How do you usually spend your New Year’s Eve? Is it out in town for one night to join the crowds and celebrations? Do you spend it with the family watching Jools Holland’s Hootenanny and quietly ringing in the New Year with your nearest and dearest? For us, it’s usually surrounding by friends at someone’s house for that annual catch-up when people come back home to spend the Christmas period with their families.
Around Europe there are different celebrations, but many cities have those awesome fireworks displays that trickle into our newsfeeds throughout the day! Within the UK, thousands travel to see the fireworks and celebrations along the banks of the River Thames. The festivities don’t stop there though as on New Year’s Day there’s an annual parade through the city – as long as you aren’t feeling too averse to noise that day! If you’re heading to Scotland to spend the weekend, then you might want to arrive early as their Hogmanay celebrations start in Edinburgh with a torch walk on the 30th, while on Hogmanay itself there’s no better place to ring in the New Year than with the backdrop of stunning Edinburgh Castle.
For those who like to stay active and beat those with New Year’s resolutions to their fitness goals, Berlin hosts a final running event of the year – the Silvesterlauf. At the end of the race, participants can get sparkling or mulled wine and Pfannkuchen donuts! In Stockholm however just before midnight, the famous poem “Ring Out, Wild Bells” is read by a famous actor or singer – however, it’s a slight variation on what we know as the English version of this poem.
There are also a whole host of superstitions surrounding New Year – and we’ve put together a list of a few of those we found most interesting!
- If you’ve ever been single on New Year’s and surrounded by couples, you’ll probably have thought how strange it is that everyone is kissing their significant other at midnight. However, this isn’t just a sign of celebration, superstition suggests that it is to ensure that these feelings (whether family or intimate) will continue for the year to come.
- Everyone loves counting down the final 10 seconds of the year (and there’s always a few who can’t keep time for even this short period…) but this isn’t just followed with cheers as a celebration, but also because the devil and evil spirits supposedly hate loud noise (which might surprise those of you who love peace and quiet!).
- In Spain, twelve grapes are eaten at midnight. Each of these represents a month of the year so whether it’s sweet or gone sour, will let you know what to anticipate for the coming year!
- In Germany, farmers believe that they must clean livestock stables between Christmas and the New Year in order to keep their animals safe from witches!
A unique event weekend for the New Year is to take in an opera on New Year’s Eve. Not only does this give you an excuse to dress smartly for the occasion and a way to pass the time before it gets close to midnight, but you’ll also get to take in a new city in Europe at one of the most spectacular times of the year. Throughout the year, we’ll be adding more awesome opera packages for these special dates! Currently, we have packages available in both Vienna and Baden-Baden – both very famous cities for their opera houses.