Guy Fawkes in the UK, then Diwali around the world, Thanksgiving in the USA to Hanukkah and Christmas just gone we've had plenty of things to celebrate at this time of the year; and to go along with all these festivities are the whizzes, pops and bangs of fireworks displays. However, fireworks design teams around the world are saving the best for last with New Year's Eve being the highlight of their calendar. Here's our guide to some of the best places in the world to see them master their craft and welcome in 2013 with a bang. Literally.
Let's start with the most obvious shall we? There's no denying that Sydney has the best New Year's Eve parties, with their consistently spectacular fireworks that the whole world tunes in to see. Seven tonnes of fireworks and 52 illuminated boats in the harbor light up the city, certainly making Sydney one of the most breathtaking places to usher in the New Year. It's also the peak of summer in Australia; so on top of a world-class light show, the weather is gorgeous.
Every year, Londoners and tourists alike line the banks of the River Thames, waiting in the cold and often the rain for midnight, breath hanging in the air. They wait so eagerly and jovially because London consistently offers some of the most well-choreographed, beautiful light shows on earth - and a wait in damp weather is always worth it. With the Olympics and the Queen's Jubilee taking place in 2012, we fully expect this year's fireworks display in London to be one of their best yet. For a different experience, head to Alexandra Park or Hampstead Heath for some of the best views at a distance without the crowds.
'Hogmanay' is Scotland's chance to put its city on the map as one of the best places to see in the New Year. New Year's in Edinburgh is all about its parties, with event being held all over town from the 30th including concerts, the torchlight procession and the world famous, family-friendly street party on Princes Street. At midnight, the cannon is fired from Edinburgh Castle to kick off a fireworks display which lights up the whole city.
Fireworks are a huge part of Silvestre celebrations with many being let loose from peoples' balconies and gardens - you have been warned! A number of organized displays take place throughout the city but one of the most popular is the always dramatic and visually brilliant fireworks set off against the stunning backdrops of Brandenburg Gate and Victory Column. Combined with the largest open-air New Year's Eve party in the world (with live bands, electronic music, laser and light shows and heaps of good food and drink to find), New Year's in Berlin is always an unforgettable experience.
Amsterdam is at its most festive for the new year, and every year the city invites its inhabitants and visitors to join in a night of free live music and entertainment starting from 9pm and culminating in, of course, a massive fireworks display. Head down to Museumplein to join in this year or find a spot near the canals to watch the reflections of the fireworks light up Amsterdam's beautiful waterways at midnight. Another popular view is of the fireworks over the Amstel River, with the Magere Bridge, popularly known as skinny bridge, offering the best viewpoint if you can find a spot.
Museumplein, Amsterdam © evghoul
There is one very special and unique tradition in Miami called the Big Orange; a fully lit up neon sign of an over-sized orange, which from 6 o'clock in the evening climbs up the facade of the Intercontinental Hotel, to be dropped at midnight to huge applause and cheering. This is also when the fireworks start, so be sure to head to Miami Beach early to get a good view of both.
Mexico City has an annual street festival warming up the locals right up until midnight. You should also expect a grape shortage across the city, as it is a Mexican tradition to eat a grape at each of the twelve chimes of the clock that ring in a new year. If you are staying at a nearby coastal resort, then make sure to visit one of Mexico's electric beach parties. Enjoy your grapes while watching fireworks set off across the city and find some fireworks of your own to contribute your own fizzes, bangs and pops.
Mexico City © ToñoO
Boston is a great location for families to see an amazing fireworks display. While Public Garden is where Boston's families traditionally gather to see the impressive fireworks that shoot up over the city at midnight, you don't have to brave the cold temperatures or keep the kids up past their bed times as nearby Hampton Beach has its own firework display from 8 o'clock in the evening.
Wherever you are in the world, and whatever the size of the fireworks display you are watching, we wish you a prosperous, exciting and travel-filled 2013.
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