There is an old saying, "the way you meet the new year, is the way you will spend it," so why not make happy memories that are worth reliving? Typical bucket-list destination or unique, personal adventures: there is a New Year's Eve celebration for everyone. Enjoy the selection of unique events at the edge of the Old and the New Year we prepared.
New Year's Eve in Taipei is a humanmade light and pop music spectacle. Taipei 101 tower is turned into the most massive New Year's Eve countdown device as the building itself lights up floor by floor before, finally, the fireworks are launched. The city also provides musical performances on a giant stage before the main event.
Cape Town, South Africa
At the New Year, Cape Town is just entering summer. Cape Town is known for its picturesque location, and the New Year's Eve fireworks show highlights its beauty. Its Mother City at the Waterfront offers dinner, live music, dancing, fireworks - all with the Atlantic shore and the Table Mountain. Or you can choose to set up a picnic on the sand, by the Atlantic waves.
The midnight fireworks are special: they are the prime fundraising effort of the year, with all the fireworks bought by the community member from the national search-and-rescue unit. When it is time to greet the New Year, the skies everywhere burst in hundreds of mini-shows. It is one of the most friendly celebrations: the night here lasts long, parties and music are everywhere, and the community bonfires are being set all over the city from 4 am. Iceland is also an excellent place for whale watching or chasing Northern Lights in remote locations.
Hong Kong, China
Even though the UK colonists are gone, this cosmopolitan city remains unique: it is both a modern hub for expats and a real Cantonese city. English is common, and the traditional cuisine and culture remain true to its roots. Join rooftop parties, or watch the multimedia light show and fireworks mirrored in the water from the waterfront or boat. It gets crowded, so you need to get ready in advance, but the show is worth the effort.
Tokyo greets the New Year with hatsumode: the charming traditional experience of the first Shinto shrine visit of the Year. It is not uncommon to celebrate with sake sold in the shrines, but it is a peaceful and welcoming, not a wild celebration. At midnight, an eerily beautiful sound of the bells tolls 108 times to cleanse us from the worldly temptations and begin the Year pure. If you need a reminder of the Western-style, Yokohoma has light shows, fireworks, and parties.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
This Arabian Gulf city is a less crowded, although just as enjoyable alternative to Dubai's luxurious celebrations. The weather is desert-warm, and the Resolution Festival takes over the Yas Island for two days. At midnight, the sky over the Gulf lights up in one of the largest fireworks in the world. On January 1st, you will find the island full of fun activities like a giant inflatable castle called "The Monster."
Niagara Falls, Ontario
The Canadian side of the falls hosts the biggest New Year celebration. As soon as it gets darker, you will witness two fireworks shows and the most peculiar light show against the giant wall of water of the falls. Music and dancing go on an entire night and continue with the all-Canadian concert the next day.
Special If deep snow and natural, not human-made, Northern Lights display is your idea of the perfect New Year celebration, there is a variety of destinations up North to enjoy them. In Finnish Nellim or Muotka, you can take a snowmobile or a dog sled into the snowy wilderness or ski together with the locals. Abisko in Sweden is considered a lucky spot for Aurora Borealis, or you can choose to step on the frozen sea of the Bothnian Bay.
About the Author
Antonia is a sociologist and an anglicist by education, but a writer and a behavior enthusiast by inclination. If she's not writing, editing or reading, you can usually find her snuggling with her huge dog or being obsessed with a new true-crime podcast. She also has a (questionably) healthy appreciation for avocados and Seinfeld.
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