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5 epic New Year celebrations that you never knew existed

03 December 2019 08:14

Rio de Janeiro sees in the New Year with the help of two million revellers.

Rio de Janeiro sees in the New Year with the help of two million revellers.

Put Auld Lang Syne to one side and discover how they'll be welcoming in 2020 around the world. Here are five of our favourite New Year celebrations...

1. Helsinki, Finland

Fireworks are often the focal point of New Year's Eve celebrations – but the colourful gunpowder takes on extra meaning in Finland's capital. Locals are only permitted to buy fireworks during the week between Christmas and December 31st and they can only be used from 6pm on New Year's Eve and 2am on January 1st. We'll leave it to you to imagine the results in a capital city desperate to let its hair down and let off some Roman candles.

2. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo closes many of its shops and attractions for days to see in the New Year. The red carpet is rolled out from December 29th and partying doesn't stop until January 4th. Excited locals fuel their 24-hour parties by eating buckwheat noodles, said to bring health and happiness in the New Year. Many temples ring bells 108 times to cleanse listeners of the 108 worldly desires and send revellers into the next twelve months as pure as possible.

3. Athens, Greece

It doesn't get much more epic than Ancient Greece. While there isn't any partying at the summit of Mount Olympus with Zeus, (that we know of), there are a few celebrations that we're sure the gods will be smiling down on. A firework show with views of the Acropolis and Parthenon welcome in the New Year unlike any other city in the world. The country has suffered financially and festivities have been fairly muted in recent years, but the light show is back with a bang for 2020.

4. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

There's no doubt that the city synonymous with carnival knows how to throw a party, and that's especially true on December 31st. A staggering two million revellers gather on the 2.5-mile-long Copacabana to see in the New Year in what's practically Brazil's midsummer. Rio locals, or Cariocas, wear white to bring good luck, pop champagne bottles and samba under the fireworks until the early hours.

5. Beirut, Lebanon

Beirut has earned a reputation as a party hotspot throughout the year and since the city elected to host an official party in the streets in 2017/2018, the celebrations are gaining momentum. The recently war-torn country welcomes the New Year with a genuine sense of hope and a promise of peace. As the clock strikes midnight, couples kiss and fireworks light up the sky over a mix of church steeples and mosque minarets. Don't expect festivities to end until well after dawn.

Ending the year elsewhere? Remember to get covered!

Don't forget your travel insurance before the countdown commences. At World First, we provide worldwide travel insurance, so you'll be covered when you jump into January.