The Big Bang

Athens, Greece
The Fest: Kotzia Square has fireworks followed by Greek band after Greek band—tourists might not recognize the names, but the dancing and authentic vibe can't be beat. What Makes It Special: The traditions. January 1 falls on St. Basil's Day, an important Greek Orthodox observance. Families bake a single coin into the New Year's cake, and its recipient is supposed to garner even more luck in the upcoming year. The Crowd: It's a family affair. The Libation: You don't think there's some ouzo being tipped back? Ideal For: A cultural New Year's. The Next Day: A tourist could beat a path to the Acropolis and find himself or herself the only person at the 5th–century BC temple. Now that's a way to get a new perspective on the year.

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