Why bring in a new year at an old place? Shake off the comfort of your home to begin the next year at one of the best New Year parties around the world. Here are 8 best New Year festivals around the world, cherry picked for your pleasure.
- New York City, USA
In the big Apple, one can expect New Year’s to be awesome and beyond. New Year’s Eve in New York’s Times Square is what starts the evening for hundreds of millions around the world who watch on television waiting for the ball to drop. Join a party of millions who happily claw their way into the city’s neon epicenter where Broadway and Seventh Avenue meet, waiting for the Waterford crystal LED ball to drop from the former New York Times Building. It’s an American tradition more than 100 years old that now seems to be the unofficial sign that a New Year has officially begun.
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Réveillon, Rio’s New Year’s celebration, is one of the world’s largest New Year festivals. Dressed in white like Candomblé priestesses, millions of visitors and locals line the city’s miles of beaches, throwing flowers into the waves at midnight for the African sea goddess Yemanjá. These traditions have become mixed with the Virgin Mary to form a delightful cultural stew. Afterward, the bars, the streets and restaurants fill with parties, dancing, and music like never before.
- London, England
No stiff upper lips can be seen on New Year’s Eve in London. Millions of eager Londoners gather in Trafalgar Square and line the Thames waterfront, waiting for the city to explode in an astounding display of color and sparks. At midnight, the tower around Big Ben pulses with sizzling blasts timed for the 12 strokes of the hour. All sights are then turned to the London Eye as the famed wheel produces a swirling fireworks and light show which is timed to British rock music echoing through the city. London truly is incredible.
- Paris, France
The City of Light improves upon that name and becomes a city of fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Hundreds of thousands of people line the Champs-Élysées, Champagne bottles in hand, for a view of the Eiffel Tower. At the stroke of midnight, fireworks burst from the entire length of its iron structure, in one of this evening’s most stunning displays anywhere. Other gathering spots with great views include the Trocadéro and the steps of Sacré-Couer church. If you’re planning a trip to Paris, then try visiting the place during New Year’s eve.
- Madrid, Spain
Spain is filled with things to do, but the party is at Madrid. Madrileños celebrate the New Year by swallowing 12 grapes, (Just trivia for any Modern Family fans, really) one for each stroke of the clock at midnight. Eating them up on time is considered to be a sign of good luck in the upcoming year. Huge crowds gather in front of the clock in Puerta del Sol plaza for the annual ritual to watch fireworks. Gran Via is another spot from where the fireworks look spectacular. And what can come close to a night of Spanish revelry?
- Beirut, Lebanon
If you want to see what hope looks like, then head over to Beirut. Each New Year’s is a promise for the citizens that everything will be better in the capital of formerly war-torn Lebanon. Crowds gather to watch the light show at heart of central Beirut, the city’s 1933 art deco clock tower in Nejmeh Square.
- Tokyo, Japan
On New Year’s Eve in Tokyo, streets and restaurants teem with people like anywhere else in the world. But the cuisine here is more interesting. You’ll spot many eating buckwheat noodles to ensure health and happiness in the New Year. Temples ring bells as a countdown to midnight, adding a wistful, oriental quality to the celebration. Make sure to stay in town till January 2, as it’s one of the only two days when the emperor opens the palace grounds to the general public.
- Christmas Island, South Pacific
Famed as the likely location of Amelia Earhart’s missing airplane and named after another holiday Christmas Island or Kiritimati (in the South Pacific republic of Kiribati), is among the first populated places in the world to celebrate the New Year. With only around 5,000 residents, New Year’s Eve is an intimate affair due to much of the island being a protected wildlife sanctuary. If you’re looking for a new year’s away from the crowd, head over to Christmas Island for peace and interesting Instagram pictures.
All said and done, New Year’s eve is incredible anywhere you are. These places like to take that experience up to 11. If you’re planning a trip to one of these places, then be sure to book your trip at Cozmo Travel. For more content on all things travel related, click here.