New Year’s celebrations across the globe are raucous occasions for revelers of all sorts. The changing of the calendar year marks a time for reflection, new beginnings and a night to stay up until dawn before any resolutions officially kick in. Let’s be honest – it’s a party holiday. Turkey day and Christmas were for the family and New Year’s Eve is a night to dress fancy, get loose and a little - or completely - wild. Here’s a look at some of the best parties across the globe to satisfy whatever hedonistic or wholesome urges you need to shake loose before 2019 comes calling.
Hong Kong, China
While the Chinese New Year (early February) is an altogether different celebration, Hong Kong still throws quite a party come December 31st. The fireworks display is one of the best in the world with bright lights and explosions accenting the already legendary skyline like a thousand roaring dragons. There is a replica of the Times Square ball drop in – you guessed it – the Times Square Shopping Mall, but the real action is found in Victoria Harbor. Here, you’ll find an array of all night parties and rooftop bars to keep the festivities rolling as long as you can muster.
New York City, USA
It may be a bit cliché, but New York at New Year’s should be on every travelers list. The City that Never Sleeps holds up to its nickname every night of the year but the New Year’s Eve celebration here is special and authentic on a grand scale. Join the hoards in Times Square and you’ll see how contagious and exciting counting down the seconds as that famous crystal ball drops truly can be. Options for any partying preference abound all over the city – from the tradition of Times Square to hip parties in Williamsburg or a boat ride to watch the fireworks ascending from Liberty Island.
Cusco hosts one of the best New Year’s celebrations in South America. This ancient Incan city is full of history and character with old and new world cultures colliding to create a quaint, yet still bustling, low-key metropolis. Hours before midnight the main plaza in the city center begins to fill with thousands upon thousands of merrymakers. Children sell fireworks and beer from buckets and as the crowd swells, 100,000 people circle the plaza 12 times for good luck with explosions illuminating the southern stars. This wild scene somehow remains in the realm of organized chaos and is an exceptional experience. After midnight check out the many discos surrounding the plaza as they all seem to throw epic dance parties that last until brunch on New Year’s Day.
Cape Town, South Africa
New Year’s festivities in Cape Town last for three days making the city a rambunctious location to visit. On December 31st the city throws a large concert and fireworks display on the gorgeous waterfront. If you can find a spot on the iconic Table Mountain, you’ll be sure to catch some of the best views of the celebration. Being summer in the southern hemisphere, thousands of people head to the many beaches surrounding the city on New Year’s day and January 2nd and the city streets fill with over 10,000 performers who make up the annual Cape Town Minstrel Carnival. Song and dance fills every corner of the city for days making it a unique and worthwhile destination for the occasion.
Dubai is known for high-class accommodations and shopping but also is home to a great NYE celebration. A grand fireworks and fountain show lights up the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, as thousands of people gather at the base of this impressive structure to take in the spectacle. Glamourous parties abound throughout the city after the light show and more family friendly options exist at Burj Plaza. Be sure to enjoy some of the world-class dining options the city is becoming known for while you’re there.
Written by Caleb Summeril