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This year, New Year’s Eve doesn’t have the same frenetic energy that you absolutely have to find for an epic party. Just surviving in 2020 feels monumental enough. While the Times Square crowd has already had limited appeal, the prospect of hanging out with thousands of other people has completely lost its luster. There have been fun New Year celebrations in the past that skipped the “party hard or die” urgency. But now everything but home alone is a potential super-spreader event. There is nowhere to go or anything to celebrate 2020. So why not go through this list of unique New Year’s events as a proxy?
Rhythm and vines
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What used to be a one day music festival in Gisborne, New Zealand has turned into a live stream event for this new post-pandemic world. Now people all over the world can see some great pieces of music that the festival books. It’s been around for nearly two decades and their very first music guest in 2002 was The Black Seeds.
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This event takes place on New Years Day and is an opportunity for reconciliation for the celebrations of the previous night. There is a costume parade of participants on the banks of the Firth of Forth, a very cool looking river in South Queensferry. People eat a bowl of porridge and then dive in the river to absolutely ruin the first day of the new year.
Best fireworks show
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Of course, Dubai would have the longest and most impressive fireworks display in the world. There are actually 23 separate fireworks shows spread out across the city. They also have a number of live music events including KISS. The United Arab Emirates still has COVID with over a thousand new cases in the past 24 hours, but compared to the US rate of over 200,000 cases every 24 hours, live music in Dubai does not seem to be a risk.
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Combine Carnival with New Years Eve and you have Junkanoo, one of the most colorful and vibrant festivals in the Caribbean. The party dates back to the 16th century and lasts all night. So if you get up early and get up early, you can watch the festivities through January 1st. The party centers in Nassau, but the festivities stretch across the islands.
Hatsum? De in Meiji Jingu Temple
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The tradition of hatsum? De refers to the first visit to the shrine in the new year. It is meant to say goodbye to the last year and welcome happiness in your life in the new year. Meiji Jingu Temple is popular, free to visit, and often crowded. On New Year’s Day, vendors sell sake by the glass to visitors. The temple rings its bells 108 times, representing the temptations that must be overcome in the New Year.