Getting tired of having the same old plans every New Year? Take a trip to one of our favourite New Year locations and kick off 2014 with a night to remember!
Head to Edinburgh for Hogmanay, a uniquely Scottish celebration filled with history and tradition! A highlight is the amazing Torchlight Procession in which thousands of people carry blazing torches through the city, and the celebrations culminate on New Year’s Eve with a huge street party. A surviving, though rarely-practised, tradition is ‘first-footing’, the belief that the first person to cross a house’s threshold foreshadows the homeowner’s fortune for the coming year. The first-footer thought to bring most luck is a man with dark features, as the first fair-haired visitors to Scotland were Viking invaders.
Spain has a long-established culture of late eating and drinking, and New Year is no different. Many bars and clubs don’t even open until after midnight as in Spain the evening of New Year is traditionally a time for families to have a meal and spend time together. After midnight families disperse and many people, particularly the young, head to clubs for all-night parties, with most hotspots staying open until sunrise. The Spanish have a quirky tradition of eating twelve grapes in the twelve-second countdown to midnight; this is supposed to ensure good luck for the forthcoming year.
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Start the New Year with a party to end all parties on Ko Phangan in Thailand. The island is famous for its wild Full Moon parties, but if anything the New Year revelries are even bigger with over 50,000 people attending. Forget expensive dresses and heels, leave your suits and smart shoes at home; beachwear and flip flops are all you need for this celebration on the tropical beach at Haad Rin. Dance on the sand, watch the fire breathers and jugglers, and if you need a break just stretch out under a palm tree and people-watch until you get a second wind.
Top Tip: Hotels on Ko Phangan fill up fast and often demand a minimum stay of at least 5 nights. Avoid the extra costs and stay on nearby Ko Samui!
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Times Square hosts one of the most famous New Year celebrations in the world, with around a million people attending and countless more watching on television. The party includes musical performances, balloons, pyrotechnic displays and kilos of confetti, but the main attraction is the world-renowned Ball Drop. A 6-foot crystal ball sits on the top of No. 1 Times Square and at 23.59 descends down a huge flagpole, coming to rest on the ground at midnight to rapturous cheers and applause. Crowds begin to gather soon after midday, so wrap up warm and get there early!
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Can’t get enough of New Year festivities? Head to Florida where two time zones meet and ring in 2014 twice! The towns of Port St Joe and Mexico Beach are just 10 minutes apart and shuttle buses ply the route between them, picking up revellers from all the major bars in Port St Joe and dropping them off at Mexico Beach. Start in one of the packed clubs of Port St Joe in the Eastern Time Zone, then after the countdown to midnight head to nearby Mexico Beach in the Central Time Zone for a second New Year party on the sand.
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By Kate Moxon – Online Marketing Assistant at icelolly.com