5 cities to see in the New Year before you die

New Year in Sydney.

NEW year, new opportunities, new plans…and (whether you actually keep them or not) new resolutions.

The methods of celebrating may vary across the globe , but for the most part and for most people, New Year is the largest party of the year.

The following five cities should be added to any traveler’s “bucket list” as destinations to see in the New Year at least once.

From basking in the summer sun with Australians and South Americans to winter in the United State’s greatest city or the French and Japanese capitals these cities traverse five continents and two seasons.

1. Sydney, Australia

Thanks to the International Date Line, Sydney is the first major world city to greet the New Year.

The Australian ability to party can be likened to the size of their country – that’s big. And the New Year celebrations that take place in Sydney Harbour are spectacular in size and spectacle.

Fireworks explode from Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge, as the locals watch from vantage points onshore and on the water, barbecue food and sip drinks in the balmy summer heat.

The light from the pyrotechnics reflect off the water, glossy skyscrapers and the famous Opera House providing the perfect backdrop.

Sydney hotels.

2. New York, United States

This is a tradition that has been repeated for more than a century and if you want a good place to see the action then it is best to get there early.

After all you will be celebrating with up to one million other people all packed into the heart of Manhattan’s Times Square to watch the giant ball drop as the countdown to another year begins.

Drinking is not permitted in the street, but the party atmosphere more than makes up for any lack of alcohol and remember, New York is known as the “city that never sleeps” so you have plenty of options to continue the partying after the crowds start to thin.

New York hotels.

3. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio is known as one of the world’s party capitals and like Sydney, New Year in this city falls in the midst of summer and is likely to be celebrated with a party in bikinis and swimsuits on the famous Copacabana Beach.

Here at the water’s edge the party lasts all night and you’ll be dancing up a storm with the world’s best dancers as a massive fireworks display erupts from 11 barges.

It’s also worth remembering Rio readying for two major events as it will host both the Football World Cup and the Olympic games in 2014 and 2016 respectively, so this is a city keen to practice throwing a party.

Rio de Janeiro hotels.

4. Tokyo, Japan

The New Year in the Japanese capital, then brace yourself for a week of partying.

Imbibing in traditional sake could take a heavy toll when you consider the celebrations typically begin on December 29 and finally wind up on January 4. Alongside the drinking, fireworks, music and dancing comes the eating of Toshikoshi Soba (New Year noodles, which are long to symbolize health and longevity).

The air rings with night-watch bells which will chime exactly 108 times (In Buddhism each ring represents one of 108 earthly temptations a person must overcome to achieve nirvana) at temples throughout the city.

Tokyo hotels.

5. Paris, France

Finally what could be more perfect than heralding the New Year with your nearest and dearest in the most romantic city in the world.

Sip French champagne at the street celebrations on Champs Elysees which are punctuated by the Eiffel Tower exploding into a sparkling dance of light at the stroke of midnight. While Montmartre also hosts large seemingly endless displays of pyrotechnics.

Paris, like the rest of France, celebrates New Year, or “St Sylvestre” from January 1 to February 1. The French start wishing each other cheerful Bonne Annees and exchanging bises (kisses on each cheek) from midnight on  January 1, but best wishes are exchanged for the rest of the month.

Paris hotels.

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