Ring in the New Year Around the World: Where to Celebrate in Style!

We had the privilege of celebrating New Year in Mexico from India. When we were traveling full-time, we often planned our trips to places where the most joyful New Years were being celebrated. From Asia to Australia, let’s take a look at how other countries celebrate and what New Year’s Eve traditions you can expect around the world.

Where New Year can be celebrated all over the world

As the year comes to an end, we celebrate our new year in Paris. Paris Ontario That’s it. But there was a time when Dave and I were on the road for the holidays.

Around the world, New Year’s Eve is a time to make a fresh start and wish for peace and good luck for the year ahead. So, it is understandable that people prefer to enjoy the last night of the year in style. So, who does it best?

Edinburgh, Scotland

In Scotland, the term for the last day of the old year is Hogmanay and they love to ring in the new year with full-on festivities. This celebration was taken from the Vikings who celebrated the winter solstice with bonfire ceremonies. Today it turns into a 3 day celebration This year’s biggest celebration is taking place in Inverness.

Scotland doesn’t celebrate with the usual New Year’s events like many countries do with fireworks and gatherings. But Scots also hold bonfire ceremonies and torch-lit processions while giant fireballs swing, making it the best place to ring in the year ahead. Also Read: 22 Best Things to Do in Edinburgh, Scotland

Scotland’s New Year tradition has historically been the ‘first foot’ where the first person after midnight brings good luck to the doorstep. Historically that person was a very important person with the gift of black hair. The first person you meet to ring in the New Year sets the tone for the year ahead.

Auld Lang Sign was written by Scottish poet Robert Burns

It makes sense to start our New Year celebrations in Scotland as one of the New Year’s traditions around the world is the singing of the Auld Lang Syne. Auld Lang Syne was written by the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns and Scots started singing it at Hogmanay. They took it with them as they migrated around the world.

However, the song has a Canadian connection as famous Canadian bandleader Guy Lombardo was the show to see on New Years from 1929 to 1962. His orchestra played the first nationwide New Year’s Eve broadcast from the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. He played Auld Lang Syne that night, and for the next year, it was incorporated into New Year’s celebrations everywhere. Auld Lang Syne means old long ago, long ago and the new year wouldn’t be the same without it.

New York, USA

Even if you’re not in New York City on New Year’s, you know about New York’s iconic ball drop in Times Square. The Times Square celebration is televised around the world as we all watch Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen enjoy the festivities. This year they are not allowed to drink but we will make sure to make a champagne toast to keep the tradition alive. Also Read: Things to Do in Times Square – A Walking Tour and Nearby Attractions

At the stroke of midnight, the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square has become the world’s most famous New Year’s event. One counts down from 10 while singing Auld Lang Syne as the giant crystal ball descends from the flagpole in Times Square, while couples kiss and toast with some bubbly. Check out: 41 Cool Things to Do in New York City

Sydney, Australia

For an unforgettable New Year experience, visit Sydney, Australia for the Sydney Harbor fireworks display. The fireworks display is organized by the City of Sydney and consists of two sets of fireworks – one at 9:00pm and one at midnight. Fireworks can be seen from various locations around the city, including the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbor Bridge and various parks and vantage points around the harbour.

Since Sydney has a warm climate, many outdoor activities and events take place on New Year’s Eve. These can include beach parties, picnics and outdoor concerts. Check out more fun facts about Australia

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Ring in the New Year in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro has some of the most famous beaches in Brazil, and it’s common to celebrate the New Year with a beach party. These parties often include live music, dancing and fireworks displays. Rio’s most famous beach party is Reveillon na Praia, (New Year’s Eve on the Beach) which takes place on Copacabana Beach and is attended by thousands of people.

In Brazil, it is common to have a special New Year’s dinner, known as Ceia de Ano Novo, which consists of a variety of traditional dishes. These foods may include roasted beef or pork, black-eyed peas, and lentils, which are believed to bring good luck and prosperity in the new year.

Another Brazilian New Year tradition is to dress in white and then when the clock strikes midnight, they jump seven waves and say seven wishes with each wave. Seven is a lucky number so in addition to jumping on seven waves, they also eat seven pomegranate seeds. You may also like: Top 18 Best Things to Do in Rio de Janeiro

Tokyo, Japan

New Year’s Eve, also known as Omisoka in Japan, is a major holiday in Japan and is traditionally a time for families to get together and celebrate the end of the year. Toyo is already an exciting city and in Japan, Tokyo And Tokyo Disneyland is the place to be.

