The start of a new year is an exciting time, many people are filled with questions such as what will the year have in store for you? What have you regretted in the previous year? This New Year be inspired to challenge your norm and start with an adventure. Every country has its own traditions for welcoming in the New Year, why not experience one of them this year and let your wanderlust so wild with new sights.
Alyaka have put together a short series of extraordinary places to celebrate the New Year including city escapes and unspoilt beach locations, but if you are searching for something more cultured, more fun and definitely more colourful we have a few suggestions for you.
Valparaiso harbour is home to the biggest New Year celebration in Latin America, the celebrations begin on December 28 and continue through into the New Year. On New Year’s Eve there is a 20 minute firework display that stretches along the coast of Valparaiso, endless beach parties and the dancing lasts until the sun comes up. Stay in the very best that Valparaiso has to offer at the Palacio Astoreca Hotel.
The Chileans have some unusual New Year traditions which include wearing yellow underwear to ensure good luck in the New Year, eating a dozen grapes at midnight and putting a $1,000 peso bill in your shoe for prosperity.
New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest events in the Japanese calendar, known in Japan as Omisoka. The New Year celebrations start on December 29 with the tradition of Soji (big cleaning) in which Japanese people clean and declutter their homes to make way for the New Year.
From December 31 there is a festival of dance, fireworks and music which continues until January 4. Toshikoshisoba (buckwheat noodles) are traditionally eaten on the night of New Year’s Eve and the entrance ways to all buildings are decorated with Kado-matsu (decorations made from pine and bamboo, which are believed to bring prosperity and a long life). Just before the countdown, temples throughout Japan strike their big bells 108 times, once for every human desire. People then head out to clubs to party in the New Year or head to the Zojoji Temple to drink sake, build bonfires and have loved ones blessed. New Year money gifts, known as Otoshidama, are given to family and loved ones.
At Alyaka we believe spending New Year in Tokyo is an experience that should be experienced by everyone at least once in their lives. There are so many different cultures and traditions to experience at New Year, hopefully our short series has inspired you to break free from your tired New Year routine and to embrace the New Year in a new way. Let your inner explorer go wild. Just imagine if the possibilities were endless, where would your heart take you to?