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In pictures: New Year, but not quite as we know it

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media captionCountries around the world welcomed 2021 with fireworks, but crowds were only allowed at some displays

Millions around the world have been seeing out 2020 and marking the start of 2021, although the coronavirus pandemic has forced many celebrations to take place in muted form behind closed doors.

With lockdowns or other restrictions in place in many countries, would-be New Year partygoers were told to have a quiet night in.

Others have attended ceremonies or festivals wearing masks or taking other precautions.

In Tokyo, below, people visited the Kanda Myojin Shrine to offer prayers. The popular Shinto shrine reduced the number of visitors allowed, as Japan faces another wave of Covid-19 infections.

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In Wuhan, China, crowds gathered in the city with balloons and festive outfits to count down to midnight on New Year’s Eve.

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Fireworks lit up the night sky in Taiwan to mark the beginning of 2021, witnessed by thousands of spectators who gathered in the centre of Taipei.

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Like this family in Seoul, South Korea, many globally have marked the celebration in a small way and often at home.

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It was a chilly celebration in Yekaterinburg, Russia, as people gathered at the city hall, waving sparklers in the 1905 Square.

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While in the United Arab Emirates, one of the largest New Year fireworks displays saw spectacular colours light up the sky over the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah.

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Pyrotechnics also illuminated the sky around the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, as the clock struck midnight in Dubai.

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The New Year’s Eve party at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin is usually one of Europe’s biggest street parties. But this year revellers were told to stay at home and watch the fireworks and music performances on TV or online instead.

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These worshippers in Abuja, Nigeria, marked the end of 2020 with a gospel service.

Meanwhile, people in the city of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast were able to watch the fireworks display outside with friends and family.

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But in New York City, just a handful of people were allowed into Times Square to watch confetti rain down and the tradition crystal ball drop.

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Brazilian authorities closed Copacabana Beach, in Rio de Janeiro, but that did not stop some people enjoying celebrations.

A fireworks and light show was held across various locations in London. A number of drones filled the sky close to the O2 Arena in East London forming messages referencing the pandemic, including the NHS logo.

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