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New Year's Eve Celebrations Around The World!

Global Immersions - Tuesday, December 18, 2012

As 2012 draws to a close, it is once again that time of year when we look both backwards and forwards.  We remember things good and bad throughout 2012 and always hope for a better year to come.  However, on New Year’s Eve itself, most people around the world are celebrating rather than reminiscing.  Let’s take a look at some of the celebrations around the world on this festive night!


             Fireworks over Sydney Harbor in Sydney, Australia

Fireworks are a major trend globally, as the pyrotechnic displays are a colorful crowd-pleaser!  This is seen in places as diverse as Sydney Harbor in Sydney, Australia; the River Thames in London, England; the Red Square in Moscow, Russia; and on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

Other cities’ traditions are more unique.  For instance, New York City is renowned for its’ glamorous ball, lighted with thousands of sparkling lights, that descends on a pole in the final minute before midnight.  The Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China is illuminated in a spectacular light show.  Last year in Tokyo, a crowd standing in front of the Tokyo Tower released several helium balloons into the night air.  Each balloon was attached with a note of that person’s hopes for the coming year.  In South Korea, a traditional fire ceremony was held last year. 


                                 Balloons Released in Tokyo, Japan

In Scotland, Hogmanay is a word referring to end-of-year celebrations.  One of these celebrations is the Viking Festival that takes place in Edinburgh, with men wearing traditional Viking attire and parading through the streets carrying flaming torches.  Last year, the number 2012 was written with sparklers in the night air of Vienna, Austria.  In a final example, Madrid, Spain is home to the tradition of eating 12 grapes as the clock strikes 12.


           Hogmanay Viking Celebrations in Edinburgh, Scotland

Many New Year’s Eve celebrations are annual traditions in major cities.  With most of these being held outdoors to accommodate large crowds, weather is an important factor, especially as the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing short, dark and cold winter days.  Where there are crowds, one can also expect to deal with both security and added hassles as well.  However, all in all, New Year’s Eve promises to be a festive cultural experience around the world!  If you have any great stories of New Year’s Eve celebrations, please feel free to share with Global Immersions!  Happy New Year!

Sources: BBC; Telegraph

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