From torchlight processions and 20s themes to cabarets and fireworks, these destinations have all the year-end mania
Ring in 2015 somewhere new, where it takes more than a dropping ball or a big crowd to make for a great New Year’s Eve celebration. From quirky traditions to mountain top parties, we give you our shortlist be it top spots like Sydney and Las Vegas to live it up at or cultural extravaganzas at Berlin and Costa Rica to start the coming year with a vivid bang.
You can choose a wild street party on The Strip, with its three lakh revellers, three stages and nine hours of live music, or the more adult 21-and-over Fremont Street. But we suggest you live it up with Kim Kardashian and Snoop Dogg at The Tao for the Snoopadelic Cabaret, a roaring 20s-themed masquerade ball at The Venetian. The hip-hop singer will mark midnight with a performance after which doors to the neighbouring LAVO Lounge at Palazzo will open up. Take a romantic ride on the gondola for an added touch. Entry tickets start at $150 on taolasvegas.com. At Hakkasan (formerly Studio 54), reigning DJ Calvin Harris teams up with Fergie for a party of a lifetime. Airfare starts at Rs.1.3 lakh
The city’s celebrations feature pyrotechnic shows, a sensory extravaganza of light and sound over Victoria Harbour and a Times Square-esque countdown, complete with a replica ball drop at midnight. The show sees 45 buildings of the skyline light up, making it a wild street party afterwards. Or stay at Butterfly on Morrison, a snazzy hotel just a few minutes from the Times Square with views that no street partier will get. Another option is the NYE cruise, Bauhinia, for a buffet, unlimited alcohol, music and champagne. You can also book tours to take you to firecracker vantage points. Airfares start at Rs.30,000
You might catch locals dashing around their house twice at midnight for good luck as part of their many quirky traditions, which include crossing the street with a suitcase, wearing red underwear, eating 12 grapes at midnight and sporting yellow for luck. Fiesta de los Diablitos begins on December 30 and goes on till January 2 at the picturesque valley of the Río Grande de Térraba, where the Indigenous Brunka (Boruca) Reserve makes for a grand change. The festival symbolises the struggle for freedom and you can join in by donning handcrafted, colourful wooden devil masks and burlap costumes. Flights start at Rs.1.6 lakh
Nothing beats watching fireworks at Darling Harbour, in Sydney—at 9 pm for kids and midnight for adults. And a float parade with over 50 bedecked vessels. There are over 55 vantage points across the harbour, but we suggest a common or chartered cruise ship with music, flowing champagne and lavish buffets. Tickets ($400 and $750 per head) are hotsellers so grab yours at sydney-nye.com. The Sydney Opera House on the harbour side hosts what is considered the best party in town, with music from The Faders (aka Milly Gattegno and Suhana Lye), The Voice’s Ms Murphy and DJ Dan Rowntree, plus a light and sound show. Tickets are $595 (per person for food, drinks and entertainment) on nyepartyatthehouse.com. Flights starts at Rs.75,000
Listed as one of the ‘Things to Do Before You Die’, the festivities kick off on December 30 with 10,000 revellers carrying torches from Parliament Square to Calton Hill, before fireworks set the sky ablaze against a medieval village as a backdrop. The following night on the Mound, The Smashers provide traditional music to reel to at the Keilidh, with fireworks displays at Calton Hill and Edinburgh Castle from 9 pm till midnight on the hour. Then Lily AllenYoung Fathers, Twin Atlantic and The Twilight Sad will sing in 2015. Fringe-favourite Hot Dub Time Machine arrives in Hogmanay for the first time as DJ Tom Loud will play tunes from the 1950s to current times. Catch him upclose or on one of six screens beaming the performances. For more information on the party, log on to edinburgshogmanay.com Tickets to Edinburgh start at Rs.51,000
Start the day at Berliner Silvesterlauf, the annual pancake race where people in fancy dress run through the arty Grunewald neighbourhood, flipping pancakes. In the evening, Berlin’s biggest party happens at the Brandenburg Gate with live international music and entertainment. Past performances have included the Pet Shop Boys, Bonnie Tyler and the Scorpions. You can also make your way to the 1,200 sqm of Umspannwerk Alexanderplatz with multiple dance floors and DJs or head to the roaring 20s masquerade ball at Spindler&Klatt (€170) for a big dose of that glitzy era. Rs.47,000 upwards for flights.
South Africa invites you to usher in the New Year atop a natural wonder — Table Mountain. As the city celebrates below, revellers can picnic and party until 12.30 am with an unobstructed view of the festivities and fireworks. For some high definition fun and frolic in the Mother City, make your way to the Rezonance New Year’s Eve Trance Party with thumping EDM at what is considered the biggest party in town. The four-day event (450 rand) starting on December 21, at Contermanskloof Farm in Durbanville, will have an exciting line up of psytrance, progressive, drum ‘n’ bass, techno, chill and dub step acts.Airfares start at Rs.67,000.
— Aakanksha Devi