7 Must See New Year's Eve Celebrations

December 22, 2019

7 Must See New Year's Eve Celebrations

Get ready to add a few things to your bucket list. Out of all the over-the-top festivities held around the world on December 31st, these seven cities definitely have can’t miss New Year’s Eve celebrations.

1.Tokyo, Japan


New Years is one of the most important and vastly celebrated holidays in Japan. In the days leading up to and immediately following the calendar change, Japanese people partake in numerous traditions meant to bring them good luck for the new year--and shake of any remaining bad karma from the previous one. For a traditional celebration, head to one of the many temples throughout Tokyo and get in line to ring the temple bell. At midnight, the bell is rung 108 times in order to cleanse you from your 108 worldly desires. If you’re looking to party, head to Yokohama, one of the few regions in Japan that takes a more Western approach to the holiday.

2.Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


If you don’t mind crowds or traffic, head to Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach for an unforgettable New Year’s Eve experience. An estimated 2 million people gather at the beach each year, clad in all white and ready to party. Once the clock strikes midnight, goers throw flowers into the ocean, a tribute to the African sea goddess Yemanjá, or rush in themselves, a tradition in which you jump seven waves and make a wish or blessing with each one. In typical Brazilian fashion, however, the celebration doesn’t stop there: music, fireworks, and parties continue well into the early morning of New Year’s Day.

3. London, England


In London, all eyes turn toward the Thames waterfront on New Year’s Eve for a magnificent, and extremely popular, fireworks display. Tickets for the show can sell out as early as September, so you’ll want to make your arrangements early. At midnight, the tower around Big Ben erupts 12 times with each stroke of the hour. Then, not to be outdone, the London Eye holds a swirling lights and firework display. Possibly the best aspect of spending NYE in London, however, is that all public transportation is free from 11:45pm on Dec. 31st through 4:30am on Jan. 1st, so you’ll have an affordable and safe return when you’re all partied out for the evening.


4. Edinburgh, Scotland


Get there early because, in Edinburgh, “Hogmanay” is a three day celebration. Starting on Dec. 30th, a Viking torchlight parade takes over the streets, with more than 8,000 torchbearers and fireworks filling the sky. On New Years Eve, join the giant block party outside of Edinburgh castle for drinking, dancing, and even more fireworks. Fight the hangover on Jan. 1st and throw on a goofy costume, it’s time to march down High Street and jump into the icy waters of the River Forth--a tradition known as Loony Dook.


5. Sydney, Australia


The first major city to enter the new year, Sydney’s celebration does not disappoint. A world famous 12 minute firework display launches from the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, an event that draws more people than even Time Square’s celebration. Another perk of celebrating the new year down under is that it’s at the beginning of their summer, so you don’t have to withstand any frigid temperatures and can even take the opportunity to check out one of their numerous beaches.


6. Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Ring in the new year at the world’s tallest building, theBurj Khalifa in Dubai. Firework displays explode out of many of the city’s towering skyscrapers, but the display at Burj Khalifa definitely takes the cake. Dubai even briefly held the title for the world’s largest firework display after New Year’s Eve 2013. If you want to get even closer to the action, head to the Burj Khalifa’s 122nd floor to join one of many NYE parties.


7. New York City, United States


For many of us, especially those of us in the United States, Times Square in Manhattan isthequintessential New Years Eve destination. About one million people pack into Times Square for the festivities, and an estimated one billion people from around the world tune in to watch the celebration on TV. There are musical performances leading up to the countdown, but the main event is to see the Waterford crystal LED ball drop from the former New York Times Building, an American tradition since 1907. If crowds aren’t your thing, get an equally stunning view from any of the rooftop parties held throughout the city.


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