Where To Go When - January and February 2014 | Fast Cover

Where To Go When...January and February 2014

Now that Spring is well and truly here, read on to find out what's happening next January and February.

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Now that Spring is well and truly here, read on to find out what's happening next January and February - more specifically, where to celebrate New Years Eve, watch the Northern Lights, and the Winter Olympics next year!

New Year's Eve 2014 around the world: 

Seeing in a brand new year is always exciting – imagine all those new years’ resolutions you can make up or revise from last year! Wherever you are and whatever you want to do, there’s always a major city happy to help you ease those New Year’s nerves (or lack of!) with festivities, fireworks and lots of eating and drinking. And if that’s not your thing, you’ll know the places to avoid!

 New York, USA:

Times Square. You’ve probably seen it in the movies.

It’s big, cold, and you have to buy tickets to get in!

But if you are going to be in New York, you’ll probably want to join in the frivolity and see the big “ball drop” from the 77-foot flagpole at the top of One Times Square, and experience, literally, a tonne of confetti falling over everyone.


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:

It’s in the middle of summer, and the perfect time to celebrate the coming of the new year with amazing fireworks displays on Copacabana beach.

So amazing, actually, that some cruise ships moor nearby so their passengers can watch!

To ensure you have a prosperous 2014, wear white clothes, jump over 7 different waves, appease Iemanja the Queen of the Sea by sending out lighted candles and flowers on the beach, and make sure you eat 7 raisins by midnight, save the seeds and leave them in your wallet to ensure that you always have money in there. Got all that?!


 Madrid, Spain:

Puerta de Sol is the place to be.

Make sure you have a bunch of grapes with you, or at least 12 of them, because if you wanted to bring prosperity to the new year, you need to eat a grape for each chime at 12am…but make sure you finish them ALL by the time the bells stop tolling otherwise it doesn’t work!


 Rome, Italy:

New Year’s Eve or La Festa di San Silvestro, is actually a holiday in Italy. The centre of all celebrations in Italy is in Rome, in Piazza del Popolo.

An outdoor classical music concert plays all night, stops for the hour long fireworks display, and then continues again.

They don’t sell tickets to the event, so some people camp out for more than a week beforehand to snaffle a spot in the celebrations.


Tradition dictates eating lentils for money and good fortune, and pork for a richness of life during the coming year. 

Paris, France:

To celebrate St Sylvestre in Paris there are two popular places to go depending on your celebratory inclinations.

For a relatively quiet and calmer celebration, the Sacre Coeur plaza in Montmarte is ideal, as you get fantastic views of the Paris skyline and a more laid back party.

If you wish to party with a large, loud crowd, the Champs-Elysees is it. You get a good view of the Eiffel Tower, which will have a bit of a light show at midnight.

Please note though, that official fireworks shows are not provided in Paris. Make sure you kiss your family and friends under the mistletoe and offer them best wishes for the new year!


 Edinburgh, Scotland:

The celebrations start early – on 29 Dec there is a Torchlight procession to the top of Calton Hill accompanied by bagpipe music.

Then on 31 Dec there is a concert in the Princes Street Gardens and the Hogmanay Street Party complete with the firing of the cannon at Edinburgh Castle, and 4.5 tonnes of fireworks at midnight.

P.S. Brush up on your singing of Auld Lang Syne to truly be one of the locals. And make sure you buy tickets to the celebrations.


 Hong Kong, China:

Technically, 1st January isn’t the start of a new year for the Chinese, but Hong Kong is so cosmopolitan and so fond of parties they celebrate it anyway!

Bright, colourful parades, lion dancers and of course fire crackers and fireworks are the go for Hong Kong.

And if you don’t want it all to end - it won’t! Parades and parties continue for 2 or 3 days afterwards, so you can celebrate to your heart’s content!


 Sydney, Australia:

And if you are staying in Australia, while you enjoy the fireworks in person or on TV, you can gloat a little with the knowledge that you are living in one of the first countries in the world to welcome in the new year!


 January in Asia:

Chinese New Year: China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia:

Chinese New Year 2014 is on the 31st January and is the year of the Horse.

The celebrations continue for about 15 days, so think lots and lots of firecrackers, lots of food and lots of noisy lion dancers to scare away the bad luck from the old year, and to help to welcome in the new.

If you are in China - Beijing, Guangzhou, Xian and Pingyao are the best places to go for celebrations. 


A word of warning though, there will also be lots and lots of people putting a large strain on the Chinese transport system – it is referred to as the largest annual human migration in the world, as everyone returns to their home town to reunite with their families for the holiday.

So if you will be there at that time, make sure you are well prepared.

February in Sochi, Russia:

XXII Olympic Winter Games:

The XXII Olympic Winter Games are on between 7th – 23rd February.

Sochi will be the first Russian city to host the Winter Olympics.

So to get your fill of ice hockey, speed skating, figure skating, curling and sure to be spectacular opening and closing ceremonies - get your tickets now!



 February in Iceland:

 Northern Lights:

The Northern lights or Aurora borealis is a natural phenomenon that paints the night sky with blue, green and even red colours, and is often classed as one of the most spectacular spectacles on earth.

The best times to view them are late August to mid April. It occurs at extreme latitudes close to the earth’s magnetic poles, and Iceland is one of the best spots in the world to view these amazing lights.

However, you need to be patient, and prepared for the cold weather though - the best viewing times are: at winter, in the night time, the sky must be clear, there has to be an eruption on the sun so that solar wind will be released, that solar wind has to be directed towards the earth, and the particles must reach the Earth’s magnetic field!



It sounds difficult to catch, however, there have been many sightings when conditions are favourable!

February in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:

 Rio Carnival:

The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro will be held between February 8 to March 4.

It is considered the most famous carnival in the world - famous for its music, its dancing, its street parades and colourful floats.

It attracts up to 500, 000 foreign visitors, and dates back to 1823, where it began as a celebration of the rites of Spring .

The participants are made up of "samba schools" or social clubs from a particular neighbourhood.


They are responsible for their theme, music, lyrics, costumes and floats. The carnival takes over the whole of Rio, its streets, clubs, bars and venues, day and night – it is literally just one big party all day, every day, for 5 whole days! 



Note: We at Fast Cover Travel Insurance do our very best research to make sure that the dates we provide are correct. However, we recommend that you do confirm these events before you travel.


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