x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

New Year's Eve around the world

From New York to Lagos, the world's major cities are celebrating New Year's Eve in style.

Fireworks light up the London skyline and Big Ben. Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images
Fireworks light up the London skyline and Big Ben. Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

New York

One of the biggest parties in the world and part and parcel of American culture. The event will be filled with celebrities courtesy of NBC (New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly) and ABC (New Year’s Rocking Eve) both broadcasting live from Times Square. Musical performances from various stages include Taylor Swift, Train and, predictably, the South Korean rapper Psy with his Gangnam Style. New York City’s mayor Michael Bloomberg is set to push the button at midnight, signalling the descent of the iconic New Year’s Eve crystal ball to herald the new year.


All eyes will be on the London Eye. The Ferris wheel will be armed with dozens of fireworks set to explode when midnight strikes. The fiery display will be synched to a yet-to-be-revealed soundtrack. Then, the 250,000 strong crowd will be invited to participate in a mass rendition of Auld Lang Syne before the DJ returns to playing classic party hits. London’s mayor Boris Johnson said the event will conclude a great year for the Olympic city. “From the thrilling sporting action to the breathtaking cultural celebrations, it has been an unforgettable year,” he said. “Our New Year’s Eve fireworks will cap a triumphant year for London.”


With the exception of Auckland and some of the pacific islands, Sydney is the first major city to ring in the new year. Celebrations will be set against the Sydney Harbour Bridge with cultural and musical performances leading into the countdown. The fireworks display is a well-guarded secret but organisers have promised to “feature new and exciting events”.


New Year’s Eve falls smack in the middle of the Brazilian summer, hence the weather is perfect for a mega beach party. After feasting with family and friends, revellers dressed in white descend on Copacabana Beach to mingle, dance and watch the fireworks.


The 2012 Lagos Countdown will be the largest held in the Nigerian capital. With more than 10,000 people expected, the event will kick off the new year with a 20-minute light show in addition to performances by local artists. In South Africa, the world music legend Hugh Masekela is performing a New Year’s Eve gig at the plush Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town.


Alaskans will continue to party despite the predicted zero-degree weather. A large masquerade ball will be held in Anchorage’s Dena’ina Center with many prizes up for grabs including air miles and a fur coat. In Beijing, the dazzling Summer Palace will host New Year’s Eve festivities, the downside being it is an invite-only affair with 4,000 people on the guest list. The commoners will have to huddle together outside and watch the action from large screens.