Big Ben welcomes 2022 by ringing for first time in four years

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Big Ben welcomes 2022 by ringing for first time in four years

Londoners rang in the New Year with the deep, joyous sounds of Big Ben echoing across the city for the first time in more than four years.

In an otherwise subdued New Year’s Eve celebration, revelers whistled and cheered as the bells, a symbol of British national prestige and pride, clanged 12 times at midnight, video of the event reveals

The iconic 320-foot tall clock tower above the Houses of Parliament, one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks, had been hidden by scaffolding since 2017 while undergoing a major $108 million conservation and renovation project.

The bell had been silent the entire time, before striking 12 times at midnight Friday to mark the end of 2021 and the start of 2022. 

Crowds gather near Westminster Bridge and London Eye to watch fireworks despite police warning as London Eye firework shows cancelled due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
Crowds gather near Big Ben despite the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Crowd gather near Westminster Bridge and London Eye to watch fireworks despite police warning as London Eye firework shows cancelled due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
The bell rang 12 times at midnight to welcome in the new year.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Londoners wept on Aug. 21, 2017, when the bells rang for what would be the final time in years.

Observers likened the image of the hidden clock tower to the scene New Yorkers witnessed daily in the 1980s of the Statue of Liberty surrounded by scaffolding as it underwent its only multimillion renovation project.

Big Ben first rang across London on May 31, 1859.

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