Previous and current photos show the contrast for New Year’s Eve

AP Photos: Past and current photos show the contrast on New Year’s Eve

January 1, 2021 GMT

There were countdowns and live performances, but New Year’s Eve celebrations around the world looked drastically different this year as large crowds moved away from traditional party venues like Times Square in New York City and the Champs Elysees in Paris.

The much-changed Coronavirus in 2020 has canceled most fireworks displays and public events in favor of dedicated TV-only moments in cities around the world.

The Associated Press snapped old and new photos of some of these iconic sites around the world to illustrate the striking contrast between the cheerful crowds of previous years and the quiet, empty streets heading into 2021.

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In South Korea, the Seoul city government canceled the annual New Years Eve bell ringing ceremony in Jongno District for the first time since the event was first held in 1953, months after the end of the Korean War.

And in Tokyo, the Maiji Jingu Shinto Shrine, which traditionally attracts millions of people every year during the New Year holidays, closed its doors on New Year’s Eve for the first time in 74 years.

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