Police erected fences to try to prevent congestion around the city’s Customs House clock tower, but the measure was ineffective due to the large turnout of mainly young people.
“2020 has been a very difficult year for us because we have experienced the epidemic, especially in Wuhan, which is an unforgettable experience for us,” local resident Xu Du told AFP.
Most of the crowd wore masks for the celebrations on Thursday evening, which included a light show.
“China has controlled the epidemic very well now,” said reveller Li Yusu. “But there are still some other countries suffering from the virus. I hope other countries can get through this difficulty as soon as possible.”
The country has been accused of covering up the outbreak and allowing the virus to spread internationally.
On Monday, citizen journalist Zhang Zhan was jailed for four years for reporting on conditions inside Wuhan during the height of the outbreak.
The city of 11 million people was forced into a tough lockdown from January until April and about 4,000 people died, according to Chinese figures.
© Agence France-Presse