With the end of the year fast approaching and Christmas just around the corner, the eagle-eyed amongst us will see that New Year’s Eve isn’t too far away. Here we take a look at some of the NYE hot spots around the world, and who’s celebrating the end of 2015 in style.
New York City, NY
The quintessential experience, NYC is one of the world’s top destinations for NYE. Travellers from around the world make the pilgrimage to Times Square in Manhattan as the New Year’s Eve Ball rises to the top of the One Times Square Building, and drops at the stroke of midnight to ring in 2016.
According to the official Times Square website, the tradition of gathering in this iconic area of the city had its roots back in 1904. It was just three short years later that the inaugral ball drop took place from the flagpole that tops One Times Square. That very first ball was constructed of wood and iron, and adorned with lightbulbs, but now it is made from crystal and visible all year long.
The first ball drops were said to have taken place in England in the 1830s, as a way to signal the time to ships at sea. Now, some billion people are believed to watch as the Times Square ball descends at the arrival of the new year. Such figures are, of course, also perhaps owed to the fact that some of the world’s biggest names in music come to perform here.
If rubbing shoulders with New Yorkers and your fellow tourists isn’t your thing, you can still get a stellar view from one of the restaurants and bars overlooking Time Square.
Another great city of the world, London sure does know how to put on a good New Year’s Eve fiesta. At every turn, someone seems to be putting on a party, and it is no small task to settle on an itinerary for the last evening of the year.
The main attraction, however, is undoubtedly Big Ben striking 12, and the light show and fireworks that follows. Prepare to shuffle in with some 250,000 eager spectators on the banks of the River Thames and the surrounding bridges to see the fireworks set off from barges on the water. You’ll need to get a ticket for £10 (approx imately AU$20) to watch on the ground, however, so quick sticks!
In addition, there are good times to be had at some of the city’s swankiest soirees, such as the Prohibition party taking place in the Bloomsbury Ballroom, or the glitzy affair happening over the at Ritz. Prepare to break out the glad rags and make a toast, or three.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
No one knows how to ring in New Year quite like Rio de Janeiro. Reveillon, one of the world’s most epic NYE celebrations, takes place on the legendary Copacabana Beach, where some 2 million people are expected to congregate for a night of revelry kicking off with live music from 8 p.m. onwards.
You’ll see a sea of people dressed in white, as well as flowers being thrown into the sea for good luck, whilst a vibrant fireworks display goes off at midnight over the water. Don’t be alarmed if you suddenly find yourself doused in champagne – it’s all part of the fun of Rio!
If you aren’t on a budget, the classiest place to be on the big night is at the Copacabana Palace, one of the most prestigious buildings looking out directly over this famed strip of beach.