Farewell 2022: the eight billion Earthlings began on Saturday to leave behind them an eventful year, between the war in Ukraine, inflation and the world coronation of Lionel Messi, before fully entering 2023.
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For many, New Year's Day will be a time to drive away the memories of COVID-19 as the virus slips away, but doesn't fade away.
Untie his purse, too, and put aside months of sobriety forced by the pandemic and inflation records.
In Australia, Sydney was one of the first major cities to ring the bell in 2023, reclaiming its title as the "New Year's Eve capital of the world" after two years of closures and festivities stifled by the Omicron variant.
Australia's borders have since reopened and more than a million people witnessed the launch of more than 100,000 pyrotechnic devices in Sydney Harbor.
By midday, hundreds of people occupied the best places to watch the show. “It was a pretty good year for us, getting rid of the Covid is great,” commented David Hugh-Paterson, 52, installed in front of the Sydney Opera House.
"If we manage to get everyone on board and approach the coming year with renewed optimism and joy, then we will have succeeded," said fireworks organizer Fortunato Foti.
Something to contrast with the feeling left by 2022, which saw Queen Elizabeth II, Mikhail Gorbachev, Jiang Zemin and Shinzo Abe disappear.
The last days of 2022 also saw the departure of two popes with very different registers: Thursday that of football, the Brazilian Pelé (82 years old), and Saturday the former head of the Catholic Church Benedict XVI (95 years old).
Global warming has not been reversed, nor has the growth of the world population: the milestone of eight billion humans was crossed in November.
This year also rhymed with the “Great Resignation”, a phenomenon of employees leaving their jobs after the pandemic, with a slap in the face at the Oscars ceremony and the ruin of billionaires, swept away by the cryptocurrency crash.
But above all, it will forever be associated with the return of war to Europe with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In more than 300 days, nearly 7,000 civilians have been killed and 10,000 injured, according to the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Sixteen million Ukrainians have fled their homes. For those who remain, daily life is punctuated by power cuts, Russian bombings and the curfew.
The latest Russian strikes on Saturday targeted several regions of the country, leaving at least one dead and several injured in Kyiv.
While some will mark the New Year with peaceful candlelight prayers, others plan to party the night away as a show of collective resolve.
Filmmaker Yaroslav Mutenko, 23, says the shell that hit the four-star Alfavito hotel near his apartment in Kyiv won't stop him from partying at a friend's house.
“Our enemies, the Russians, can test our calm but they cannot destroy our spirit,” he said.
Vladimir Putin's Russia is not in the mood to have fun. Moscow has canceled its traditional pyrotechnic shows after the city's mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, asked residents how they would like to mark the start of the new year.
“A peaceful sky above our heads” is the only wish of Muscovites like Irina Shapovalova, 51, a childcare worker.
The national broadcaster VGTRK nevertheless promised "a New Year's Eve atmosphere, despite the changes in the country and in the world".
“Moral and historical correctness is on our side,” Putin assured in his vows. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was “sure that we will win this war”.
In London, the traditional New Year's Eve fireworks display, for the first time since the pandemic, is expected to bring together some 100,000 spectators, with tickets for the show.
In Vienna, 1850 guests were preparing to attend the traditional New Year's Day concert of the Philharmonic Orchestra in the golden hall of the Musikverein.
In Asia, COVID-19 has made a resounding comeback in China, while vaccination is allowing the rest of the world to return to a semblance of normal life.
Beijing suddenly abandoned its “zero Covid” policy earlier this month, a reversal immediately followed by an explosion in the number of contaminations. Hospitals, like crematoriums, may be overwhelmed, but rallies are planned everywhere for the transition to 2023.
President Xi Jinping, however, wanted to launch an optimistic note a few hours before the New Year: “The light of hope is ahead of us”.
New year, new president. In Brazil, the first day of January will rhyme with the return to power of former head of state Lula.