Friday, December 30, 2011

Top Spots for New Year's Eve

2011 is behind us. Resolutions are ahead. But on New Year's Eve, it's just time to have fun.  

Champagne, parties and kissing...what's not to love about NYE. At 30-something Travel, we have a goal to spend New Year's Eve in as many different places as possible. So far, that includes North America (New York, Miami, San Francisco, Whistler B.C.), South America (Venezuela), Europe (London, Paris, Stockholm) and Australia (Sydney). Here is a glimpse of some the great places to celebrate the new year.

Sydney, Australia
Sydney is in one of the first time zones to ring in the new year and the Ozzie's take it seriously. Sydney Harbor festivities involve over one million people culminating in the viewing of the famous show that many consider the best fireworks display in the world. There is a 9PM show for kids and the big midnight fireworks at the Sydney Harbor Bridge. If you are heading to Sydney this year, check out our City Guide - Sydney with lots of ideas for your trip. 

New York, USA
The quintessential American tradition - Times Square for NYE. If you aren't there, you'll be able to catch all the action on TV. The streets in Times Square are blocked off in the afternoon as people begin to flood the area to see the famous ball drop. But once inside the barriers, it is near impossible to sneak out for food, drinks or bathroom breaks during the many hours of waiting. So, do it the 30-something way...a room at the W Times Square, dinner at the Blue Fin restaurant (a multi-course seafood and sushi set menu with champagne) all perfectly timed for the doors to open onto Times Square 15-minutes before midnight. Prime viewing, a fun and exciting setting and only a few steps back to the comfort of your room. This is exactly why we save all those Starwood Points!

Tokyo, Japan
The Japanese literally ring in the new year as temple bells are rung 108 times at midnight. Then, on New Year's Day, the post office delivers New Year’s cards, or Nen-ga-jyo, which bear good wishes for the new year to neighbors and friends. Food is a highlight in Japanese New Year’s celebrations, but it doesn’t happen until houses are cleaned. Similar to Spring Cleaning, Osoji is the act of thoroughly cleaning Japanese households. Then it is time to prepare traditional New Year's meals such as Toshi-koshi soba, which literally translates to "Across the Years Noodles". 

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Edinburgh, Scotland
One of the biggest New Year’s Eve parties in the world is in Edinburgh, Scotland. Hogmanay festivities include a torchlight procession and fire festival, with thousands of participants carrying torches through the city streets. The burning of a Viking ship kicks off the festivities, then its days of concerts, live entertainment and finally fireworks creating a spectacular finale to this five-day event. The song “Old Lang Syne”, written by a Scot, Robert Burns, is sung on the stroke of midnight when fireworks are launched from Edinburgh's seven hilltops, lighting up the skies above the massive Edinburgh castle. 

Whatever you do this year, we wish you all the best in 2012. Thanks for being a 30-something Travel reader.

Cheers and Happy New Year!
30-something Travel

P.S. From a live opossum to a 100-pound bologna to a drag queen named Sushi, check out some of the strangest NYE traditional ball drops here - Hillarious! Thanks T&L.

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