throughout the year.
I hope 2021 brings lots of happiness to you all. May you achieve all your goals and fulfil all your dreams.
Wishing everyone a very happy new year!