new year celebrations fireworks colorful 2017

New Year Celebrations Around the World

In Life, Travel by Continental StaffLeave a Comment

Well it’s been an…interesting year to say the least. But after all the unpredictability, the one thing you can count on is that people all around the world celebrated the end of 2016, and the New Year, in style (unless you’re Mariah Carey). So without further ado, let’s pack our bags and travel the globe to see how people from all over began 2017.

1. Stonehaven, Scotland

fire black background flames orange

From the town that brought us the artery constricting Deep Fried Mars Bar comes the equally safe practice of marching down the street while waving fire about. This mesmerizing tradition is a part of the Hogmanay celebrations (the Scottish celebration of New Year) though it dates back further to the Vikings. The larger Hogmanay tradition also gave us the singing of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ which has become commonplace in many of the most popular NYE events.

2. Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg south africa city evening tower

Out with the old, in with the new people say. Well down in Joburg they seem to have the first part down at the very least…where it has become local tradition to toss old furniture out the window. There’s something to be said for taking a saying to its full, literal potential. In the end though, I’m sure there’s something cathartic about tossing stuff out a window (bonus points if you’re a couple stories up) so we support this one.

3. Brasstown, North Carolina

possum fence opossum animal cute

While most know the famous Times Square ball drop (more on that later), a small community in North Carolina has come up with a slightly more…unique tradition. At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, a possum inside a glass box is lowered (carefully) from the roof a store, after which it is set free. How did this begin in the first place? Well, we have to admit that we’re not quite sure. In recent years, complaints from various groups have resulted in a live possum no longer being used – though a fake one remains the centerpiece of the Brasstown celebrations.

4. Nearly Everywhere, Planet Earth

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When we began writing this article it became immediately clear that most of the world celebrates the New Year in exactly the same way…loud, colourful explosions high up in the sky. Yes, it’s fireworks that have become synonymous with a new beginning every 365 (or 366) days. Many major cities have their own special way of setting them off. In London the Eye is used as a dramatic backdrop while cities like Edinburgh, Paris, and Toronto, (not to mention your overexcited neighbour’s backyard) all light up the night sky in unique ways. Of course with so much going on, celebrities can’t help but get into the mix either.

5. New York, USA

new york city times square ball drop new years

Other than fireworks aplenty, the Times Square ball drop in New York City is perhaps the most famous New Year’s tradition the world over. While the celebrations play host to numerous competing TV networks (including concerts, interviews, and more), starting at 11:59 PM all eyes are on the ball. After watching it fall for 60 seconds we find ourselves in a new year and can now start safely walking back on the many overzealous resolutions made beforehand.

Of course, there are so many more exciting and unique ways people celebrated the New Year. If you were at one, we’d love to hear about it!

Stay informed. Stay Current.