In just a few days, we’ll all gather with our friends and family to say goodbye to 2014 and cheers to do it bigger and better in 2015! While you’re planning out how you’re going to bring in the new year, check out the cities throwing the most impressive last hurrahs!
Rio de Janeiro
Every year, Rio’s Copacabana Beach hosts over 2 million cariocas (Rio natives) who crowd along its shores to view the light shows of Reveillon, the world’s largest and wildest New Year’s celebration. In addition to welcoming in the new year, Brazilians blend African rituals and local culture by wearing snow white attire and paying homage to lemanja, the goddess of the sea., as part of their New Year’s celebration.
As the first city (time-wise) to celebrate the new year, Sydney, Australia is known to have the second largest New Year’s celebration in the world! Sydney also boasts itself as home to the world’s largest fireworks display with six barges along a 3 1/2-mile expanse of water, and the use of 30,000 pyrotechnic effects. A crowd exceeding almost 1 million people along the Sydney Harbor Bridge and in illuminated boats in the Sydney Harbor, come out to see this spectacular 12-minute show.
If you’re in London for New Year’s Eve, there’s no better spot to watch the fireworks than along the Thames River. A gigantic Ferris wheel widely known as the towering London Eye draws thousands of visitors for a spin, while the midnight fireworks show is launched from the actual London Eye. The celebration continues on New Year’s Day where partiers partake in the magnificent New Year’s Day parade.
Many of Orlando’s theme parks come together to throw a magnificent New Year’s celebration for children and adults alike. Disney‘s Magical Kingdom hosts the Jingle Jungle Parade, while Epcot puts on an impressive light and laser show, ‘IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,’ right before the stroke of midnight. MGM Studios’ Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights puts on a “symphony of the senses,” as artificial snow falls along twinkling lights amidst a backdrop of heavenly angels and spinning carousels.
Crowds comprised of Scots and visitors from afar flood the streets of downtown Edinburg for their annual Hogmanay, or “last day of the year,” celebration. While tourists populate Princes Street, locals who know their way around Edinburg slip on up to Carlton Hill, downtown Edinburgh’s highest point, to watch the firework show.
Dating back to 1904, New Yorkers and visitors have been filling up Times Square for a New Year’s Eve celebration unlike any other. These days, attendees stand outside all day until right before midnight to see the famed New Year’s Eve Ball that’s hoisted at the top of One Times Square’s 77-foot flagpole, make its 60-second drop just before the stroke of midnight.
While many cities only take a day or two to celebrate the coming of the new year, Parisians celebrate for an entire month! Up until the first of February, Paris locals exchange kisses, gifts and cards while greeting one another with “Bonne Annee!,” meaning “Happy New Year!” On New Year’s Eve, Paris‘ epicenter is the thriving Champs-Elysees, where visitors can glimpse the Eiffel Tower, as well as the bursts of light it emits, as midnight creeps over France.