We farewelled 2016 and rang in the new year on a sand dune on Fraser Island, and it led to me reflecting on some of the other places where I have seen in the new year. I’ve been lucky enough to celebrate in some famous and far-flung places.
Here in Australia, I spent a couple of New Year’s Eves as a teenager on the beach at Mooloolaba (Sunshine Coast) with thousands of my closest friends (1991-1993). And I’ve had front row seats (courtesy of the Royal Australian Navy) for the famous Sydney Harbour fireworks (2007).
I’ve sat under the Arc De Triomphe as Parisiennes have fired off fireworks from the boots of their cars (1989), and watched the ball drop in Times Square in NYC (1996). Then a decade later I was in Edinburgh for Hogmanay (2006). The Scots really know how to celebrate New Year, although that year cyclonic winds put a dampener on the famous street party. But that made it a bit easier to participate in the annual 1 o’clock fun run on New Year’s Day.
I’ve drank nasty drinks in Tel Aviv (2005)…
…and had an alcohol-free new year celebration in Kabul, Afghanistan (2010). Although we still dressed up for the party!
In fact, I celebrated New Year twice in Afghanistan. I was also fortunate to observe the traditional Afghan new year, Nawroz. One of my Afghan friends invited me to accompany her family on the customary pilgrimage to the Blue Mosque in Mazar-e-Sharif, which is a new year celebration I won’t be quick to forget!
I wonder where I’ll be on 31 December 2017…?