In Japan, it is common for people to visit temples and participate in religious ceremonies. In these temples, people pray for good luck and prosperity in the coming year. Some of the famous temples to visit in Tokyo include Meiji Temple and Asakusa Temple. Also Read: Mind Touching Facts About Japan

Like many countries, the Japanese welcome the New Year with a major house cleaning. The same is the case with commercial establishments. Merchants take this opportunity to clear old inventory by offering Fukubukuro Or lucky bags filled with lucky charms. Read more about Japanese New Year Traditions 7 Unique Japanese New Year Traditions

Toronto, Canada

It’s said that Canadian tradition is to go ice fishing to celebrate New Year’s Eve, but I seriously don’t know anyone who does that for New Year’s. Don’t get me wrong, people go ice fishing in Canada, but on New Year’s Eve, I know Canadians Want to celebrate the coming year with warmth or festivity at one of the many parties across the country. Check out: 22 Adventurous and Fun Things to Do in Canada in Winter

Usually, we attend house parties (so no drinking and driving) but cities like Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Halifax have full celebrations. Many people brave the cold to watch outdoor concerts in the city’s main square. With fireworks and countdown to midnight. We followed the typical New Year’s tradition of popping the cork and sipping champagne and singing the Auld Lang Syne for a midnight kiss.

On New Year’s Day, one of Canada’s best New Year’s traditions is that many people take on the polar plunge challenge. Yes, a bunch of people in funny costumes jump into freezing water in the name of charity and have bragging rights for years to come.

London, United Kingdom

One of London’s most famous New Year’s Eve traditions is the London New Year’s Eve fireworks display. The firework display is organized by the Mayor of London and takes place on the banks of the River Thames, with fireworks being launched from the London Eye and other locations along the river. Big Ben chimes in the New Year as people hold hands and sing Auld Lang Syne.

Fireworks can be seen from various locations around the city, including the South Bank, Westminster Bridge and Victoria Embankment. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, head to one of the city’s many pubs for a traditional New Year’s Eve celebration. Read more about London Travel: 38 Best Things to Do in London, England

Hong Kong

Hong Kong celebrates Chinese New Year between January 21 and February 20, depending on the year, but the city certainly celebrates the common New Year’s Eve of December 31. No skyline can compare to that of Hong Kong and the light show takes over. Groove into New Year’s Eve with a fireworks display in Victoria Harbour.

The countdown clock is displayed in the convention center directly on the harbor as famous artists perform from traditional drums to pop musicians. See more of Hong Kong at Things to do in Hong Kong – The Complete Travel Guide to Hong Kong

Cape Town, South Africa

There’s nowhere as beautiful as the V&A waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa, and one of the best ways to celebrate is aboard a party boat to ring in the New Year. The Harbourfront has a waterfront rooftop bar and waterfront promenade to watch the fireworks.

In some parts of South Africa they throw old furniture out the window. It’s not that popular anymore because it’s too dangerous, but if you’re in South Africa at New Year’s, be sure to watch as you walk past any tall buildings!

Unique New Year traditions around the world

Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens are popular for New Years


Ireland has interesting New Year’s traditions that range from breaking bread to ridding their houses of evil spirits to polishing floors and washing windows. Like Scotland, they embrace the first foot and when you visit a house, it is said to bring good luck if you enter through the front door and out the back.


In Italy, it is a New Year tradition to eat 12 grapes at midnight to bring good luck. The 12 grapes represent the 12 months of the year. Italians also traditionally wear red underwear to ward off bad luck.


We started with Scotland starting its New Year’s celebration by embracing the Viking celebration of the winter solstice, so we must end with the unique tradition of breaking plates. Like many other countries, the Danes love to party and they celebrate with fireworks, champagne and dining at places like Tivoli Gardens. But one of the Scandinavian New Year’s traditions is to smash the plate on your neighbor’s door. If you wake up to a door full of broken plates, this is a good sign for the coming year.

New Year’s Resolutions

Like almost everywhere else in the world, Canadians like to make New Year’s resolutions. Once we say goodbye to the past year, we plan and look ahead to the year ahead. Even if people say they don’t make resolutions, they usually at least think about it. With all the Peloton and Noom commercials on TV at the moment, this is clearly on the minds of many

One might think this is a new tradition, but New Year’s resolutions date back to ancient times. It is believed that the ancient Babylonians made the first new year promise about 4000 years ago. Their big decision was to return borrowed farm equipment and pay off debts.

Although traditions and values ​​have changed somewhat over the past few thousand years, we all see the New Year as an opportunity to make changes in the coming year to enjoy good health and prosperity.

So, there you have it, whether you’re the first country to celebrate the New Year (that would be Kiribati in the South Pacific) or the last, which is American Samoa, we hope you have a year full of joy, love and laughter.

Where is your favorite place to ring in the New Year? Most cities and countries have great celebrations, enlighten us and tell us about your New Year traditions and celebrations so we can add to this list!

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