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, per the AP.
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.
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 in diameter and comprised of nearly 2,700 Waterford crystals. “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.” (Read more New Year's Eve stories.)