Top 5 weird and wacky places to ring in the New Year
New Year parties are great, especially when you’re in the company of friends and family. However, there’s nothing like celebrating new beginnings in the company of thousands of others in a special place to remember for the rest of your life. Make your next New Years’ Eve party one to remember in these five fantastic destinations!
New Year’s around the Globe
1. New Year in Kiribati, Pacific Ocean
In 1995, the government of the small Pacific island nation of Kiribati decided to bring its entire landmass to the western side of the International Date Line, having been separated by the Line prior. This meant extending the Date Line eastward to accommodate Kiribati, which now claims to be the first nation to see the New Year in every year. The small atoll of Kiritimati (Christmas Island) is the closest island to the Date Line with tourist facilities.
2. New Year in Pago Pago, American Samoa
Although not marketed as such, Pago Pago in the small American territory of American Samoa is one of the last towns of significance to sit in the previous year while the rest of the world has moved forward. Despite the independent nation of Samoa lying to the west of American Samoa, the former observes daylight saving time, while the latter does not, placing Pago Pago in the previous year while its western neighbour has moved on! Although not promoted as widely as a tourist destination as Samoa, accommodation in the territory is available.
3. New Year in New York City, New York
Possibly the most famous of all New Year’s Eve hot spots, hundreds of thousands of revellers descend on Times Square at the end (and beginning!) of each year to witness the New Year’s Eve Ball drop down the flagpole of worldwide fame. If you’re planning on a visit to New York to see the new year in, arrive early, as people start to assemble as early as 3pm.
4. New Year in Barcelona, Spain
Although not as well known as other New Years’ destinations such as New York, plenty of festivities make Barcelona a great place to spend December 31. Festivities begin in Barcelona well before the night arrives, with Spanish dancing a popular activity. If you happen to be near a fruit store on the night, pick up a bunch of grapes and participate in the centuries-old tradition of eating one grape after each of the twelve bells toll to mark the beginning of the new year.
5. New Year in Tokyo, Japan
If you are planning on visiting Tokyo during the week that New Year’s Day falls in, don’t expect to be able to visit many of those tourist sites that Tokyo has become well known for, as they will all have closed down! One tourist destination that may be open on 2 January though is the Imperial Palace, which opens for only two days during the year.
A celebration in a foreign city will be something that you will never forget. For many popular New Year’s eve destinations, accommodation fills up fast, so make sure you book early to get to your dream destination!