New Year’s Day or New Year marks the beginning of a new calendar year. Scintillating fireworks, marvelous club nights, and par...
New Year’s Day or New Year marks the beginning of a new calendar year. Scintillating fireworks, marvelous club nights and parties, thrilling river cruises, and many more events make New Year’s Eve so hip and happening. While in most cultures people celebrate the new year from January 1, there are also some cultures where the new year doesn't start with January 1.
Here’s how 10 countries with different cultures around the world celebrate New Year’s Eve.
Christmas Island or Kiritimati (a Northern Line Island in the South Pacific republic of Kiribati) is one of the world’s first inhabited places that celebrate New Year’s Eve. Interestingly, it is named after another holiday. Since most part of the island is a protected wildlife sanctuary, this special eve is quite a personal affair having just around 5,000 residents.
The waterfront in Sydney is the one-stop destination for celebrating New Year’s Eve. The classic Sydney Harbour Bridge and nearby buildings light up in the middle of the night along with dazzling fireworks.
“Edokko” or the people of Tokyo flock to the streets and restaurants on New Year’s Eve, where many of them like to eat buckwheat noodles for happiness and good health. One can hear bells ringing in temples as a countdown to midnight for a more delightful eve. The Imperial Palace grounds are opened to the public on one of the two days through January 2.
Madrileños, the native or inhabitants of Madrid, eat 12 grapes at midnight (for every stroke of the clock) on New Year’s eve. If one finishes them on time, it’s a sign of good fortune in the upcoming year. Thousands of people assemble opposite the clock in the ‘Puerta del Sol’ plaza to celebrate this annual ritual and on the famous street ‘Gran Via’ for the fireworks show.
Every New Year in Beirut begins with a hope of peace that everything will be better in the capital of formerly war-torn Lebanon. Tens of thousands gather on the art deco clock tower to watch the light show which is situated in ‘Nejmeh Square’, the heart of central Beirut. At midnight of New Year’s eve, couples kiss and people light fireworks that gleam above the floodlit mosque minarets and church steeples in the city of Beirut.
Rio’s New Year’s eve widely known as ‘Réveillon’ is one of the world’s most happening New Year’s eve. Millions of inhabitants and visitors come to beaches in white dresses just like Candomblé priestesses, where they throw flowers into the waves for the African sea goddess Yemanjá (whose traditions are said to have mixed with Virgin Mary). Later, people flock to the streets, restaurants, and bars to sing, dance and party.
Las Vegas, the internationally renowned resort city, has fireworks show over an array of casino hotels, including Paris Las Vegas, the MGM Grand, the Bellagio, and the Strip. The city is abuzz with a huge number of people from all over who come for special concerts and performances with the greatest of the stars.
On New Year’s Eve, the city of love, light, and fashion ‘Paris’ turn into a city of fireworks. A large number of people flock to the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, along with champagne bottles for a view of the Eiffel Tower. At midnight, fireworks are ignited along the whole length of its iron structure, which creates one of the most beautiful evenings on that day. The steps of Sacré-Couer church and the Trocadéro also attract thousands of people as amazing points.
Several million Londoners come together at the Thames waterfront and in Trafalgar Square to witness the vibrant city and to embrace the year ahead. The tower around Big Ben throbs with blasts scheduled for the 12-hour strokes at midnight. After that, everyone turns to the famous giant Ferris wheel ‘London Eye’ as it creates a spiraling light and fireworks show perfectly synced with the rocking British rock music.
New York Times Square is the most prominent place in New York where millions of people from around the world celebrate their New Year’s. The people get together at the city’s neon epicenter where Broadway and Seventh Avenue meet, waiting for the drop of Waterford crystal LED ball from the former New York Times Building. This is a century-old American tradition.
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