Photo Essay: New Year’s Eve Celebrations Around the World

New Year’s Eve customs vary depending on where you are in the world, and each country and city has their own way of celebrating.  There are countless places all over this massive world that would be great to celebrate the New Year.

The following are a collection of photos chronicling New Year’s celebrations, from one of the first to ring in the New Year in Auckland to one of the last in Alaska.

Auckland, New Zealand – GMT +12

The first major city to celebrate New Year’s Eve, New Zealand’s capital has plenty of options for flipping the calendar to 2011.  Make sure to check out the biggest party, Hot in the City, New Year’s Eve at Sky City in downtown.

Sydney, Australia – GMT +10

Sydney is no stranger to New Year’s Eve parties as over a million people flock to the harbor for one of the world’s largest fireworks displays.

Singapore – GMT +8

What better place to celebrate than in one of the most diverse and interesting cities in the world, Singapore.  Marina Bay is the place to be, but make sure you arrive early for a good view.

Taipei, Taiwan – GMT +8

The top Taiwanese singers and performers put on a spectacular show at Citizen Square before the sky explodes at the stroke of midnight.

Kodai, India – GMT +5.5

Maybe massive crowds and fireworks aren’t your thing.  If not, then consider heading off into one of India’s hill stations and watch the first sunrise of the New Year in peace and tranquility.

Vilnius, Lithuania – GMT +2

Lithuania’s capital city offers all types of New Year’s celebrations.  The city has a multitude of gathering places, including Cathedral Square, Vingis and Kalnu Parks, and the banks of the Neris River.

Helsinki, Finland – GMT +2

Though still a large city, Helsinki’s New Year’s celebrations are typically tamer than others around the world.  Despite that, it’s still a gorgeous city to watch the fireworks explode while celebrating in a more low key manner.

Zurich, Switzerland – GMT +1

New Year Magic is the title of Switzerland’s largest party on December 31, with people coming from all over the country to celebrate the coming of a new year on the shores of Lake Zurich.

Alkmaar, Holland – GMT +1

If Amsterdam seems a little too crazy of a place to party for the new year, consider traveling a half hour outside the city to Alkmaar.

Paris, France – GMT +1

Spending New Year’s Eve in one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in the world is bound to be an experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

Funchal, Portugal – GMT +0

The capital city of the Madeira region of Portugal, the setting for a fireworks display couldn’t be much better.  Set in a natural amphitheater shaped valley along the coast, watching from the water or shores is sure to be amazing.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – GMT -3

Beach.  Check.  Music.  Check.  Dancing.  Check.  Great weather.  Check.  Beautiful people.  Check.  Ridiculously huge fireworks display.  Check.   Need I say more?

Valparaiso, Chile – GMT -4

This coastal city an hour outside of Santiago is set right on the coast, with the city sprawling up from there, creating a picture-perfect place to watch the fireworks and celebrate.

Toronto, Canada – GMT -5

For a more family friendly atmosphere, consider heading to Nathan’s Square in Toronto for free live music at this alcohol-free event.

Orlando, Florida, USA  GMT -5

What family wouldn’t want to celebrate the coming of a new year at the Magic Kingdom with Mickey, Goofy, Donald, and the rest of the cast of characters?

Girdwood, Alaska – GMT -8

Those of us in the northern hemisphere think of snow and cold when we think of New Year’s Eve, and what better place to embrace that than in Alaska for a truly unique celebration?

Whether you’re lounging on a beach somewhere, celebrating in your own city with family and friends, or heading out for a night on the town, wherever you spend New Year’s Eve, make it a memorable one.

More New Year’s fun:

Photos by: Stephan MarksLinh_rOm, moonberry, ruie_ke, rAmmoRRison, erephas, taivasalla, Zurich Tourismus, andy.wolf, late night movie, Madeira, luizphilipe, Dave_B, Xiaozhuli, Vovchic, ACVB PR

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