As another year comes to a close, it’s time to think about many things: reflections on 2017, what you hope to achieve in 2018, and of course, where to celebrate the coming of the new year. This is one of the most widely-celebrated holidays across the globe. As such, all over the world, you are sure to find parties and celebrations to get you pumped for the year ahead. We’ve compiled a list of the top destinations for a New Year’s celebration.
New York City
This is an obvious one. You’ve grown up watching the live coverage of the ball dropping in Times Square, with the concerts from your favorite artists and the crowds of people somehow making it through the freezing cold. While yes, it will be hard to get a good view, this is as classic US New Year’s Eve as New Year’s Eve can get, and you should definitely experience it once (or more) in your life. While you’re there, check out some of the other events you may not know about, such as the NYRR Midnight Run, or the New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace in the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.
Rio de Janeiro
Forget Rio’s famous carnival and head to this Brazilian gem of a city to ring in 2018 instead. The New Year’s celebrations are held on the iconic Copacabana Beach with millions of your closest friends to witness the live bands, DJ’s, and of course, one of the biggest fireworks displays in the world over the water. Spectators usually dress head to toe in white, a color said to bring peace and prosperity during the coming year, so be sure you’re not left out. Another Brazilian tradition is to cleanse oneself in the water, though with this many people crowding the beach, it may be difficult. Instead, you can partake in the tradition of throwing flowers into the water. If it doesn’t come back, it means your wish for the year will come true.
Celebrate NYE across the pond, London style. The celebrations take place on the banks of the Thames River, and in the area around the river. The big draw, of course, is the spectacular fireworks show happening over the water. Since the show is happening over the river, why not take a river cruise to watch the fireworks from the comfort of your own boat? After the show, head to one of London’s clubs to celebrate 2018 with the Brits. The Natural History Museum hosts a party “under the sea” at this sea-life themed event. If you’re not too tired the next day, head to the streets to catch London’s New Year’s Day parade.
(Read more: Your Guide to London Transport)
The City of Brotherly Love, surely this will be a New Year’s celebration you’ll love. The party begins at the Delaware River Waterfront with, of course, a free fireworks shows. While this is undoubtedly a blast, the real fun comes on New Year’s Day with the 117th Annual Mummers Parade. We’d say it’s something like a Philadelphia Mardi Gras or a Philadelphia Carnival, but in reality, the Mummers Parade is its own thing. Since 1901, associations strut down Philly’s main streets, competing in four categories: Comics, Fancies, String Bands, and Fancy Brigades. Mummers work all year, hand making their costumes and practicing their shows. Each group’s show centers around a specific theme and consists of elaborate outfits, dances, string music, and floats. Of course, in typical Philly fashion, this is an all-out party, so be sure to head to Center City and check it out.
Head down under and celebrate New Years before the rest of the world. Sydney is the first major city to welcome in the new year each year and celebrates with a massive Australian party. The main fireworks show happens over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and includes a light show from the illuminated boats in the harbor. Watch the party unfold from Barangaroo Reserve, with a perfect view of the bridge, or head to Victoria Park for NYE in the Park, a giant garden party featuring live concerts.
(Read more: 6 Places to Celebrate New Year’s in Sydney)
Experience a unique New Year’s celebration. Medellin may not be as well known as the other cities, but the fun to be had here gives it a spot on the list. Typically, people across all neighborhoods descend on upon the streets and parks to celebrate, with firecrackers, fireworks, and light shows, often happening right in the streets. In classic Colombian fashion (Colombians are known for their hospitality and welcoming attitudes), everyone comes into the streets by their homes to share shots of aguardiente, a typical Colombian alcohol, and to share lentils (a sign of prosperity). This is a true Colombian fiesta and even continues into the next day, where people come outside and share sancocho, a traditional chicken soup broth.
(Read more: Medellin Travel Guide)
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