New Year's Eve Celebrations [Infographic]

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How the World Celebrates the New Year

A new year - new possiblities, commitments and resolutions. Celebrations and customs may vary around the world, but in most places, New Year's Eve is one of the biggest party days of the year.

Did you know:
  • 23 Hours lapse between New Year's eve on Samoa and on American Samoa. They're just 100 miles apart but are separated by the Internaional Date Line
  • Celebrating the New Year is a tradition that dates back nearly 4000 years.
  • At midnight, Spaniards eat 12 grapes and try to eat all of them before the clock stops chiming. The grapes represent good luck for each month in the coming year.

New York City

Nearly 1 million people converge on the city's center to watch the famous New Year's Eve Ball drop down. Some facts:
  • Times Square has been the place to party since 1904.
  • 2 Tons of confetti are released.
  • The Ball has 32,256 LED lights and 2,668 crystals and weighs 11,875 pounds.


Last year, 300,000 people gathered for fun and fireworks near Big Ben and the London Eye. The budget for 2011's festivities totalled 1.8 million pounds. (Nearly 3 million US Dollars!)


Celebrations begin around 9:00 p.m. on the Champs-Elysees. Here's what you should know:
  • People carry plastic champagne flutes for celebrating.
  • The midnight display of fireworks, lights and lasers at the Eiffel Tower is unforgettable.
  • Firecrackers are legal, so you'll see fireworks being shot off all over town. The Sacre Coeur Cathedral plaza is one of the best place to see the Paris skyline and view the displays.

Las Vegas

The crowds gather on the Strip and at the Fremont Experience downtown, where each celebration offers fireworks and festivities.
  • About 96,000 aerial bursts are launched from rooftops along the Strip.
  • It's legal to drink in the streets and liquor is sold all along the Strip.
  • People start to gather at 8:00 p.m. Expect a huge crowd.

Rio de Janeiro

The world's largest New Year's Eve celebration takes place on the Copacabana Beach in Rio. What's it like?
  • Everyone dresses in white, which is a symbol of good luck and fortune.
  • Copacabana Beach is illuminated by thousands of candles.
  • Nearly 2 million people gather on the beach for Rio's enormous parties.
  • The fireworks start at midnight, but the party lasts all night and into the next day.

Valparaiso, Chile

One million people camp out along the coastline to view the New Year's Eve fireworks. The festival lasts three days and the fireworks show is the finale to "New Year's Eve by the Sea."