The last night of the year should also be the biggest. When it comes to wild nights, extravagant celebrations and parties to end all parties, there is nothing quite like New Year’s Eve. Forget the quiet night in front of the telly, the team at Chillisauce have put together five of the biggest New Year’s Eve parties on the planet to ring in 2013 in real style.
Hogmanay, Edinburgh, Scotland
When it comes to New Year’s Eve, the Scots do it better than most. The highlight of the festive season, counting down to the bells is a truly social occasion in Scotland and if you head to the capital city you will be able to soak up the atmosphere like nowhere else. ‘Hogmanay’ has grown into a huge three-day festival with crowds of more than 80,000 people pouring onto the streets of Edinburgh city centre for a modestly-titled street party, complete with live bands, DJs, plenty of outdoor bars and a massive fireworks display. Scots even get an extra day off on January 2 to recover.
Sydney Harbour, Sydney, Australia
For us folks in the northern hemisphere, Australia is one of the first places we can see on television celebrating New Year, and boy do they show us how to do it. An unparalleled fireworks display lights up the city skyline above the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. The sheer scale of it means there are plenty of viewpoints to enjoy the spectacular lights show, with one of the most decadent being Luna Park, a retro theme park opposite the harbour, where the alcohol flows and world class electronic DJs keep the party going. Plus you get free theme park rides all night, just go easy on the rollercoasters after a few glasses of celebratory champagne.
Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany
The demolition of the Berlin Wall was one of the most iconic images of the latter part of the 20th century and since then the city has provided the backdrop for some of the most extravagant New Year’s celebrations anywhere, embodying everything that is good about the one night of the year where everybody seems to just get along. When it comes to nightlife, Berlin is one of the most adventurous in the world and the imposing Brandenburg Gate forms oversees quite a party sprawling a mile along the tree-lined street, the Straße des 17. Stages packed with live entertainment, DJs, food stalls, bars and dance floors are spread out across the route where up to a million party-goers will see in 2013, while Berlin’s infamous collection of secret nightclubs and all-night raves mean there will be plenty of places to carry on the party well into New Year’s Day.
Fiesta de Iemanjá, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
If you want to enjoy a carnival, there is no place like South America. Brazil sets the standard when it comes to al fresco partying and New Year’s Eve is no different. The famous beaches of Rio de Janeiro are the scenes of many of the celebrations and if bikinis and champagne are your kind of thing, then Copacabana is the place to be. It’s a double celebration too, with the date also being Festa de Iemanjá, when Brazilians pay tribute to Iemanjá, the Goddess of the Water, throwing gifts and flowers in miniature boats into the sea.
Gamlarsdagur, Reykjavik, Iceland
The Land of Fire and Ice, as Iceland is known, is surely one of the more spectacular locations where you can party the night away. And those Icelandic folk have certainly learned how to make the most of those long, dark nights with some long, wild parties. Reykjavik is the most northern capital city on the globe and enjoys an almost mythical atmosphere one New Year’s Eve, or Gamlarsdagur as it is called in Icelandic. Families enjoy celebratory meals outdoors and friends and neighbours gather to build huge bonfires – brenna – in different areas around the city before heading downtown to enjoy spectacular fireworks and then dance the night away at the bars and clubs which stay open until the next morning. Plus, it’s said to be the one night of the year when elves move house and cows can talk, so keep your eyes peeled and ears open.