Unique Locations to Celebrate New Year’s Day (& What Not to Forget when you Go)
New Year’s Day is one of those celebrations you can enjoy the world over. No matter where you head you will see people ringing in the new year, celebrating the last 12 months and getting ready for the next 12 ahead of them. While there are many things in common with how people do this – fireworks, TV shows and a sense of community, there are a few places who know how to celebrate New Year like no other. If you’re looking to celebrate New Year’s Day like you’ve never celebrated before, here are five unique locations to put on your bucket list.
Homigot, South Korea, for the most Scenic Celebration Ever
If you’re looking for a uniquely scenic and relatively quiet way to celebrate the new year, you want to head to Homigot in the east of South Korea. The beach here is known for its giant metal hand which reaches out of the sea – the locals here traditionally enjoy New Year’s Day by watching the first rays of light shine through the fingers of the hand early on the morning of January 1st every year. This is usually done with a bowl of tteokguk (a fragrant soup) in hand.
Tashkent, Uzbekistan, for the most Excessive Celebration Ever
If you’re looking for something a little more decadent, try Tashkent in Uzbekistan. There is a massive party in the city’s Independence Square beside their ginormous Christmas tree every year which the locals take part in every New Year’s. Christmas is quite a big part of the New Year’s celebrations, in fact, with people dressing up as Santa (or his sidekick, the snow princess,) while eating, drinking and partying late into the night and throughout the 1st of January. If you have a Santa costume you want to get one last wear out of before hanging it up for 11 months, this is the perfect opportunity.
Madeira, Portugal, for the most Hardcore New Year’s Party Ever
This Portuguese island is known for its beach parties and its excellent wine. As you would expect at New Year’s, the island takes these beach parties and wine and turns them up to 11. With oceanfront fireworks, massive street parties, and locals who thrive on the island’s party culture all coming out to play, the celebrations in Madeira are pretty hardcore. Make sure you pack some painkillers, handover remedies and an EHIC should your revelries end in an unfortunate accident.
Madrid, for the Fruitiest New Year’s Celebration Ever
Madrid has a unique New Year’s celebration in the form of seedless grapes. The city has evolved a curious tradition over the years in that the locals eat 12 grapes as the clock chimes midnight. If you’re wondering how you’re going to get exactly 12 grapes, many supermarkets in the area sell grapes by the dozen to make life easy. If you’re looking to take the party to the streets, Puerta del Sol will be full of thousands of people celebrating the New Year, and the more the merrier, as they say. Just be aware that New Year’s parties at the local bars and clubs are going to cost you, so make sure you have plenty of Euros to hand before you set out.
The Isle of Man, for the Ballsiest Celebration Ever
If you’re looking for something that will really make your eyes bulge this New Year’s, try the Isle of Man. The local custom here is to strip down to your bathing suit and run into the frigid 9°C waters of the Irish Sea. As if that wasn’t enough to make your skin crawl, they don’t just do this once – they do if four times, taking a shot of rum each time they get back to the beach before turning, charging and doing it all again. Just to make this celebration even ballsier, the locals don’t just do this for the sheer fun of it – they do it to raise money for charity. Of course you don’t have to take part, but nobody wants to be the one who refuses to do things for charity, do they? Make sure you bring a towel, some thermals and a big flask of coffee for when you’re done cooling off.