New Year Celebrations Around the World
by Elliot Thorpe
Jules Verne’s cosmopolitan extraordinaire, Phileas Fogg, went around the world in 79 days but we’re going to do it in a mere 26 hours–except we’ll be following midnight itself, specifically that one midnight every year when the whole world (more or less) celebrates the beginning of the New Year together.
We start our journey on Christmas Island, so named because it was discovered on Christmas Day, 1643, and it’s the first part of the world to see the turn of the year. The island’s 2000 residents are a multicultural society and, as such, no specific celebrations are had. While this may appear to give a slow start to our 26 hour party, the island itself is testament to so many cultures becoming unified.
Head to New Zealand where you’ll find their outdoor festivals are a must. Wellington, the first capital city to see the New Year, has family-friendly festivals and, in true artsy city style, the entertainment consists of iconic local movies and the Wellington Orchestra during the countdown to the fireworks. Elsewhere, you can find the bars and occupants spilling out onto the balmy streets, and we can’t carry on our journey without giving the “Party Capital of New Zealand” a mention. Queenstown’s nightlife buzzes well after the lakefront celebrations, music event, and fireworks.
Then it’s to Australia…continue reading.