Semester

New Year, Need Plans?

In order to have a grand start, here is a list of three places in the United States that would be the perfect place to start new and fresh.

30 December 2019
Fireworks

On the 364th day of every year, people all across the globe celebrate what we know as New Year’s Eve. No one really knows how the tradition came to be, but it’s a time to gather with your loved ones, look on all of you’ve achieved in the past year and look forward to a fresh start.

However, this year is a special one — we are entering a new decade: 2020. So in order to have a grand start, here is a list of three places in the United States that would be the perfect place to start new and fresh.

1. Hawaii

Hawaii

As the clock strikes midnight in Hawaii, you’ll hear everyone yell “Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou!”, which means Happy New Year in their local language. In Hawaii, it is legal to purchase fireworks and light them up yourself. That’s why many locals will gather in their neighborhoods and light fireworks together as it hits midnight.

However, if you aren’t near any neighborhoods, there’s always the annual NYE party down at Hilo Bay. Every year, Hilo Bay hosts the annual New Year’s Eve Firework show. Locals and visitors can watch from the beach, Hilo Bay Cafe or even better, in the middle of the ocean. A local company called KapohoKine Adventures hosts a NYE paddle out experience every year. You can rent a single or double kayak and, along with others and a guide, paddle out into the middle of the ocean and watch the fireworks go off at midnight. This is definitely something very unique and you should take advantage of it if you’re in Hawaii!

2. California

California beach

If you are studying abroad at any of the locations in California, you are sure to find many NYE activities there. From Los Angeles to San Francisco, there are celebrations going on throughout the state; so if you plan to do something big, it would be best to look up what is going on around you that day.


​One of the more popular activities is watching the countdown at Grand Park in Los Angeles. It is free to the public and hosts thousands of locals and visitors alike to listen to music, look at art installations, take photos at the photo booth and enjoy the fireworks at midnight.

Another option could be watching the fireworks from Santa Monica Pier. Although the pier doesn’t host its own event, you can still view the fireworks from the boardwalk or beach. Santa Monica Pier might be the place for you if you are looking for a younger crowd and less people — an added bonus are all the rides and yummy food!

3. New York City

Confetti Time Square

And last but not least, the most famous place to spend NYE is New York City. NYC is grand even when you’re not there to ring in the new year; however, everyone knows the madness and greatness that goes down at Times Square that time of year.

As you may know, Times Square is known for its famous “ball drop,” but how exactly did that come to be? People have been celebrating New Year's Eve in Times Square since 1904, but it wasn't until 1907 when the ball made its first descent. Ever since then, thousands of people from all over come to see this tradition and share the moment with their friends, family and loved ones. So if you’re planning to be a part of this magical night, here are a few tips will come in handy: 

  • Try to arrive early. 
  • Dress for the weather. You will be standing for a while, so bundle up and dress comfortably.  
  • Be prepared for crowds. There will be at least a million people at Times Square! 

This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and although there are many other events in the New York area, this is something so grand and popular that people all over the world watch on television. If you are in New York, don’t miss out on this opportunity!

Although NYE is celebrated quite similarly all around the world, it is truly a new experience when you are in a completely different place from where you grew up or are used to. If you have the chance to study abroad in the fall, then spending NYE in the States will be an experience you will never forget! 

Fireworks
Fireworks

New Year, Need Plans?

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