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Xmas fever Five places to celebrate New Year in style

Combining a ski holiday with New Year’s Eve frolics is a great way to welcome 2016.

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RIO DE JANEIRO

Rio’s parties are not limited to Carnival. For Ano Novo as they call it, as many as four million Cariocas (locals) flock to Copacabana Beach. And they all wear white.

Then it is music, music, music all the way, with bands and DJs dotting the two miles of sand.

As midnight strikes, the sky above Guanabara Bay is filled with a 30-minute firework show, which is brilliantly choreographed with music and special effects.

To ensure prosperity, the Brazilians often eat lentils or put pomegranate seeds in their wallets.

Many dash to the sea and jump over seven waves, making a wish each time. Others pray to the Goddess Yemanjá, offering candles and flowers.

Best of all, at night, the temperature is a balmy 70F.

BOSTON

This year marks the 40th anniversary of First Night, here on America’s East Coast.

Copley Square is at the heart of the action for this free, family-friendly outdoor celebration.

In the daytime on New Year’s Eve the entertainment ranges from puppet shows and children’s entertainers to ice sculptures.

Then local bands rock the night away, with dancing and light shows. Although fire pits dot the square, do dress up warmly.

Another romantic way to spend the evening is ice skating to music over on Boston Common’s Frog Pond.

At midnight, a dazzling display of fireworks lights up the sky above Boston Harbour. On January 1, First Day carries on the street fun.

Have brunch at a bustling café or tavern, then (for those who don’t head for the sales) join in a fitness workout (only in America!) or join in family games.

MADRID

The Puerta del Sol, Madrid’s Piccadilly Circus, is jammed with thousands of Spaniards for the countdown to New Year.

Look around and you will see that everyone has a little bag containing 12 grapes.

Just before midnight a giant ball on the 250-year-old post offi ce starts to drop.

Then, for good luck, as the clock strikes midnight, everyone gulps down one grape for each clang of the bell.

That’s about three seconds per grape! Less visible is another Spanish tradition that insists that wearing brand new, red underwear for both men and women is also lucky!

Then the party really gets going. In the early hours, revellers refuel themselves with hot chocolate and churros (like fresh, crispy doughnuts) at the nearby Chocolatería San Ginés.

WHISTLER, CANADA

Combining a ski holiday with New Year’s Eve frolics is a great way to welcome 2016.

In one of the world’s best winter resorts they pull out all the stops. Buy a wristband (£8 adults; £5 children) and join in the family fun at the 2010 Olympic Plaza, with entertainers, free skates, party hats and horns.

In the Conference Centre children work off energy on the bouncy castles and dance at the Much Music Teen Dance Party.

The countdown to midnight starts at the base of Whistler Mountain with the Fire and Ice Show, with skiers and snowboarders showing off, spinning and jumping through giant rings of fire.

A fireworks display welcomes 2016, along with Auld Lang Syne on the bagpipes.

Then it is off to the all-nighters in the local pubs, bars and clubs.

Source: express.co.uk

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