Ringing in the New Year

Every year, an estimated one million people gather in Times Square and more than a billion tune in to watch the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. This time-honored celebration has taken place since 1907 and has become synonymous with New Year’s Eve in the United States.

While it seems hard to top the energy in New York on December 31st, there are thousands of unique New Year’s celebrations taking place across the globe. Here is a sampling of some of the most exciting; I think it is time to expand our horizons!

Waltz in the New Year | Vienna, Austria

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Vienna, Austria

In the winter wonderland of Austria, hundreds of thousands of people take to the snowy streets of Vienna to experience the New Year’s Fair, which turns the historic old town into one heck of a party. Small booths line the streets and the city is full of music with nearly ten outdoor stages playing a wide range of music programs. In the afternoon, people stroll through the alleys to enjoy culinary treats and gather to find the perfect spot to watch the city’s fireworks before heading out to one of many balls, galas and concerts that bring a touch of elegance back to New Year’s Eve. The next day, locals join the crowd in front of the City Hall to watch the famous New Year’s concert from the Vienna Philharmonic broadcast on a large outdoor screen. The annual concert airs around the world to an estimated audience of 50 million in over 90 countries.

Cheers to New Years! | London, England

On New Year’s Eve, London comes alive with celebrations, fireworks and parties, making it the wildest night in Great Britain. Throughout the evening locals and tourists gather together at prime vantage points like Thames’s West Bank, Victoria Embankment, Waterloo bridge, Westminster bridge and Jubilee bridge for the gigantic firework display over the London Eye, Europe’s largest Ferris wheel. The spectacle starts when Big Ben Strikes 12:00 AM and the party doesn’t stop in the clubs and pubs until the sun comes up.

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Edinburgh, Scotland

Hogmanay Street Party | Edinburgh, Scotland

Featured on The Discovery Channel UK’s Top 25 World Travel Experiences, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party is one of the world’s top New Year’s street parties. Live bands and DJ’s fill the city with music and the old town comes alive with vibrant festivities as people from all over the world join in the New Year’s merriment. Famous for being of the world’s largest outdoor parties, this unforgettable event culminates in a spectacular fireworks display over Edinburgh Castle. These unforgettable images are beamed around the world to over 1 billion people alongside images from Sydney, New York, Berlin and London.

Party like a Carioca | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

More than four million people ring in the New Year on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, with nearly two million party-goers on Copacabana beach alone. All along Copacabana beach, live music, local food, drink and a 20 minute firework display is the backdrop for the worlds’ largest New Year’s Party. All Brazilians celebrate New Year’s Eve wearing white to bring good luck for the next year and some in the crowd will add a splash of color: Red is for romance, yellow for success and green for health. Many locals will also bring flowers and toss them into the sea throughout the evening as a tribute to Yemanja, the goddess of the seas. Rio de Janeiro hotels stay open all night, serving breakfasts from around 3am until midday on New Year’s Day.

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Sydney, Australia

Parade of Light | Sydney, Australia

Australia’s largest New Year’s Eve celebration is centered on   sparkling Sydney Harbour. The City offers a multi-tiered evening of entertainment starting with family friendly fireworks at 9 PM which gives way to an evening of revelry along the shores. Following the 9PM Family Fireworks, the Harbour of Light Parade commences. Each craft in this illuminated flotilla of over 40 boats feature a unique rope-light design, washing the harbor in color as they journey throughout the night vying for the win. Winners of the parade score premium seats for the “Midnight Fireworks” which garners an audience of 1.6 million people along the river bank and nearly 1.2 billion globally.

The Party Mile | Berlin, Germany

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Berlin, Germany

On New Year’s Eve, the city of Berlin attracts nearly one million people to celebrate the coming of the New Year. One of Europe’s top New Year’s Eve street parties, the bulk of the festivities are celebrated between Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column in Berlin. The Berlin “Party Mile” stretches for 1.2 miles through the city and is lined with several dance floors, bars, stages and DJ’s. It is in the “Party Mile” where you have the opportunity to visit several tents, each with live music, performances, international food and booze stands culminating in a spectacular fireworks display at midnight.

Old Years Night | Jost Van Dyke, BVI

old year's night

Jost Van Dyke, BVI

Home to one of the most raucous New Year’s Eve parties in the Caribbean, Foxy’s Tamarind Bar, located in the Great Harbour on tiny Jost Van Dyke (JVD), is home to the infamous New Year’s Eve Celebration, “Old Year’s Night.” Revelers come from all over the world to enjoy two days of festivities featuring live bands, fresh Caribbean fare and free flowing Cocktails (the famous Painkiller is a must-try) on powder white beaches. Old Year’s Night brings nearly 500 boats to Great Harbour and thousands of partiers to the otherwise secluded island.

¡ Happy New Year – Glückliches Neues Jahr – Bonne Année – Feliz Año Novo!

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