As the clock ticks down to midnight each year, millions of eyes from all over the world are focused on the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball. Crowds gather waiting for the glittering ball to descend and launch the New Year. At 11:59 p.m., the Ball begins it descent as millions of voices unite to countdown the final seconds of the year. It is an iconic passage of time from one year to the next. We celebrate the beginning of the new year full of hopes, challenges, changes, and dreams.
It does not have to be New York though. Around the world, locals celebrate the passing of one year to the next in similar ways: Parties, dancing, fireworks, food, and drinks. Whether you would like to send paper lanterns up into the night sky, cozy up by the fire with fine wine, or sing “Auld Lang Syne” down a torchlight cobblestoned street, there is a destination for New Year’s Eve that is right for you.
Here are a few New Year’s Eve destinations that you may want to check out one of these years:
Valparaiso, chile – It is the biggest beach party in Latin America. The festivities begin on December 28th and by the 31st, more than a million people gather on the beach for a dance party that lasts until the sun comes up. To ensure good luck for the coming year, the locals wear yellow underwear, eat a dozen grapes at midnight and put a $1,000-peso bill in their shoe.
Reykjavik, Iceland -This party starts with community bonfires, meant to symbolize the burning away of the previous year’s troubles. There are thousands of fireworks on almost every corner lighting up the night sky. If you make it to 5 a.m., the locals eat hangover-helping hot dogs or head to the hot springs for a rehydrating soak.
The Napa and Sonoma Valleys – Many larger hotels and wineries offer their own wine-fueled parties in cellars and wine caves. You can enjoy the Black and White Gala at Etoile at Domaine Chandon, a candlelit multicourse dinner in the Trinitas Cellars wine cave at the Meritage Resort or a five-course dinner and masquerade ball in the Grand Barrel Room at Castello di Amorosa winery. You can also enjoy a train ride as the Napa Valley Wine Train hosts a Blackjack Ball in its restored Pullman cars as they make their way up and down the valley.
Edinburgh, Scotland – The celebration lasts four days and includes a torchlight parade through the city, concerts, and a massive street party on Princes Street. “Auld Lang Syne” was written by Scotsman Robert Burns, and the song takes on special significance when sung in the streets of Edinburgh as glowing torch lights illuminate the happy crowd.
Las Vegas – Sin City throws the ultimate party on New Year’s Eve with a mind-boggling number of concerts, shows, club parties, and casino bashes, including the Downtown Countdown held at the Fremont Street Experience. Fireworks go off from seven rooftops along the strip, so you’re guaranteed a view from nearly any angle.
Going to a huge party like one of these is always fun, but it is also nice to spend a quiet evening with a few close friends bringing in the new year. Be sure to bring your champagne and attach a Penless Wine Tag. Everyone at the party will have fun scanning the QR code.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!