by Agostio Alvareznio
New Year's Eve is one of the most important global holidays with modern-day celebrations that vary from religious feasts to vibrant parties with colorful lanterns and fireworks. To discover the global essence of New Years Eve, these are the five best places to visit:
Sydney Harbor Before the western world has awakened, Aussies down-under are welcoming the New Year with a riot of partying and fireworks. On New Year's Eve, more than 1.5 million Australians and foreign party-goers gather in and around the harbor to view the famous fireworks display. Not only is Sydney one of the first major cities to welcome the New Year, it's one of the best places to enjoy summer weather while other cities are stuck in the cold.
Tokyo New Year's Eve is an ideal time to visit Tokyo. Although many of the shops and tourist spots are shut down for the three-day New Year celebrations known as shogatsu, it's a great opportunity for visitors to see another side of Tokyo as the local residents enjoy time off work to gather with friends and family. On New Year's Eve, Tokyo hosts a large variety of celebrations with live entertainment, fireworks, New Year's Toshikoshi Soba, and the ritual Juya No Kane Night Bell, which is rung 108 times in the Buddhist tradition. On January 1st, visitors in Tokyo can also stop by the legendary Imperial Palace and gardens, which is only open to the public two days a year.
Bangkok Like many Asian countries, Thailand celebrates the Thai New Year, the lunar New Year and the western New Year. In the capital city of Bangkok, residents and tourists young and old gather in the city's historic Phra Nakhon waterfront district to celebrate New Year's Eve among the temples, which are lit with a variety of colorful lanterns. Bangkok's New Year's Eve celebrations include fireworks over the Chao Praya River and a showcase of the country's diverse regional cultures with live performances, street dancers, musicians, food and teas.
Times Square Since 1907, New York City has hosted the mother of all New Year's Eve celebrations. Approximately one million enthusiastic partiers gather in Times Square to see the famous ball dropping. The newest incarnation of the Waterford crystal ball contains hundreds of colored lights that complete the themed celebration. In the cold winter weather, attendees will appreciate a cup of hot chocolate and a soft pretzel.
Barcelona Located along the Mediterranean coast, Barcelona is one of the most popular destinations in Europe for celebrating New Year's Eve. During New Year's Eve and the first week of January, the laid-back city transforms itself into a chic mecca for international party goers. Discos, clubs and bars are crammed with young people in the evening before the celebration moves into the street anticipating the countdown to midnight. In the streets, Spaniards celebrate the New Year by eating 12 grapes along with the tolling bells of the clock. The celebration is completed with a toast of Cava, a Spanish version of champagne.
About the Author:
Why hesitate? You should go and celebrate New Years somewhere fun. There's nothing better to start your year as going to Barcelona to kick back and open up a bottle of sparkling wine. If you are planning to travel however, make sure to get travel insurance quotes from Kanetix.