I like to spend my New Year’s Eve, with my family, with all the goodies on the table, with champagne and exquisite desserts, well, the whole package. But I cannot think of all the incredible New Years’ Eves, which have turned the end of the year in these amazing, animated outdoor shows of boundless proportions: fairy-tale atmosphere, extravaganza, fireworks shows and special concerts that will, surely, make you have fun until the break of dawn. And, more, all taking place in the street, alongside with thousands and thousands of souls, that await voicing in unison, alongside with you, 3, 2, 1, 0… Happy New Year! So, find below 5 absolutely spectacular destinations where the New Year’s Eve is, truly, exceptional.
When you arrive for the first time in New York, you feel like you’ve just landed on a film set. On New Year’s Eve, however, the experience is one that’s tough to call. The city is superbly decorated, every shop, every street, every park, they all seem somehow torn from a NY Christmas movie. So, on the 31st of December, roam through Central Park, take a carriage and just admire the scenery, yet don’t miss the Christmas tree and the festivities at the Rockefeller Center. But then, head as soon possible – if you want to catch a good spot – towards the magnificent show in Times Square. While the clock is about to hit midnight, 1 million people from all over the world take by storm the famous square to listen to the top artists concerts, then chanting, in chorus, the countdown, with the crowd cheering till the famous crystal ball plunges from One Times Square. Finally, the fireworks lit up the square, with everyone enjoying the cascade of confetti falling from the sky. You’ll love NY.
When it comes to New Year’s Eve, Sydney has two great strengths: it is the first major city to enter the new year, the show being televised and watched by almost a 1 billion people every year all over the world. So, get ahead and party in Sydney: the night in between years brings some magnificent fireworks that illuminate the whole city, from the Sydney Harbour Bridge up to the famous Opera House. More than 1 million people attend the fireworks, from within the middle of the harbour: the location offers perhaps one of the most beautiful views over the city. It’s a unique opportunity; so don’t forget to have your camera ready for action.
Rio de Janeiro
I know, Rio de Janeiro is notorious for its Carnival, but the New Year’s Eve is no less. Not at all! On the already iconic Copacabana beach, 2 million people cram to party – in the purest Brazilian style – the New Year’s Eve. It’s a mega-party, which also holds spiritual meanings. Locals dress up, from head to toe, in white – a sign of good fortune – and rush to the beach to throw flowers, as homage to the goddess Lemanja – the sea goddess –, or to send on the sea the celebrated paper boats, on which they write their thoughts and hopes for the year to come. The night revives with beach parties, with a lot of color and fun, with traditional drinks and samba rhythms until the next day, at sunrise. Not to mention the live performances, the shows where dancing is king supreme, or the incendiary fireworks show – more thrilling every year.
In Hong Kong, everything is large scale. And on New Year’s Eve, the city doesn’t compromise on anything. Here you get to see probably the most elaborate pyrotechnic shows in the world, impressive laser, sound and light performances, all at an instant illuminating – as if from a huge torch – the iconic Hong Kong skyline. The fireworks show over Victoria Harbour can be admired best by boat; but if you’re not to eager about a boat ride, head towards the Avenue of Stars, in Thim Tsa Shui. Then just wander through the Lan Kwai Fong district, where the bars are packed, and are competing in proposing the coolest and most extravagant parties. Yes, the Hong Kong has it all, even the New York replica of the crystal ball, which falls at midnight in Times Square, Hong Kong.
Paris is undoubtedly a splendor all year round, but on New Year’s Eve the City of Lights is brighter, more picturesque and more spectacular than ever. Parisians know how to have fun, are friendly, so a simple Bonne anneé and you’re one of them. The celebrations stretch on the entire Champs Elysees boulevard – from the Arc de Triomphe to the Concorde Square –, or on the famous bridges crossing the Seine River. Towards midnight, look at the majestic fireworks show near the Eiffel Tower and feel free to be amazed. Everything, of course, in the company of quality French champagne. People embrace each other and raise their glasses with whomever is next to them – total strangers – as if they are old friends. An experience worth living at least once in a lifetime.