Time zone by time zone, another new year sweeps into view


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NEW YORK (AP) — New Year's celebrations swept across the globe, ushering in 2023 with countdowns and fireworks — and marking an end to a year that brought war in Europe, a new chapter in the British monarchy and global worries over inflation.

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NEW YORK (AP) — New Year’s celebrations swept across the globe, ushering in 2023 with countdowns and fireworks — and marking an end to a year that brought war in Europe, a new chapter in the British monarchy and global worries over inflation.

The new year began in the tiny atoll nation of Kiribati in the central Pacific, then moved across Russia and New Zealand before heading deeper, time zone by time zone, through Asia and Europe and into the Americas.

The ball dropped on New York City’s iconic Times Square as huge crowds counted down the seconds into 2023, culminating in raucous cheers and a deluge of confetti glittering amid jumbo screens, neon, pulsing lights and soggy streets.

People enjoy skating on the ice skating rink with the Tallinn Town Hall tower in the background, in Tallinn, Estonia, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

A man wielding a machete attacked three police officers near the celebration, authorities said, striking two of them in the head before an officer shot the man in the shoulder about eight blocks from Times Square, just outside the high-security zone. The two officers were hospitalized, one with a fractured skull and the other with a bad cut, but expected to recover. The 19-year-old suspect was also expected to recover.

Across the world, at least for a day, thoughts focused on possibilities, even elusive ones like world peace, and mustering — finally — a resolve to keep the next array of resolutions.

In a sign of that hope, children met St. Nicholas in a crowded metro station in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

Yet Russian attacks continued New Year’s Eve. At midnight, the streets of the capital, Kyiv, were desolate. The only sign of a new year came from local residents shouting from their balconies, “Happy New Year!” and “Glory to Ukraine!” And only half an hour into 2023, air raid sirens rang across Ukraine’s capital, followed by the sound of explosions.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported an explosion in Holosiivskyi district, and authorities reported that fragments of a missile that had been shot down had damaged a car in a central district.

People walk at Zaryadye Park decorated for the New Year and Christmas festivities with the Kremlin Wall, the Spasskaya Tower, and the St. Basil's Cathedral in the background in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

In Paris, thousands celebrated on the Champs Elysees, while French President Emmanuel Macron pledged continuing support for Ukraine in a televised New Year’s address. “During the coming year, we will be unfailingly at your side,” Macron said. “We will help you until victory and we will be together to build a just and lasting peace. Count on France and count on Europe.”

Big Ben chimed as more than 100,000 revelers gathered along the River Thames to watch a spectacular fireworks show around the London Eye. The display featured a drone light display of a crown and Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait on a coin hovering in the sky, paying tribute to Britain’s longest-serving monarch who died in September.

Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach welcomed a small crowd of a few thousand for a short fireworks display, and several Brazilian cities canceled celebrations this year due to concern about the coronavirus. The Brazilian capital’s New Year’s bash usually drew more than 2 million people to Copacabana before the pandemic.

Turkey’s most populous city, Istanbul, brought in 2023 with street festivities and fireworks. At St. Antuan Catholic Church, dozens of Christians prayed for the new year and marked former Pope Benedict XVI’s passing. The Vatican announced Benedict died Saturday at age 95.

In New York, rain that was fierce at times did not deter the crowd at a dazzling Saturday night spectacle kicking off celebrations across the United States. The Times Square party culminated with the descent from One Times Square of a glowing sphere 12 feet (3.6 meters) in diameter and comprised of nearly 2,700 Waterford crystals.

Ukrainian soldier Vasyl Khomko, 42, hugs his daughter Yana as she arrives at the train station in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022. Khomko's wife and daughter have been living in Slovakia due to the war but returned to Kyiv to spend New Year's Eve together. (AP Photo/Roman Hrytsyna)

“I just wish everyone a lot of prosperity peace and love,” reveler Tina Wright, who was visiting from the Phoenix area, said after the countdown. “And let’s just get things moving in the world right now.”

Last year, a scaled-back crowd of about 15,000 in-person mask-wearing spectators watched the ball descend while basking in the lights and hoopla. Because of pandemic rules, it was far fewer than the tens of thousands of revelers who usually descend on the world-famous square.

