New Year’s Eve is a time for everybody everywhere to pause and give thanks for the blessings that they have received during the year, and a perfect time to welcome the upcoming New Year with all the new opportunities, new beginnings, new relationships, new experiences that it will bring.
It would seem that for one full day, the whole world stops and all the people of the world celebrate the coming of a new calendar year. It is a night for fun, music, parties, public parades and private resolutions.
How do major cities celebrate New Year’s Eve? In many ways, people of different places celebrate it in similar ways. Yet at the same time, they have their own traditional ways of welcoming the New Year that are different from the others. Some get their traditions depending on where they live and what they believe in their area.
Sydney in Australia has a special significance when it comes to celebrating New Year. Australia is among the first major countries to actually turn into the New Year and a New Year’s Eve in Sydney is the biggest Down under. Being near the International Date Line, Sydney effectively becomes the “starting point” for all New Year’s Eve celebrations. It is as if the whole world waits and watches for Sydney to officially enter into the New Year and then countdown for the rest of the world begins!
Among the major features of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve celebration are their two traditional fireworks held in the city’s famous Sydney Harbour. Over the years, Sydney has developed a distinct tradition for ushering in the New Year with an amazing fireworks display that the whole world watches. The first one (Family Fireworks) starts at around 9:00 p.m. and the Midnight Fireworks welcome the New Year at midnight.
The Midnight Fireworks is an impressive pyro technique presentation that is televised globally. Last year’s New Year’s Eve more than a billion people worldwide watched the Sydney New Year’s Eve midnight fireworks on television. With firework bases strategically distributed through seven buildings around the harbour and in seven barges moored along the harbour (the seventh “barge” was actually the Harbor Bridge), the fireworks presentation played to the theme of “Embrace.” A million people viewed this fiery display from vantage points along the harbour or aboard boat cruises.
Another world famous destination for New Year’s Eve celebration is Times Square in New York City. Every year more than a million people flock to this section of the city to watch the “ball drop” at midnight. This tradition started in 1907 and has been consistently observed ever since. The ball is composed of panels with computerized LCD lighting. It drops from a temporary pole to the enthusiastic countdown of people watching below. It is also globally watched by millions of people through television.
Partying, music and dancing around the square and nearby building accompany the celebration of New Year.
In most other cities of the world, fireworks are a standard feature in celebrating New Year. In many cities, parades and parties are commonly practiced.