North Koreans faced the cold to enter the new year with a large outdoor concert and a fireworks display in downtown Pyongyang on Friday, according to a live broadcast by state television.
The state-run event took place when New Year’s Eve meetings were canceled in some major capitals around the world due to new outbreaks of COVID-19.
The Pyongyang show, though temperatures dropped well below zero, seemed largely similar to previous years, with the country’s top singers praising DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and ending with a fireworks display. for the thousands of Pyongyang residents gathered in Kim Il Sung Square.
Central Korean Television (KCTV) featured images of the scene and crowds swaying, waving glowsticks and recording with smartphones.
All participants, except performers, wore masks in accordance with state policies designed to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. North Korean authorities say the virus has never entered the country, but could still occur at any time.
However, elements from previous years have disappeared from the show, such as a light show with drones and dancers wearing large snowman costumes.
Also, KCTV did not show the crowd counting down to midnight and instead held a flag-raising ceremony after the clock struck 00:00, the same format seen in last year’s show. Earlier, state television broadcast a countdown to the beginning of 2022.
Friday night’s show aired from 11:05 p.m. to 12:15 p.m., local time.
After the midnight flag ceremony and fireworks, one of the main presenters of the propaganda channel sent a message of hope for the New Year for 2022 and praised Kim Jong Un for overseeing the construction projects in the last year of ” difficult times ”.
North Korea has started hosting 2018 New Year’s Eve outdoor concerts.
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