Across much of the world, celebrations were muted on December 31, with millions of people under continued lockdown due to the spread of COVID-19.
The pandemic, which has left 1.8 million dead, has ensured that 2020 will be remembered as a tragic and challenging year for much of the globe.
In Europe and the US, it was also a year in which history was made, with Britain leaving the EU and Joe Biden beating Donald Trump to the US presidency.
So what is in store for 2021? Below Euronews outlines some key dates, anniversaries, and events that will take place in the year ahead.
January 5 - The special run-off election in Georgia will see candidates elected to two seats in the US Senate. The result could be pivotal for control of the upper chamber of Congress and the passing of Joe Biden’s legislative agenda and nominated cabinet picks.
January 15-16 - The battle to succeed Angela Merkel will begin in earnest at the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party’s 33rd Congress as the party elects a new leader and her potential successor as Chancellor.
January 20 - Former vice-president and senator Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States. Celebrations are expected to be curtailed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
January 20 - The first congress of the Democratic Socialist party after losing their 30-year grip on power in Montenegro scheduled to take place.
March 17 - Voters in the Netherlands will go to the polls to choose their next government.
March 23 - Israelis will vote in their fourth general election in two years after the Netanyahu-Gantz coalition collapsed in December.
April 6 - 125th anniversary of the opening of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens.
April 12 - 60 years since Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to fly to space.
April 16-19 - Raul Castro, Cuba's de facto leader, is set to stand down as the First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party during its 8th party congress.
May 5 - The bicentenary of Napoleon Bonaparte’s death in exile on the island of St Helena.
May 6 - Elections for the UK’s devolved parliaments will take place, with particular consequences for Scotland. A pro-independence majority at Holyrood will see the constitutional question put firmly back on the agenda.
May 18-21 - The World Economic Forum will hold its annual meeting in Lucerne in May rather than in its traditional host town of Davos. It's only the second time in the event's 50-year history that it will not take place in the Swiss ski resort which has become shorthand for the meeting.
May 26: A total lunar eclipse, the first since January 2019, can be observed in parts of southeast Asia, Canada and Australia.
June 11 - July 11 - The postponed UEFA Euro 2020 tournament will take place in cities across Europe rather than a host country in a one-off to celebrate its 60th anniversary.
July 23 - August 8 - The Olympic Games 2020 is expected to take place in Tokyo, a year later than scheduled after the games were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
August 6 - The World Wide Web (WWW) was born 30 years ago after Tim Berners-Lee posted a short summary describing his idea in 1991.
September 11 - The US will mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington DC, and the crash site of United flight 93 in rural Pennsylvania.
September 26 - Germany will go to the polls in federal elections to choose their next Chancellor as the 16-year tenure of Angela Merkel officially comes to an end.
November 1 - 12 - The 26th UN Climate Change Conference, or COP26, will be hosted in Glasgow, UK, with a focus to accelerate progress made so far towards the goals of the Paris Agreement.
December 26 - The 30th anniversary of the official dissolution of the USSR.