All Tomorrow’s Parties
Celebrate New Year’s Eve around the World
By Max Milano *
New Year’s Eve has many names around the world: from Hogmanay to Kaapse Klopse, but whatever name the locals give to it, we can recognize a great party when we see one. Here are the most happening New Year’s Eve bashes around the world to welcome 2012 the party harty way.
Get ready for tree days of wild celebrations Scottish style. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay hails back the ancient Celtic festival of winter solstice. Join the kilted revelers carrying torches during the Torchlight Procession that opens the festivities. A wild street party with several pop and rock music acts follow, topped by the traditional Loony Dook swim in the River Forth. There can only be one Hogmanay!
Spain and party are practically synonyms and Madrid has to be where Spain parties hardest. Be at Plaza del Sol for New Year’s Eve, most of Madrid congregates there by 11.30 pm, right under the famous Tio Pepe sign. Do as the locals do and bring your own bottle of chilled Spanish cava and twelve grapes. Eat the grapes when the clock chimes twelve, washed down with the Spanish bubbly. Follow the revelers into the nearby Plaza de Santa Ana for bar hopping galore. Finish at dawn with a traditional cup of hot Chocolate and churros. Feliz Año Nuevo!
Hong Kong prides itself to be the best place in China to be on New Year’s Eve. They even have a Times Square shopping mall, modeled after New York, complete with a ball dropping at midnight. Head to the waterfront for Hong Kong’s spectacular New Year’s fireworks display and party the night away in the Lan Kwai Fong district.
Iceland’s capital has more bars per capita than any other city in Europe and the Icelanders sure make good use of them during New Year’s Eve. Star the evening with the local custom of ‘hottubing’ (where you pack into a hottub with all your buddies and a six pack of beer- for a more up market head to the Blue Lagoon, Iceland’s world famous open air spa). As the clock strikes midnight, hundreds of bonfires will light the Nordic sky. Keep warm by cozying up to the fire and sharing shots of Brennivín (Iceland’s national spirit) with the friendly locals.
Rio de Janeiro
New Year’s Eve on Copacabana beach is perhaps one of the most spectacular times to be in Rio. Everyone wears white as they drop small offers into the surf while amazing fireworks explode overhead. If partying with millions of people on Copacabana Beach is not your cup of tea, get a room at the Copacabana Palace or other beachfront hotels to get the VIP treatment.
Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and New Year ’s Eve is right in the middle of the southern summer. Be in Long Street or the Victoria and Albert Waterfront at midnight for bar hopping and fireworks get ready for the biggest bash of the year on Jan 2nd, when the whole town spills out into the streets to celebrate the Kaapse Klopse Carnival.
* Max Milano is the Author of “The Mechanicals of Recoleta”Available at Amazon