Holidays

The Big Bang

True enough, New Year's Eve isn't always what it's cracked up to be, and there's an easy comfort to curling up on the couch and watching cable news as it broadcasts live feeds from around the world, chronicling the countdown in different time zones. (There goes England!) But don't believe the hype: It's not really such a small world after all. Every culture approaches the coming of the New Year in its own lively, odd, and wonderful way—and those half-minute CNN reports never quite capture it. Here's a guide to finding the right celebration for you, from plumes of spraying champagne to moments of silent reflection. (Pictured: The fireworks off the Sydney Harbour Bridge.)

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