New Year’s Eve celebrations have kicked off in many parts of the World as the countdown ticks by minutes in many others in anticipation of a huge celebration.
Australia and New Zealand have been reported as the first nations to usher-in 2013 in style with wild celebrations peaking in the last hours.
Thousands of people thronged the streets in Sydney, Australia, to see the city’s famous firework display over the iconic Harbour Bridge as midnight struck.
Some 1.5million people were predicted to watch the fireworks in Sydney, and an estimated one billion people around the world.
More celebration is following across the World and many are set for traditional rites with Japan ushering the year with a big gong to be beaten 108 times to bring in the new year.
But despite the scenes of blue skies, beaches and hot weather, the best place to celebrate New Year’s Eve is not the land downunder, according to a survey.
Social networking site Badoo.com found most people would like to see out the end of the year with Brazilians, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
On Mondya night, New Yorkers and visitors from all over the world will gather in Times Square for the lowering of the New Years ball to usher in 2013 with style.
As per tradition, Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve will headline the event, showcasing performers on both the East and West Coast.
In the city, Taylor Swift, Neon Trees, and Carly Rae Jepsen will own the stage, while the West Coast will welcome Fergie, One Republic, Karmin, Pitbull, Flo Rida, and Brandy. The West Coast performers will debut at 8:00pm, and host Ryan Seacrest is set to kick off the East Coast coverage at 10:00 p.m.
The first New Year’s celebration in Times Square took place in 1904, the year that the first subway line opened. “An all-day street festival culminated in a fireworks display set off from the base of the [Times] tower , and at midnight the joyful sounds of cheering, rattles and noisemakers from over 200,000 attendees could be heard, it was said, from as far away as Croton-on Hudson,” reads the event’s official site
Meanwhile, Brazil has emerged as the best nation for a New Year celebration with so much fun associated with the New year usher-in rites.
From dancing to the beat along Copacabana beach on New Year’s Eve appears to scenes of memorable traditional celebration coupled with excellent weather, Brazil has scored first as the best New year celebration destination.
According to a Global Survey for 2013 New Year celebration, 17,000 people voted for a blues feel in Brazil
The survey conducted by social network Badoo.com across 17 countries and four continents showed Brazilians were considered the top nationality the rest of the world would most like to share New Year’s with.
Americans ranked second in the poll, with Spaniards, Italians and the French coming third, fourth and fifth. Belgians and Swiss ranked joint last.
“This seems harsh on the Swiss and Belgians”, Badoo director Louise Thompson said. “But I can understand that most people would rather celebrate New Year’s Eve on a beach in Brazil than by huddling against the cold in northern Europe.”
New Year’s Eve falls in the middle of Brazil’s summer, which makes the climate perfect for huge, outdoor parties of the kind Brazilians enjoy attending with friends or family to welcome the new year.
The festivities are held in cities across the country, but Rio is judged to have the best, including Brazil’s most famous New Year’s Eve event – the giant gathering on Copacabana beach, attended annually by some 2.5 million revellers and widely considered the best New Year’s Eve party in the world.
Spanish also gather en masse on New Year’s Eve in Puerta del Sol in Madrid, where both those present and many more watching at home listen to the clock chime 12 times while eating one grape on each chime, to bring prosperity for the new near.
The Italians, who ranked fourth in the Badoo poll, brought a more romantic flavour to New Year’s Eve gatherings by staging a mass kiss in Venice’s Piazza San Marco.
None of these gatherings, however, can match the scale of the festivities on Rio’s Copacabana beach, which are also famed for their spectacular fireworks display. Ocean liners are known to moor nearby to watch.
For those near the beach on New Year’s Eve, the tradition in Brazil is to jump seven waves at midnight while throwing flowers in the sea and making a wish – one wish for each wave.
Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, also boasts a giant New Year’s Eve party, held in Paulista Avenue and attended by over a million merrymakers. Only in Brazil could a party this big rank second best.
There may, however, be one way Europeans can claim to surpass the Brazilians on New Year’s Eve, which is when it comes to clothes.
Brazilians traditionally dress in white on New Year’s Eve, to bring luck for the new year. This tradition turns Rio’s Copacabana beach into a giant carpet of white.
Both the Spanish and Italians, however, take a more colourful approach – welcoming the New Year by observing the local custom of wearing red underwear for good luck.