The year 2011 is coming to a close and we’re about to welcome a new year. Here are five cities that ring in the New Year in style.
Did your favorite New Years destination not make our list? Add your top choices in our comments below.
Want to be one of the first people in the world to ring in the New Year? Then go to Sydney. Here, you’ll witness stunning fireworks accompanied by music exploding over the gorgeous backdrop of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Every year, more than a million people gather around Sydney Harbour for their Midnight Fireworks, countdown and party. There are plenty of terrific vantage points around the harbor, but the absolute best views of the fireworks are from the water. This is a popular activity so be sure to book your place on board well in advance!
If you want to start celebrating the New Year even earlier, go to Tokyo, where the celebration starts on the 29th of December and runs all the way through January 4th! Even though most of the major tourist sites close down for that week, the streets of Tokyo are packed with people and the city celebrates with fireworks, dancing and singing. Join the locals and enter the New Year in the traditional Japanese way: eat Toshikoshi Soba (New Years Eve Noodle) and listen to Juya No Kane (The Watch-Night Bell). The long noodle symbolizes a long and healthy life. The Watch-Night Bell rings 108 times in temples all over Japan in an attempt to get rid of the 108 worldly desires.
London rings in the New Year with an astonishing fireworks display, launched into the sky from the 135 meter high London Eye. The fireworks show can be seen from rooftops and balconies across London, but best views are from Westminster Bridge and the north embankment of the River Thames. The show starts just after Big Ben chimes midnight and lasts for about 15 minutes. Another, more romantic option is to take a river cruise along the Thames. London’s pubs, clubs and restaurants are open well into the night with parties and entertainment.
Paris offers many ways to say Bonne Annee. From top-notch dining to to fantastic fireworks – New Years Eve in Paris is truly unforgettable. Around 9 p.m. crowds start to gather at the famous Champs-Elysees. From here, you can watch the Eiffel Tower explode into a sparkling dance of light and toast Happy New Year with a flute of Champagne. The Sacre Coeur in Montmartre, is another fantastic place to ring in the New Year. With spectacular views of the entire Paris skyline, it provides the ideal viewing spot for all of the fireworks launched around Paris.
Celebrate La Festa San Silvestro Italian style! Like most festivals in Italy, food plays a major role. Families and friends gather together for a huge feast. The star of the dinner is lentils, symbolizing money and good fortune for the coming year. After dinner, grab your prosecco and join the masked crowd in St. Mark’s Square at midnight, where the bell of St. Mark’s campanile announces the beginning of the New Year. The celebration continues with a professional fireworks display along the waterfront. An old custom that is still followed in some places is throwing your old things out the window to symbolize your readiness to accept the New Year. So, make sure you keep an eye out for falling objects if you’re walking around near midnight! And, don’t forget to wear red underwear – Italians say it’ll bring you luck in the coming year!
Where is your favorite place to ring in the New Year?