The Absolute Best NYE Fireworks Shows in the World from The Absolute Best NYE Fireworks Shows in the World slideshow
The Absolute Best NYE Fireworks Shows in the World slideshow
The Absolute Best NYE Fireworks Shows in the World
These 17 cities around the world put on jaw-dropping light shows to ring in the new year.
The capital of Thailand puts on one of the best New Year’s Eve shows in Asia, attracting a crowd of hundreds of thousands to CentralWorld Square, the Thai equivalent of Times Square, to take in the light show and live concert. Giant screens also display live feeds of other celebrations around the world.
Berlin already has a reputation for its nightlife, and the city pulls out all the stops on New Year’s Eve. A million revelers roam on “Party Mile” between Brandenburg Gate and Victory Column, which is lined with music stages, party tents and laser shows. At midnight, a professional fireworks show lights up the sky above Brandenburg Gate.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
This city in the UAE is known for its extravagance. Its big buildings are matched in grandeur by over-the-top firework displays. Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, also holds the record for the highest fireworks on a building. The 2,716-foot skyscraper celebrates the new year by shooting off thousands of pounds of fireworks from its sides and top. Dubai also set the record for most firework shells in a minute with 79,941, which is roughly 1,300 fireworks per second.
The Scots call the end of the year Hogmanay, and they send off the previous year with a massive three-day celebration in Edinburgh that attracts visitors from more than 60 countries. On Dec. 31, there’s an early fireworks show for young children who need to be in bed before midnight. Then, the adults can hit the outdoor party along Princes Street and watch a scenic fireworks show above Edinburgh Castle.
While Hong Kong goes all out for Chinese New Year, it certainly doesn’t skimp on marking the end of the Gregorian calendar as well. Besides hosting its own ball drop at midnight, the city lights up the sky with fireworks that are launched from in and around Victoria Harbour. With both small ships and skyscrapers as launch points, the show has multiple levels and layers of pyrotechnics.
At midnight on New Year’s Eve, the U.K.’s largest light show and fireworks display illuminates iconic London landmarks, including the London Eye, the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben. The show is part of a massive street celebration that includes hundreds of thousands of attendees joining in for a group sing-along of “Auld Lang Syne.”
New Orleans, Louisiana
It’s easy to enjoy a French-flavored New Year’s Eve in the Big Easy. Bourbon Street is abuzz with music and parties, and Jackson Square fills with revelers awaiting the famed fleur de lis drop. But the pièce de résistance of the evening is the Symphony in the Sky fireworks show over the Mississippi River, which can be seen from the east and west banks as well as from boats.
New York City
New York City has established itself as an iconic place to ring in the new year with the ball drop in Times Square. The drop was initially developed because setting off fireworks over Manhattan was deemed unsafe. While the drop now includes fireworks, there are plenty of other jaw-dropping pyrotechnics going on around the city. Coney Island, Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza and Central Park all launch fireworks in front of iconic landmarks, but the show over New York Harbor might be the most majestic. The display has Lady Liberty as its backdrop, and can be taken in from land or sea, on a lux NYE cruise or simply the free Staten Island ferry.
While the happiest place on earth puts on a fireworks show just about every night, Walt Disney World ups the ante for New Year’s Eve, with shows across the different parks. Epcot is the stage for New Year’s Countdown Fireworks, while Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom is lit up during the Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks show. Besides the light shows, Epcot, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios all host different dance parties so you can boogie before or after the fireworks.
Flickr/Matthias Schüssler/(CC BY-SA 2.0)
Reykjavik gets only four hours of daylight in late December, so fireworks illuminating the night sky on New Year’s Eve are especially awe-inspiring. Reykjavik’s show is unique in that its powered by the people. Residents are the ones setting off fireworks all around the city as well as lighting bonfires. Even though it’s not a professional show, the sight is still spectacular. Mother Nature even chips in as the Northern Lights are often visible from the city on New Year’s Eve.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Just as big as Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is Réveillon, or New Year’s Eve. The world’s largest NYE party takes place on Copacabana Beach, where more than 2 million merrymakers squeeze onto 2.5 miles of sand for live music, dancing and a firework finale at midnight. The party’s most massive audience attended in 1994, when more than 4 million people gathering to watch the display and a free concert by Rod Stewart.
San Francisco, California
The city of San Francisco hosts a free waterfront fireworks show at midnight on New Year’s Eve that tries to one-up itself every year with new pyrotechnic tricks. The fireworks are launched from boats in the bay and hundreds of thousands of spectators gather along the Embarcadero to catch the display.
Flickr/Bodie Strain/(CC BY 2.0)
Sydney is the first major city in the world to welcome the new year, and the Harbour City welcomes it with a spectacular display. First, indigenous Australians perform a traditional smoking ceremony while a light show is projected on Sydney’s Harbour Bridge. Then, two fireworks shows, one at 9 p.m. and the other at midnight, launch above the Sydney Opera House and the harbor, which is filled with a parade of illuminated boats.
One of the tallest buildings in the world, Taiwan’s Taipei 101 building became the first skyscraper to stage a fireworks show in 2004. Every year since, the spectacle has continued to grow and evolve. Lighting on each of the 101 floors combines with millions of dollars of pyrotechnics shooting from the sides and top to create a visually unique bouquet of light.
After December 25, Vienna’s famous Christmas markets become the grounds for a New Year’s street party called Silvesterpfad. Celebrants begin enjoying mulled wine and other libations starting around 2 p.m. on New Year’s Eve while shopping for NYE items such as lead casting kits. The party lasts through midnight when fireworks go off above the Prater in front of the Ferris wheel.