6 Underrated Spots To Welcome In The New Year
The time draws closer for the inevitable change that is the new year. A wonderful time for some as they look back on their achievements. A fresh beginning for others who are hopeful for a better year.
The occasion is celebrated with festivities the world over, with some of the best places to welcome 2016 being New York, Rio De Janeiro and Sydney, among others. Read more about it here.
There are however, other places that are just as exciting and festive to celebrate the coming of the new year. These are those underrated spots to check out, if you're looking for something different.
1. Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburg isn't exactly an underrated spot, but it wasn't on the previous list, so we decided to add it in this one.
The city is so alive during the festivities of welcoming in the new year! They call the celebrations Hogmanay, which is the Scots word for the last day of the year. The festivities feature 3 days of events that include live bands, street parties and drinking (of course).
There are also some customs associate with the celebration. One such custom is called first-footing, which starts immediately after midnight and involves being the first person to cross the threshold of a friend or neighbor's house and often accompanied by giving a symbolic gift for good luck.
Other events of this huge celebration includes a torchlight procession, which is the opening event of Hogmanay where people carry torches to illuminate the city. As well as an event called the final fling, where there is music and dancing.
This one is definitely for those who enjoy a good party.
2. Cape Town, South Africa
Beautiful fireworks display light up the sky from the waterfront of the city as many watch from Table Top mountain and the beach. The party doesn't stop at Cape Town until the second day of the new year.
The festivities here will seem like a moving party, with parades and street festivals that fill the city with joyous celebrations. Join in the festivities and make sure you decide where you would like to have the final moments of the year and first moments of the new year.
Parties like Rezonance Festival at Contermanskloof Farm, Cape Town starts from December 30, 2015 and ends on January 2, 2016 and tickets cost R630 ($41 USD). The party consists of 4 music arenas, magical décor and plenty of food options as well as a flea market.
Kirstenbosch New Year's Eve concert is another option at R330 ($22 USD) per person, the concert is held at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and features well known performers. This year (2015) features Grassy Spark (rock, funk and reggae) and Jeremy Loops (folk rock). It is a picnic style concert so be sure to bring what you need.
3. Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland is beautiful! The landscapes are majestic and magical, and if you're lucky you would get to see the magic of nature that is aurora borealis or commonly referred to as the Northern Lights.
So, what is the New Year's celebration like in Iceland?
In Reykjavik, Iceland's coastal capital and the most northern capital city in the world, the locals will put on their own fireworks display. We can only imagine how cozy a new year's celebration is here.
It would definitely be very different from the normal parties and festivities as this low key city will do things in their own way. They start their new year's celebrations with a family dinner, followed by a local bonfire (brenna) – where they meet up with friends and neighbors. By the later hours of the night, the streets go quiet, as most of the residences gather around their TVs for the local new year's comedy show. By 11.35 however, the fireworks begin.
If you are looking for something a little lower key and different, this is the place to be for NYE (New Year's Eve)
4. Madeira, Portugal
This beautiful island won a Guinness world record for the largest fireworks show in the world in 2006/07. Thousands of locals and tourists gather together to watch the amazing display every year.
Madeira is also known for their wine, so you can be sure to find plenty of good wine to drink. The wine varieties include Sercial, Verdelho, Bual (also called Boal) and Malvasia (also known as Malmsey or Malvazia), among others.
The whole island will be in party mode, so explore to find the right one for you! Not forgetting to catch the huge display come midnight.
5. Ocean City, New Jersey
The world famous boardwalks of the jersey shore plays host to a NYE celebration for thousands of tourists and locals alike. There is also the 8miles of beautiful sandy beach and endless entertainment for everyone.
This spot is great for families during the NYE celebrations, as the event is a popular non-alcoholic celebration. Called the First Night and First Day events, it features ice skating, magicians, jugglers and comedians. There will also be live music performances on the boardwalk.
The festivities continue on the first day of the year with a 5-kilimeter run, the first plunge on the beach and a shopping extravaganza, throughout the day.
6. Naples, Florida
Image: Waterside Shops Naples
Naples is definitely an underrated city, they have great shopping and dining at the Waterside Shops area, great beaches and beautiful architecture. If you want to watch the fireworks from the beach, bring a chair and grab a spot on Naples beach, Lowdermilk Park offers some of the best views for the event.
You can also take a New Year's cruise on Naples Princess Holiday Cruises, and welcome the new year in style. They have several cruises on NYE that feature a gala celebration, an open bar, plated dinner, live entertainment, dancing and a champagne toast at midnight! This would definitely make the moment of the year!