Celebrating New Year in a country other than your own is an experience everyone should try at least once. Haze Jalalludin finds out the most unique destinations to usher in the New Year!
It’s almost time for that age-old year end question, “How are you celebrating your New Year?” and if your yearly countdown doesn’t quite hold the spark that it did before, perhaps it’s time to do something new to celebrate the coming New Year with a bang.
When everyone else is getting ready to celebrate on the 31st, the Japanese start celebrating Omisoka week from 29th Dec up to 4th Jan of the New Year! This period before Shogatsu (New Year) is all about cleansing their houses and purifying themselves for a fresh start in the New Year.
On the 31st,Dec, people celebrate by gathering with their families to eat homemade Toshikoshi Soba (New Year’s Eve noodles) or getting ready in their best kimonos to head to the temples to buy new charms, acquire blessings and ring the giant temple bells 108 times (to get rid of 108 worldly desires!) as they usher in the New Year anew cleansed of all sins.
Though if you’re looking for the Japanese fashionistas, then head on to Shibuya district, one of Japan’s fashion hubs. Thousands will flock to the streets in their best gears whether it is a white wedding dress or a pink furry animal suit! There’s no such thing as outrageous fashion at this street party, packed with a wide variety of street food and colourful bright billboard lights.
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At the beautiful dive spot of Sipadan over in Sabah, East Malaysia lies an oil rig called Seaventures where New Year is celebrated with a splash.
On normal days, the crew on the rig plans for deep sea dives with care as boat by boat leaves the rig to selected dive spots of Kapalai, Mabul, Mataking and Pom Pom Island.
Come New Year’s Eve, cold drinks and merrymaking are in order as everyone gathers on the top level of the rig that stands about four stories high. When the clock approaches midnight, every capable diver lines up at the edge of the rig and on the final countdown, they will dive into the cool waters to cleanse themselves so as to usher the New Year afresh.
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