Ten of the Best Places to Celebrate New Year
New Year comes but once a year. If you want a New Year to remember all year long, head off to one of these fabulous destinations to celebrate the passing of time.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Hogmanay is the Scottish word for the last day of the year and the Scots know how to celebrate. On 30th December there is a torchlit procession through the city and a firework display, as a warm-up. On New Year’s Eve itself there are street parties and outdoor concerts all over the city, with more fireworks at midnight. Everyone links arms and sings ‘Auld Lang Syne’. All together now, ‘Should old acquaintance be forgot..’.
London, United Kingdom
Thousands of people crowd along the river in London to watch the fireworks at midnight and hear the sound of Big Ben chiming midnight. New Year’s Day brings the traditional parade with floats, dancing and the Queen’s Guard processing through the streets.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
One of the city’s many bridges is the best place to work the fireworks on New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam. Or go to a party in one of the squares like Rembrandtplein, Nieuwmarkt, Museumplein or Dam Square. Don’t miss out on the traditional Oliebollen, a delicious fried doughnut with apple and raisins.
New York City, United States
Every year a million people descend on Times Square to watch the famous ball drop – a 12 foot crystal ball weighing 12,000 pounds. The square’s vast lit billboards add to the scene. Or you can watch the magnificent fireworks display on Liberty Island, best seen from a boat cruise.
The biggest party takes place at the Brandenburg Gate. Teufelsberg and Viktoriapark are also great places to watch the fireworks, and all along ‘Party Mile’. During the day it’s the annual pancake race, Berliner Silvesterlauf, when runners take to the streets in fancy dress, flipping pancakes as they go.
Dancing on the beach on New Year’s Eve, in the moonlight with fairy lights in the trees, is the experience of a lifetime. The biggest and wildest parties are in Anjuna, or head south for a quieter evening.
They know how to party in Brazil. The world’s largest New Year’s Eve party, called Reveillon, takes place on Copacabana beach. It’s midsummer there, and two million people, many dressed in white for good luck, throw handfuls of flowers into the sea. This is accompanied by music and dance performances, and a firework display at midnight. There are lots of other parties on smaller beaches.
New Year’s Eve in the sunshine in Australia is a classic and unique experience. It’s the first major city to celebrate, and they put on not one but two firework displays, the largest in the world. The harbour fills up with boats, and everyone is there at midnight to watch the show, set off from Harbour Bridge against a backdrop of Sydney Opera House.
Las Vegas, United States
The streets of Las Vegas transform into a vast, car-free area with bands, music shows, and parties in every corner of the city. At midnight fireworks are set off from several different rooftops along The Strip so you are guaranteed a fantastic display wherever you are.
Samoa, the South Pacific
Once one of the last places in the world to celebrate New Year, a recent time change (when an entire day was wiped off the calendar) means that Samoa now celebrates before anyone else. Join the festivities on the beach or spend the night in one of the island’s romantic resorts.