Our top picks for events Dec. 31-Jan. 1
December 21, 2016
New Year’s Eve TrailLocation: in and around Vienna’s old city center, Austria
Date: 2 p.m. Dec. 31 through 2 a.m. Jan. 1.
Concerts, operas, operettas, hit musicals and exhibits leave little time for boredom, while mulled wine and fuel revelers to carry on. Stages offer glitzy entertainment and performances from timeless classical music to hard rock. Vienna’s dance schools offer crash courses in waltzing and turn Graben into an open-air ballroom. Fireworks light up the sky at midnight. Johann Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus” is performed, as every year, by the Vienna State Opera and broadcast live on an outdoor screen. Those with an ounce of energy remaining come Jan. 1 head to the famous “hangover cure” brunch, featuring the Vienna Philharmonic's New Year's Day concert shown on a big screen in front of City Hall from 10 a.m. Jan. 1.
Georgia O’Keeffe ExhibitionLocation: Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien, Freyung 8, 1010 Vienna
Date: Through March 26
Georgia O’Keeffe was regarded a pioneer of American Modernism. Chances to see her work in Europe are rare, as most of her paintings remain in the U.S. This retrospective encompasses seven decades of her work, from her flower pictures of the 1920s to the almost abstract late landscapes of her later years. The exhibition was organized by Tate Modern in cooperation with the Bank Austria Kunstforum and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.
Admission: 12.70 euros
New Year's Eve Party at the Brandenburg Gate 2016Location: along the Strasse des 17. Juni, between the Brandenburg Gate and the Siegessäule (Victory Column).
Date: Dec. 31
Some one million Berliners and guests of the German capital gather in the party mile to ring in the New Year. To help make spirits bright, revelers will find stalls selling hot and cold drinks, snacks and trinkets, light and laser shows, and at midnight, a stunning display of fireworks. Trendy current bands traditionally play near the Brandenburg Gate, whereas down toward the Victory Column, you’re more likely to encounter a band cranking out classic hits.
Note this year security will be tighter than ever, and there’s a strict ban on bags and backpacks being brought into party zone. Guests will pass through security checks to enter, and fireworks, bottles and sharp objects are not allowed on the event grounds.
The Tehran Collection. The Tehran Museum for Contemporary Art in BerlinLocation: Gemäldegalerie (Kulturforum am Potsdamer Platz), Matthaikirchplatz, 10785 Berlin, Germany
Dates: Through Feb. 26
This collection on tour from the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art represents one of the biggest collections of 20th century Western art found outside of Europe and the U.S. These works are displayed alongside Iranian art, particularly works dating to the 1960s and 1970s. The exhibition features over sixty outstanding works by artists including Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Francis Bacon. The collection next moves to the MAXXI Museum in Rome.
Admission: Adult tickets cost 14 euros; reduced tickets are 7 euros; tickets are valid to the permanent exhibition as well.
New Year’s Day ParadeLocation: Piccadilly, London, England
Date: noon Jan. 1
Cheerleaders, city officials, giant inflatable balloons, high school marching bands, historic open-top London buses, Transformer vehicles and endless other ensembles – some 8,000 performers in all- take part in this parade that’s broadcast around the world. This year’s edition, titled Lights, Camera, Action, takes its inspiration from film and TV programs. From its starting point, the parade marches down Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, Cockspur Street, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and Parliament Street.
Admission: Free to watch, ticketed seating at optimal viewing spots is also available
New Year’s Eve celebrationsLocation: Dublin, Ireland
Date: Dec. 30-Jan. 1
Three days straight of partying await Dubliners and their guests this year. A sampling of the myriad events on offer includes the 3D light projections “Luminosity.” musicians in St. Patrick’s Cathedral; a poetry slam; an interactive parlor game titled Werewolves; winter food foraging within city limits, an architectural treasure hunt, a historical walking tour; a trad gig and more. NYF Dublin Music Trails offer performances by new talents in unlikely venues. Headline acts at the Countdown Concert include Walking on Cars, supported by The Blizzards, Brian Deady and Little Hours.
Admission: Both free and ticketed events; Countdown concert tickets are 31.40 euros.
New Year’s DiveLocation: Scheveningen, Netherlands
Date: From noon Jan. 1
The Dutch have a frosty way to start a new year afresh -- by dunking themselves into the icy waters of the North Sea. While some 60 locations in the Netherlands offer organized plunges into the sea or a lake, Scheveningen, a suburb of The Hague, attracts the most divers, with around 10,000 people taking part in the chilly tradition. A cup of hot chocolate or pea soup helps swimmers warm up afterward.
Sao Silvestre raceLocation: Av. Da Liberdade, Lisbon, Portugal
Date: Dec. 31; (children’s race starts at 9 a.m.; adult race begins 10:30 a.m.)
Register prior to Dec. 30 to participate in this 10 km race to which 12,000 sporty types have already signed up. The course runs along one of the most important avenues of the Portuguese capital. There are also separate race just for kids in distances from 300 to 1000 meters. Proceeds from the races benefit a charity supporting children’s health initiatives.
Registration: 20 euros adults; five euros children
Edinburgh’s HogmanayLocation: city center, Edinburgh, Scotland
Date: Dec. 30-Jan. 1.
There aren’t many places that party in the New Year quite like they do it in Edinburgh, where Hogmanay is a three day revel and the UK’s largest outdoor winter music festival. Over 150,000 visitors from 80 countries typically travel to Scotland’s capital city to take part in events including a Torchlight Procession followed by fireworks on Calton Hill Dec. 30 (wristband holders only). Most concerts on Dec. 31 have long sold out, but tickets to the massive street party featuring live bands and DJs kicking off at 7 p.m. remain available. No tickets are needed to gape at the fireworks shot off from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle, followed by the world’s largest rendition of Auld Lang Syne. On Jan. 1, the ‘Stoats Loony Dook’ sees over a thousand bathers take a bracing dip in the River Forth.
Admission: Street party tickets cost 25 pounds; a torch and wristband to take part in the Dec. 30 procession costs 12 euros, additional wristbands three pounds each.
New Year’s Eve in MadridLocation: Puerta del Sol, Madrid, Spain
Date: Dec. 31
Madrid’s New Year celebrations some of the continent's biggest. Confetti and streamers, music, firecrackers, noisemakers and costumed revelers lend a unique and fun flavor to the party. A unique Spanish tradition is the eating of 12 grapes, one for each chime of the bell on the countdown to midnight. This is followed by the uncorking of countless bottles of the Spanish sparkling wine known as Cava and merriment for hours more at bars and clubs throughout town.