Gothenburg Celebrates New Year: 2018
Thousands converge at Götaplatsento celebrate the transition: 2017 into 2018
Gothenburg … giving local flavour &going global …
Thousands of Gothenburgers (Göteborgare) assembled on the New Year’s Eve – 31st December 2017 – at Götaplatsen to celebrate the New Year. The roads leading to Götaplatsen from the three main roads of Berzeliigatan, Viktor Rydbergsgatan and Avenyn were packed with people as the midnight approached.
Götaplatsen is a spacious public square in Gothenburg located on the southern end of Avenyn the boulevard and the most popular High Street of the city.
As the clock struck 12 (am) … the music echoed and the fireworks danced in the air: revellers cheered. The new-year gaiety at Götaplatsen is beginning to become a tradition.
Stefan Gadd, Press & Corporate Communications Manager at Göteborg& Co, said ‘the new year’s eve celebrations running into the new year is a way of prolonging of the Christmas celebrations’ for the residents to enjoy. He said the tradition of organizing music and fireworks at Götaplatsen by Poseidon, Stadsbiblioteket, and Konstmuseum started six years ago by the local government (GöteborgsStad). According to him the crowd varies in numbers ranging from 5,000 to 15,000 but this year it is estimated that about 10,000 people have gathered with their friends and families to experience the arrival of 2018.
AdibMasre, a Syrian-Swedish (or, Swedish-Syrian?), arrived at the square before midnight to be in the midst of revellers to witness and welcome 2018. He was delighted to be here, ‘en fin kväll’ – an excellent evening. He is living in Sweden for more than two yearsthough many of his friends are in Germany. He has learned Swedish, and is learning English: the two basic essential skills for a prospective and prosperous life in Sweden – employment. He is making Gothenburg his home town.
Ganesh Iyer, a software professional from India, made his way to Götaplatsen to feel the atmosphere and the cheerful optimism of new-year’s vibes. He was here in 2017, and again in 2018! He observed that the city makes it possible for everyone to commute anywhere at any-time and yet reach home even if it is the midnight of 31st December and 1 January.
An octogenarian woman (Göteborgska) was seen greeting people and enquiring about their well-being unlike other times.
In the midst of celebrations, police officers were seen with a man in early 20s who was pleading to let him go. Briefly, he and the police officers became the scene of attention on Berzeliigatan but the police waited until another police van came, and whisked him away.
As 2018 ticked in, the crowds started to disperse in different directions.
Götaplatsen is the epicentre of the city. The locals have been gathering here whenever there is an occasion to celebrate or commemorate.In 2000, according to one estimate about 100,000 people gathered to celebrate the millennium. Jill Nordstrand reminisced that when the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was assassinated in 1986 more 60,000 people gathered to pay homage to him along the Avenyn and at Götaplatsen.
Gothenburg is set to become more global this year, and aims to have more entertainment with local flavour in the run up to the 400-year celebrations culminating in 2021.
The foundation of the city was laid in 1621. Gothenburg is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the most developed quadricentennial city with sustainability at the heat of local governance.
Göteborg is the only city in Sweden which also has an international name: Gothenburg.