Muted celebrations ring in New Year
by Leigh Jones
Posted 12/31/20, 03:32 pm
Australia is one of the first countries to cross the finish line to Jan. 1. Fireworks exploded over Sydney’s famed Opera House as usual, but few people saw them in person.
Why so quiet? Revelers welcomed the new year with muted celebrations on Thursday as officials tried to keep crowd sizes down and avoid a further rise in COVID-19 infections. New York’s Times Square, normally filled with thousands of people, remained empty this afternoon ahead of the iconic crystal ball drop at midnight, and police had the area fenced off. South Korea canceled its annual New Year’s Eve bell-ringing ceremony for the first time since it began in 1953. And police across Europe enforced early curfews designed to keep crowds from gathering. But in a few countries where COVID-19 cases remain low, such as Taiwan and parts of the South Pacific, including New Zealand, public celebrations carried on much like normal.
Dig deeper: Read a review in WORLD Magazine of some of the top moments of 2020.
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Leigh is acting managing editor for WORLD Radio. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate who spent six years as a newspaper reporter in Texas before joining WORLD. Leigh also co-wrote Infinite Monster: Courage, Hope, and Resurrection in the Face of One of America's Largest Hurricanes. She resides with her husband and daughter in Houston, Texas.