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Budget 2021

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Happy New Year 2021 | Then-and-now images show New Year's Eve contrast

There were countdowns and live performances, but New Year's Eve celebrations across the globe looked radically different this year as large crowds stayed away from traditional party spots like New York City's Times Square and the Champs Elysees in Paris. The Coronavirus induced lockdown led to cancellations of most fireworks displays and public events in favor of made-for-TV-only moments in cities around the world. The Associated Press captured then-and-now images of some of these popular locations around the globe to illustrate the striking contrast between packed, jubilant crowds in previous years and quiet, empty streets heading into 2021.

January 02, 2021 / 06:07 PM IST
This combo image shows at top fireworks exploding over the Kremlin and the Spasskaya Tower with St. Basil's Cathedral at left in an almost empty Red Square during New Year's celebrations in Moscow, Russia, December 31, 2020 and below, a file photo taken from the same angle during New Year's celebrations on December 31, 2019. (Image: AP/Pavel Golovkin, Denis Tyrin)
This combo image shows at top fireworks exploding over the Kremlin and the Spasskaya Tower with St. Basil's Cathedral at left in an almost empty Red Square during New Year's celebrations in Moscow, Russia, December 31, 2020 and below, a file photo taken from the same angle during New Year's celebrations on December 31, 2019. (Image: AP/Pavel Golovkin, Denis Tyrin)
This combination photograph shows a handful of people in front of the iconic Gateway of India, top, a popular place to celebrate New Year's Eve in Mumbai, India, December 31, 2020, as compared to a file photograph of a crowd celebrating on December 31, 2019. (Image: AP/Rafiq Maqbool, Rajanish Kakade)
This combination photograph shows a handful of people in front of the iconic Gateway of India, top, a popular place to celebrate New Year's Eve in Mumbai, India, December 31, 2020, as compared to a file photograph of a crowd celebrating on December 31, 2019. (Image: AP/Rafiq Maqbool, Rajanish Kakade)
A combo of images shows fireworks in the first minutes of the New Year on January 1, 2020, bottom, and an image taken from the same location in Dresden, Germany early on January 1, 2021 without fireworks. (Image: Sebastian Kahnert/DPA via AP)
A combo of images shows fireworks in the first minutes of the New Year on January 1, 2020, bottom, and an image taken from the same location in Dresden, Germany early on January 1, 2021 without fireworks. (Image: Sebastian Kahnert/DPA via AP)
A combo of images shows an almost empty Times Square, top, in the early hours of January 1, 2021 in New York and the same location taken on January 1, 2020 packed with revelers celebrating the New Year. (Image: AP/Craig Rutte, Ben Hider)
A combo of images shows an almost empty Times Square, top, in the early hours of January 1, 2021 in New York and the same location taken on January 1, 2020 packed with revelers celebrating the New Year. (Image: AP/Craig Rutte, Ben Hider)
This combination image of photos shows people, top, on December 31, 2020, visiting to pray at Sensoji temple in Tokyo a few hours before New Year and the same location, bottom, filled with people waiting in line to pray on January 1 last year. (Image: AP/Jae C. Hong, Hiro Komae)
This combination image of photos shows people, top, on December 31, 2020, visiting to pray at Sensoji temple in Tokyo a few hours before New Year and the same location, bottom, filled with people waiting in line to pray on January 1 last year. (Image: AP/Jae C. Hong, Hiro Komae)
A combo of images that shows an empty historic center in Brussels on December 31, 2020 and the same location full of revelers celebrating the New Year early on Sunday, January 1, 2017. (Image: AP/Francisco Seco and Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
A combo of images that shows an empty historic center in Brussels on December 31, 2020 and the same location full of revelers celebrating the New Year early on Sunday, January 1, 2017. (Image: AP/Francisco Seco and Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
In this combo of image which shows at top, an ambulance and press photographers waiting on the otherwise empty street opposite the London Eye Ferris wheel in London, December 31, 2020, and in the bottom photo taken in the same place, people waiting to take photos of fireworks over the London Eye Ferris wheel, as midnight approaches, December 31, 2019. (Image: AP/Matt Dunham)
In this combo of image which shows at top, an ambulance and press photographers waiting on the otherwise empty street opposite the London Eye Ferris wheel in London, December 31, 2020, and in the bottom photo taken in the same place, people waiting to take photos of fireworks over the London Eye Ferris wheel, as midnight approaches, December 31, 2019. (Image: AP/Matt Dunham)
In this combo of images, a few people, on the top image, stand in the plaza in front of the Ottoman-era Mecidiye mosque in Ortakoy square under the "July 15th Martyrs' bridge, formerly known as Bosporus Bridge, over the Bosporus Strait, separating Europe and Asia, in Istanbul, late on December 31, 2020, where in the bottom image people celebrate the new year at the same spot, early on January 1, 2020. (Image: AP/Emrah Gurel)
In this combo of images, a few people, on the top image, stand in the plaza in front of the Ottoman-era Mecidiye mosque in Ortakoy square under the "July 15th Martyrs' bridge, formerly known as Bosporus Bridge, over the Bosporus Strait, separating Europe and Asia, in Istanbul, late on December 31, 2020, whereas in the bottom image people celebrate the new year at the same spot, early on January 1, 2020. (Image: AP/Emrah Gurel)
