NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 31: In this image released on December 31, Darius Rucker performs during the New Year's Eve Live Nashville's Big Bash at in Nashville, Tennessee. Jason Kempin/Getty Images for The Green Room PR/AFP (Photo by Jason Kempin / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 31: In this image released on December 31, Darius Rucker performs during the New Year's Eve Live Nashville's Big Bash at in Nashville, Tennessee. Jason Kempin/Getty Images for The Green Room PR/AFP (Photo by Jason Kempin / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

PICTURES: How the world ushered in 2022

By AFP Time of article published Jan 1, 2022

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The world ushered in 2022 on Saturday with scaled-back celebrations due to new restrictions aimed at slowing soaring Covid cases -- although hope remained for a better new year.

New York revived its New Year's Eve ball drop in Times Square in limited form, Paris nixed its fireworks show over rising Omicron cases and London's pyrotechnic display was broadcast on TV to discourage crowds.

The past 12 months saw a new US president and a fresh Adele album, the first spectator-free Olympics, and dreams of democracy from Afghanistan to Sudan and Hong Kong crushed by authoritarian regimes.

But the pandemic -- now entering its third year -- still dominated.

Here are some pictures of how the new year was ushered in around the world.

Revellers celebrate the new year on the Champs Elysees in Paris, France, 01 January 2022. EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON

People in the viewing pens have confetti rain down on them after midnight in Times Square on New Year's Day in New York, New York, USA, 01 January 2022. EPA-EFE/SARAH YENESEL

New Years Eve lasers, drones and fireworks illuminate the sky in front of the Royal Naval College in Greenwich shortly after midnight in London, Britain, 01 January 2022. The annual London fireworks event in front of the London Eye that is normally attended by over a hundred thousand people was cancelled this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. EPA-EFE/VICKIE FLORES

Fireworks light the night sky over the Kremlin and an empty Red Square to mark the New Year in Moscow, Russia, 01 January 2022. The Red Square is closed for the mass New Year celebration on the night of December 31 to January 01 due to a spike in Covid-19 cases in Moscow. EPA-EFE/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

Fireworks illuminate the sky from Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, during New Year's 2022 celebrations in the Gulf emirate of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 01 January 2022. EPA-EFE/ALI HAIDER

People gather to watch fireworks explode over Copacabana beach during New Year celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil January 1, 2022. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Fireworks explode over Sydney Harbour during New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, January 1, 2022. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy.

In this image released on December 31, Darius Rucker performs during the New Year's Eve Live Nashville's Big Bash at in Nashville, Tennessee. Jason Kempin/Getty Images for The Green Room PR/AFP (Photo by Jason Kempin / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Revelers gather ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square thwarting off fears of the Omicron CoronaVirus variant on December 31, 2021 in New York City. Despite record numbers of COVID-19 cases across the city and nationwide, New York City is moving forward with New Years Eve celebrations. On average, about one million revelers are drawn to the Times Square to watch performances and celebrate. David Dee Delgado/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by David Dee Delgado / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

A man walks in front of the Eiffel Tower lit up in blue to mark the French presidency of the European Union during the New Year's Eve in Paris on December 31, 2021. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP)

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