Editorial

5 Ideas to Make
Your New Year’s Eve Unique

5 Ideas to MakeYour New Year’s Eve Unique

From the quiet dawn on Mount Takao in Japan to the huge firework displays in Valparaiso, Chile, here’s a bunch of unique destinations around the world where you can say goodbye to 2017.

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elebrating the end of the old year and the beginning of the new one is not just a cliché. It is actually a proper ritual, and one that the whole humankind has been practicing for thousands of years, at least since 2000 BC when the concept of honoring the new year was born in Mesopotamia. So if every year come December you start to be nostalgic towards the ending year, overwhelmed by the thought of new beginnings and resolutions and excited by the idea of celebrating, don’t feel bad: it’s only human. Speaking of which, here are a few ideas for having a blast on New Year’s Eve.

Be the first to see the new day in Auckland, New Zealand

Like every year, New Zealand’s largest city will be among the very first places in the world to see the dawn of the new year. The main New Year’s Eve event in Auckland is undoubtedly the Sky Tower firework display, a pyrotechnic display followed by a laser animation show and countdown which can be enjoyed at best from Mount Eden, One Tree Hill or Devonport, one of the coolest neighborhoods in the city where you’ll be spoilt for choice in terms of bars and restaurants.

Auckland, New Zealand

Enjoy a quiet awakening on Mount Takao, Japan

The Japanese are so into the New Year’s celebrations that they have even give a name to the first dawn of the year – Hatsuhinode. If you wish to enjoy a silent, spiritual moment to salute the new year, we suggest that you head out of the capital to Mount Takao, standing 599m tall in the Greater Tokyo Area. Since the Meiji Period, Mount Takao, today a renowned hiking destination, has been preserved as the sacred grounds of Yakuō Temple and the Imperial Crown Forest. Plus, the view on the iconic Mount Fuji is simply stunning from here.

Takao, Japan

Wait for the dawn at Homigot Sunrise Festival, South Korea

Jutting out into the East Sea, Homigot is located to the east of urban Pohang in Daebo-myeon, at the easternmost end of the Korean peninsula. Homigot is the setting of the earliest sunrise in Korea since 1999, which is why if annually hosts the Homigot Sunrise Festival. The Festival is held on Sunrise Plaza and in front of a huge bronze sculpture called Sangsaeng’s Hand, shaped like a pair of hands, one on the land and the other one on the sea. The word sangsaeng means “coexistence”, and the sculpture itself was built to give the message that all people should live together and help one another - hence the symbology. The festival includes local cultural performances, a New Year celebratory event, a firework display, a sunrise concert and other performances. 10,000 lucky visitors may sample free tteokguk, a traditional New Year’s Day dish of soup (guk) with thinly sliced rice cakes (tteok).
Sunrise Festival, South Korea

Party hard in Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, on the southern tip of the African continent, dominated by the imposing Table Mountain and overlooking the Ocean, is undoubtedly a unique and cosmopolitan city whose charm is hard to resist. In addition to being beautiful, Cape Town also has a very special flair: not entirely African and at the same time not entirely European, it is a city not without contradictions, problems and social inequalities, yet, compared to the rest of South Africa, it definitely appears safer, more open, and more relaxed. Of course, there are tons of parties around town, yet if you’re a newcomer and wish to find everything you need for a proper NYE celebration, look no further than the Waterfront area, where you’ll find live music, restaurants, discos, fireworks, parties and also a bunch of fantastic hotels to crash after a long, wild night.

Admire the best fireworks in Valparaiso, Chile

Valparaiso is definitely a must-see. The fact that so many artists have always been attracted to this beautifully unusual Chilean city should not be surprising. Colorful, messy and incredibly photogenic, Chile’s cultural capital is spread across a hilly area and dotted with narrow alleys, steep stairways, graffiti, and ramshackle houses. Its NYE firework display is the largest in South America: shot from 10 different places, these spectacular fireworks explode over the harbor at midnight and they always attract huge crowds, with people early to get the best viewing spots. 

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