Discover new destinations and immerse yourself in the charms of these beaches....
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01. Byron Bay
Why travel so far to celebrate the holidays? Because this spot in the far east of Australia is the very first to ring in the New Year. Far from the cold and snow, here you’ll find big, happy parties and thousands of people heading to the beach to welcome 2010.
Spending Christmas in the Finnish capital has a somewhat mythical, storybook quality. There are mountains of snow and freezing temperatures in what legend holds to be Santa’s home country. Throughout the month of December, the streets are filled with markets and music, and the parks, houses and gardens boast millions of decorations.
The seat of the Catholic faith, this city is full of traditions and romance during the year’s end festivities. The Christmas markets are not to be missed, particularly the one in the Piazza Navona. National holiday customs include colorful, torch-lit processions and nativity scenes. Don’t forget to take the time to enjoy an open-air concert or appreciate the lights that adorn the city.
04. New York
Dynamic and magnetic, the Big Apple is one of the main points of reference for urban culture. You really don’t need an excuse to visit, but spending Christmas here is a great experience. The city takes on a special spirit during this time of year, with holiday music, millions of lights, snow, spectacularly decorated store windows, Santa Claus everywhere you look, ice-skating rinks and an 80-foot-tall Christmas tree decorated with 30,000 colored lights in the middle of Rockefeller Center.
05. Río de Janeiro
Brazil is always ready for a party, and the New Year prompts a huge, exotic celebration. The rhythm of samba fills the streets and the beaches. Dressed in white and with caipiriña in hand, the locals celebrate on the shores of the Atlantic while taking in one of the world’s largest fireworks displays. Some of the celebrants launch small boats laden with gifts and flowers into the sea as an offering in hopes of a good year.