31 December, 2015
Fireworks are used to celebrate the new year around the world.
Which countries have the best displays?
According to Australian musician and songwriter Ash Almond, the Top 10 fireworks displays worldwide are in London, Sydney, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, New York, Berlin, Dubai, Hong Kong and Beijing.
In China, fireworks are used to drive away evil, according to the website ChineseNewYears.info. Right after midnight on New Year's Eve, fireworks are set off. It is believed that the person who launches the first firework of the new year will have good luck.
Dubai is hosting an extravagant fireworks display from Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. The event will also be live-streamed on MyDubaiNewYear.com, offering visitors the choice between three camera angles, reports the Khaleej Times.
Fireworks by Grucci will feature a spectacular display at Atlantis, the Palm Hotel and Resort in Dubai. The company plans to spell "Atlantis" in the sky with fireworks. It will use the reflections of the fireworks in the water to enhance the display.
"One of their ideas is to create a shimmering red carpet, which will light up the sky as well as reflect in the water below," wrote the Khaleej Times.
Berlin is celebrating the new year with a festive open-air party at the Brandenburg Gate. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend. There will be an international program of live music, light and laser shows, and plenty of food and drink.
"The spectacular fireworks display starts at midnight on the dot," reports the website VisitBerlin.de.
Finally, more than a million revelers are expected at Times Square in New York on New Year's Eve. They will take part in the 109-year-old tradition of watching the iconic ball drop from atop One Times Square.
The New York Times reports that the famous ball is about 4 meters in diameter, or 12-feet wide, and weighs close to 5,443 kilograms, or 12,000 pounds. It shimmers because it is covered in 2,688 Waterford crystals. At midnight, revelers will watch the sky above New York City ablaze with fireworks.
Some cities will not be celebrating the new year with fireworks. Belgium cancelled its traditional fireworks display in central Brussels due to fears of the continuing terror threat.
I'm Mary Gotschall.
Mary Gotschall wrote this story for 51VOA.com. Kathleen Struck was the editor.
How are you celebrating New Year's? Let us know in the Comments section below, or on testbig.com.
Words in This Story
midnight – n. the middle of the night : 00:00
host – v. to entertain guests socially or as a job
extravagant – adj. very fancy
spectacular – adj. causing wonder and admiration : very impressive
enhance – v. to increase or improve (something)
shimmer – v. to shine with a light that seems to move slightly
festive - adj. cheerful and exciting : suited to a celebration or holiday
reveler – n. a person who is celebrating with other people in usually a wild and noisy way : a person who is taking part in revelry
iconic – adj. describes a widely known symbol
ablaze – v. glowing with light, color, or emotion