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Top 10 New Year destinations in the world

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Celebrate New Year doing the Highland Fling in Edinburgh, watching fireworks over Sydney Harbour Bridge or dancing on the beach in Thailand. Get a little help deciding where to go with this guide to the top 10 New Year destinations in the world.

Fireworks at Sydney Harbour

Be among the first to ring in the new year in party-loving Sydney. See barges twinkle at the Harbour of Light parade, then watch the midnight fireworks illuminate the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

Samba in Rio de Janeiro

Brazil's sultriest city swings into the new year with samba beats, flamboyant parades and firework displays. Thousands dress in white and descend on Copacabana beach for the Iemanjá Festival. Follow local tradition by launching gift-bearing rafts out to sea to honour the ‘Goddess of the Water’.

Hogmanay in Edinburgh

Wailing bagpipes, beating drums and jigging ring in the new year (or Hogmanay) in Edinburgh. A highlight is the flaming torchlight parade on 29th December. Here, torch-bearing Scots dress as Vikings and set fire to a long ship at the top of Calton Hill. Join spirited partygoers for whisky, fruit cake and Auld Lang Syne sing-alongs on New Year's Eve itself.

Times Square ball drop in New York

Wrap up warm and crack open the champagne to celebrate New Year with the New Yorkers. Millions gather to watch the famous Waterford crystal ball drop on Times Square at the stroke of midnight and fireworks light up the Statue of Liberty.

Ski parade in Les Deux Alpes

Grab your skis to glide into the new year in Les Deux Alpes, one of France's most famous Alpine resorts. Enjoy fondue and fireworks before the New Year's Eve torchlit procession, where you can watch ski instructors showing off their skills on the piste.

Ko Phangan beach party

The palm-fringed island of Ko Phangan, famous for its full moon parties, throws a mammoth New Year's Eve party on Haad Rin beach. DJs pump out techno sounds to 50,000 euphoric revellers, who dance barefoot on the sand until the sun rises over the Gulf of Thailand. 

Canary Islands' midnight grapes

Toast New Year's Eve with parties on the plazas and lounging on black-sand beaches in the Canary Islands. Follow Spanish tradition by eating 12 lucky grapes – one for each chime – as the clock strikes midnight.

Roses in Pasadena

Floral artistry and Californian sunshine make Pasadena one of the world’s top 10 New Year destinations. A million spectators flock to the century-old Rose Parade on New Year's Day. Join them to watch incredible flower-decked floats, horse-drawn carriages and marching bands parade along Colorado Boulevard. 

Temple bells in Tokyo

For a spiritual start to the year, head for Tokyo’s Shogatsu celebrations. Locals burn Daruma (wish dolls) at temples and tie fortune predictions to shrines. The watch-night bell rings in the new year with 108 strikes to banish 108 worldly desires. On 2nd January, the Imperial Palace opens to the public for the New Year's greeting.

Street festivals in Berlin

Germany's good-time capital sees in the new year with a free all-night street party on the Strasse des 17 Juni boulevard. Expect DJs, live music, beer tents and fairground rides. Fireworks explode above the monumental Brandenburg Gate at midnight.