Before the ball dropped, there were heavy thoughts about the past year and the new one to come.

“2023 is about resurgence — resurgence of the world after COVID-19 and after the war in Ukraine. We want it to end,” said Arjun Singh as he took in the scene at Times Square.

In Australia, more than 1 million people crowded along Sydney’s waterfront for a multi-million dollar celebration based around the themes of diversity and inclusion. More than 7,000 fireworks were launched from the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and another 2,000 from the nearby Opera House.

A man buys shrimps and crab meat at a shopping street in the Ueno district famous for a year-end shopping before New Year holidays in Tokyo, Friday, Dec. 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

“We have had a couple of fairly difficult years; we’re absolutely delighted this year to be able to welcome people back to the foreshores of Sydney Harbor for Sydney’s world-famous New Year’s Eve celebrations,” Stephen Gilby, the city’s producer of major events and festivals, told The Sydney Morning Herald.

In Auckland, New Zealand, large crowds gathered below the Sky Tower, where a 10-second countdown to midnight preceded fireworks. The celebrations in New Zealand’s largest city returned after COVID-19 forced them to be canceled a year ago.

Chinese cautiously looked forward to 2023 after a recent easing of pandemic restrictions unleashed the virus but also signaled a return to normal life. Like many, salesperson Hong Xinyu stayed close to home over the past year in part because of curbs on travel.

“As the new year begins, we seem to see the light,” he said at a countdown show that lit up the towering structures of a former steel mill in Beijing. “We are hopeful that there will be more freedom in the future.”

Concerns about the Ukraine war and the economic shocks it has spawned across the globe were felt in Tokyo, where Shigeki Kawamura has seen better times but said he needed a free, hot meal this New Year’s.

A commercial aircraft approaches the runway as the sun sets for the last time in 2022, in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

“I hope the war will be over in Ukraine so prices will stabilize,” he said.


Associated Press journalists around the globe contributed to this report, including Liu Zheng in Beijing, Renata Brito and Hanna Arhirova in Kyiv, Yuri Kagayema in Tokyo, Grant Peck in Bangkok, Zeynep Bilginsoy in Istanbul, Thomas Adamson in Paris, Sylvia Hui in London and Robert Bumsted in New York.

In this Friday, Dec. 30, 2022, photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Evalena Worthington rehearses being lowered from the mast of a sailing vessel at the Schooner Wharf Bar in Key West, Fla. The Pirate Wench Drop is one of several Key West celebrations set for New Year's Eve to celebrate the dawn of 2023. Others include a drag performer, a giant reproduction of a conch shell and a faux tuna fish to be lowered at other local bars. (Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP)
Viking reenactors use flaming torches to write 2023 at the Flamborough Fire Festival, a Viking themed parade in aid of charities and local community groups, held on New Year's Eve in Flamborough near Bridlington, England, Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. (Danny Lawson/PA via AP)
Fireworks are seen over Victoria Harbour at midnight on New Years Sunday Jan. 1, 2023 in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Anthony Kwan)
People gather to observe the first sunrise on New Year's Day from a pedestrian bridge Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in Yokohama near Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Revelers watch a sound and light show projected on the Arc de Triomphe as they celebrate the New Year on the Champs Elysees, in Paris, France, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard)
A sound and light show is projected on the Arc de Triomphe during New Year celebrations on the Champs Elysees in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard)
Revelers watch a sound and light show projected on the Arc de Triomphe as they celebrate the New Year on the Champs Elysees, in Paris, France, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard)
New Year's Eve fireworks light up the night sky at the turn of the year above the Oberbaumbrucke bridge in Berlin, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (Paul Zinken/dpa via AP)
Fireworks are set off at midnight during the Times Square New Year's Eve celebration, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in New York. (Photo by Ben Hider/Invision/AP)
A couple kisses after the Times Square New Year's Ball drops during the New Year's celebration in Times Square, early Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Stefan Jeremiah)
People ride a motorbike at sunrise on New Year's Day in the city of Lahore, Pakistan, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
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