This combo image shows at top, police direct visitors around Shibuya crossing, a popular location for New Year's Eve gathering, December 31, 2020, in Tokyo, and below, people gather to welcome the arrival of the New Year at the crossing in Tokyo January 1, 2020. Tokyo's downtown Shibuya district has canceled its annual countdown event at a popular "scramble Intersection" area outside of its main train station, and a "countdown vision" screen will be turned off at 11 p.m. (Image: AP/Kiichiro Sato and Shohei Miyano/Kyodo News via AP, File).
This combo image shows at top, police direct visitors around Shibuya crossing, a popular location for New Year's Eve gathering, December 31, 2020, in Tokyo, and below, people gather to welcome the arrival of the New Year at the crossing in Tokyo January 1, 2020. Tokyo's downtown Shibuya district has canceled its annual countdown event at a popular "scramble Intersection" area outside of its main train station, and a "countdown vision" screen will be turned off at 11 p.m. (Image: AP/Kiichiro Sato and Shohei Miyano/Kyodo News via AP, File).
A combo image showing a general view of the Victoria Harbor at the New Year's Eve of year 2021 in Hong Kong, the top photo taken on December 31, 2020, and the bottom one on January 1, 2019, fireworks explode over the Victoria Harbor during New Year's Eve to celebrate the start of year 2019 in Hong Kong. (Image: AP/Kin Cheung)
A combo image showing a general view of the Victoria Harbor at the New Year's Eve of year 2021 in Hong Kong, the top photo taken on December 31, 2020, and the bottom one on January 1, 2019, fireworks explode over the Victoria Harbor during New Year's Eve to celebrate the start of year 2019 in Hong Kong. (Image: AP/Kin Cheung)
A combo image showing New Year's Eve bell-ringing ceremony taking place at Bosingak pavilion, the top photo taken on December 31, 2020 and the bottom one on January 1, 2018. In South Korea, Seoul's city government canceled its annual New Year's Eve bell-ringing ceremony in the Jongno neighborhood for the first time since the event was first held in 1953, months after the end of the Korean War. The ceremony, in which citizens ring a large bell in a traditional pavilion when the clock strikes midnight, normally draws an estimated 100,000 people and is broadcast live. (Image: AP/Lee Jin-man, Ahn Young-joon)
A combo image showing New Year's Eve bell-ringing ceremony taking place at Bosingak pavilion, the top photo taken on December 31, 2020 and the bottom one on January 1, 2018. In South Korea, Seoul's city government canceled its annual New Year's Eve bell-ringing ceremony in the Jongno neighborhood for the first time since the event was first held in 1953, months after the end of the Korean War. The ceremony, in which citizens ring a large bell in a traditional pavilion when the clock strikes midnight, normally draws an estimated 100,000 people and is broadcast live. (Image: AP/Lee Jin-man, Ahn Young-joon)
This combo image shows the Hotel Indonesia Roundabout in Jakarta, a popular spot for New Year's Eve celebration, taken on December 31, 2020, top photo, and, December 31, 2019, bottom photo. (Image: AP/Dita Alangkara, Tatan Syuflana)
This combo image shows the Hotel Indonesia Roundabout in Jakarta, a popular spot for New Year's Eve celebration, taken on December 31, 2020, top photo, and, December 31, 2019, bottom photo. (Image: AP/Dita Alangkara, Tatan Syuflana)
An image combo showing Fireworks exploding over the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge during New Year celebrations in Sydney, Australia, the top photo taken on January 1, 2021 and the bottom one on January 1, 2015. From a distance things looked the same, but one million people would usually crowd the Sydney Harbor to watch the annual fireworks that center on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. But this year authorities advised revelers to watch the fireworks on television as the two most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria battle to curb new COVID-19 outbreaks. (Image: AP/Mark Baker, Rob Griffith)
An image combo showing Fireworks exploding over the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge during New Year celebrations in Sydney, Australia, the top photo taken on January 1, 2021 and the bottom one on January 1, 2015. From a distance things looked the same, but one million people would usually crowd the Sydney Harbor to watch the annual fireworks that center on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. But this year authorities advised revelers to watch the fireworks on television as the two most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria battle to curb new COVID-19 outbreaks. (Image: AP/Mark Baker, Rob Griffith)
A combo image showing a general view of the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris very early on New Year's Day January 1, 2021, and the bottom one the same location packed with revelers early on January 1, 2020. (Image: AP/Thibault Camus, Christophe Ena)
A combo image showing a general view of the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris very early on New Year's Day January 1, 2021, and at the bottom the same location packed with revelers early on January 1, 2020. (Image: AP/Thibault Camus, Christophe Ena)
This combo image shows Hotel Indonesia Roundabout in Jakarta, a popular spot for New Year's Eve celebration, taken on December 31, 2020, top photo, and December 31, 2016, bottom photo. (Image: AP/Dita Alangkara, Tatan Syuflana)
This combo image shows Hotel Indonesia Roundabout in Jakarta, a popular spot for New Year's Eve celebration, taken on December 31, 2020, top photo, and December 31, 2016, bottom photo. (Image: AP/Dita Alangkara, Tatan Syuflana)
Associated Press
first published: Jan 2, 2021 06:07 pm

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