November 24, 2009
From Jakarta, the first place, to Whistler, the last, we follow the sun as it rises on 2010
Whether it is marveling at the huge crowds on Rio's Copacabana beach or enjoying a romantic dinner down an Athens side street, New Year always offers the chance to let the hair down and welcome in the New Year. However, it does often come with a price, especially in the more popular destinations. Thanks to Hostelworld.com however, those looking for something extra special can do so at the fraction of the price of a hotel stay. Follow us as we look at the best New Year celebrations around the world.
The first major city to welcome in 2010 and the capital of over 17,500 islands and 237 million people, Jakarta has a very diverse way of celebrating the New Year. From watching the local Fire Dancers at the Red Square to watching the world famous fireworks at Monumen Nassional, the national monument, there are a variety of ways to welcome in the year. For the party goers out there, Vertigo club is situated halfway up a skyscraper giving entrants 360 degree views of the city while they dance the night away. For an authentic local experience, join the locals and celebrate the New Year by enjoying the festivities in the city's many hotels, bars and restaurants.
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To see in 2010, many residents and visitors to Auckland head to the popular Viaduct Basin, a central area rich with restaurants and bars. As it is also ideally placed to view the fireworks which are set off the harbour bridge at midnight, it does get crowded. For something a little more glamorous, some visit SKYCITY, an entertainment complex situated at the foot of New Zealand's tallest man-made structure, the Sky Tower, which organizes an impressive line-up of Vegas-style entertainment, comprising supper, dancing and cabaret acts.
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While its more illustrious rival hogs most of the limelight come New Year's Eve, Melbourne boasts everything Sydney does including the crowds, fireworks and party atmosphere but at a fraction of the price. "Sensation" in Etihad Stadium will be host to 40,000 revelers, all dressed in white with circus performers, fireworks, lightshows and some of the world's best DJs making it the premier place to be. For a slightly more laid back evening, head to the Lakeside Summer Party, situated on the lake's edge in Albert Park. This offers a more fun, friendly and festival like atmosphere. The outdoor terraces give great views of the spectacular city skyline and a remarkable chance to view the city's three main fireworks displays, whilst the open bars and top international DJ's keep guests boogying until the early hours.
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The New Year in Japan is known as Shogatsu or Oshogatsu and it is an experience unlike any other. This time of year is seen as an occasion of reflection and starting afresh and in keeping with this, one of the most popular activities on both New Years Eve and New Years Day is to visit one of Tokyo's Temples to receive a blessing for happiness and prosperity for the coming year. The biggest temples often attract visits from over a million people each. One of the most popular of these is at Zojoji Temple at the foot of Tokyo Tower. Worshippers write down their wishes for the New Year and attach them to environmentally friendly balloons. When the clock strikes midnight around 3,000 of these balloons are released ensuring a most spectacular sight. For those wanting a more modern experience, Countdown Japan Rock Festival or Intex Osaka are both fantastic live concerts guaranteed to make the new year go with a bang.
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Red Square in Moscow's centre is one of the most popular meeting points for revellers of all ages and the place to be for New Year. 'Noivy God', as New Year's Eve is known in Russian, is a popular celebration where huge crowds gather to hear the bells of the Kremlin strike at midnight. Some people dress up for the occasion, donning costumes from Russian folklore such as 'Grandfather Frost' or the 'Snow Maiden'.
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Athens is a great place to enjoy the New Year on a budget with a number of fantastic concerts available to attend for free. The most famous of these takes place in the most famous of Athens Squares - Syntagma Square, where traditionally a number of major international artists entertain the crowd until the small hours. The party is topped off by a huge fireworks display at Midnight but wherever they are in Athens, visitors are sure to be entertained by at least one fireworks display which take place throughout the city with additional fireworks lighting up the city from Lycabettus Hill.
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New Year's Eve in Rome takes place all over the city's squares, although Piazza del Popolo is where celebrations are biggest and best with fireworks, rock and classical music concerts lasting well into the night. For those who aren't sleeping off the excesses of the night before, on New Year's Day, tens of thousands of spectators march to St. Peter's Square, alongside military, civic and school marching bands, to celebrate and receive the Pope's New Year's Day blessing. The Rome News Years parade and the Popes Worldwide Day of peace is a focal point of Rome's holiday season celebrating life, cultural diversity and international good-will.
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Edinburgh's New Year celebration, Hogmanay, is one of the most famous in the world and is held over four days of events, celebrations, music, dance and street theatre. It takes place mainly along the length of Princes Street, with the best known concert at Edinburgh Castle. Those who prefer to avoid the cold and celebrate indoors can attend The Hoog, an Edinburgh Hogmanay party, with a reputedly excellent ceilidh, held in the evening at Edinburgh's Assembly Rooms and Queens Halls. Whatever way the New Year is welcomed in, be sure to have a hearty sing of Robert Burns' "For Auld Lang Syne" at midnight.
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Join in the incredible spectacle at one of Rio's most important celebrations as every New Year, around 2.5 million people gather at Copacabana Beach, which is lit with thousands of candles for the Reveillon. The crowd, all dressed in white, party all night at the hundreds of different shows and events along the beach, including a spectacular 20 minute firework display. This truly is a party like no others and one that everyone should experience at least once in their life!
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The 'City That Never Sleeps' is one of the best places to welcome in 2010 and New Years in New York is synonymous with Times Square! Its celebration involves a large sphere dropping into the square to celebrate the change of calendars, coupled with star-studded musical performances, balloons, confetti, fireworks and around a million attendees. If the crowds at Times Square are too much many people head to Central Park, where celebrations include the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run; a four-mile race through the park, a costume contest and dancing at the Central Park bandshell. The celebrations culminate in a fantastic firework display to rival the Times Square extravaganza.
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The biggest party in New Orleans can be found in Jackson Square - the French Quarter allows people to drink in the street, ensuring it is always full of festive partygoers. And instead of the ball drop seen in New York's celebrations, "Baby Bacchus" drops from its perch on the top of Jax Brewery followed by a magnificent fireworks show over the Mississippi. Revellers then head to Bourbon Street, where there is no official time for the bars to close,to party until the early morning to the sounds of the live bands up and down the street.
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Whistler (British Columbia), Canada
One of the last but by no means the least! Revellers flock to Whistler to welcome in the New Year in guaranteed snow, with street performers, fire-dancers, comedians, live music, lantern making, face painting and more in the bustling centre of town. After dark, Whistler's reputation as one of the wildest ski resorts comes into play, with adults heading to the Village where bars and clubs come alive and guests party until they drop! For bargain beds in Whistler, check out our Hostels in Whistler
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