Every year, people across the globe ask the same question: where will I celebrate New Year’s Eve this year? If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous and spectacular than your regular New Year’s Eve celebration, celebrate New Year’s Eve away from home this year, in a global city where you can party like never before!
New York City, London and Paris all offer New Year’s Eve celebrations that will make December 31st 2012 a night to remember! For something else entirely, you can also try one of the bubbly cities in the South of France, such as Cannes or Nice, where the New Year’s Eve parties last all night long.
Let yourself be inspired by the New Year’s Eve celebrations across the globe listed in this article to ensure you’ll have the best New Year’s Eve yet!
New Year’s Eve in New York City
The ball drops in New York City’s Times Square on New Year’s Eve
Celebrating New Year’s Eve in New York City is nothing short of spectacular! Every year crowds gather in Times Square to watch the ball drop as a new year begins, and parties can be found across the city! Read the entire story here…»
Lounging at the Paris Plage on the right bank of the Seine River
Every year, as temperatures start to soar in Paris, Parisians and tourists alike set out for the Paris Plages. These urban beaches transform certain areas of Paris into sandy summer paradises for a whole month!
A Map of Paris Plages
The first Paris Plage was organized on the banks of the Seine River in 2002 by the mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë. He wanted to give Parisians who were unable to go on a holiday to the seaside the opportunity to experience the beach right in their own city.
The event proved so successful that a new Paris Plage was opened at a location outside the city center, at the Bassin de la Vilette, in 2007, and the general idea of urban beaches has been copied by cities throughout Europe.
This year, the 11th edition of Paris Plages is held. The beaches are opened on 19/20 July and can be visited until 19 August 2012. For 4 weeks during the height of the summer season, you can build sand castles, work on your tan at the deckchairs, and enjoy games of Pétanque.
The beaches are open from 8 am to midnight each day, and they are completely free to visit!
Because the two different locations both have some unique activities, we’ll highlight the Plage on the riverbank and the Plage at the Bassin de la Vilette below. Read the entire story here…»
Bastille Day Fireworks ignite the skies near the Eiffel Tower in Paris
On Saturday July 14th 2012, Bastille Day will be celebrated not only in France but all over the world! One of France’s biggest holidays, there will be Bastille Day parades, parties and fireworks across the country.
The French Tricolor Flag is displayed at the Arc de Triomphe for Bastille Day in Paris
Meanwhile, French expat communities and international Francophiles will hold their own celebrations in many different corners of the world. To give you an idea of the global celebrations, we’ll highlight 2012 Bastille Day festivities in four different cities. In this first part of the Bastille Day series, we’ll start off with Paris in Northern France and Nice in Southern France. In the second part, we’ll take you across the English Channel to London and then across the Atlantic to end with Bastille Day in New York City!
Le Quatorze Juillet
Bastille Day is a French National holiday (La Fête Nationale), which has been celebrated for over a century. Contrary to popular belief, Bastille Day doesn’t actually celebrate the storming of the Bastille. Instead, it commemorates the Fête de la Fédération of 1790, which was a huge feast held one year after the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789. The feast celebrated the new constitutional monarchy and the general notion of liberty in France. Even though the constitutional monarchy was short-lived and was followed by many turbulent periods, about a century later in 1880, it was decided that the 14th of July would become a national holiday. The French often refer to the holiday simply as “le quatorze Juillet”. Read the entire story here…»
Paris Jazz Festival is one of the city's biggest musical events
The connections between Paris and jazz music stretches back to the 1930s. And what better way to celebrate and enjoy the influence of America in France and vice versa than to take in the annual Paris Jazz Festival at the beautiful Parc Floral in Bois de Vincennes?
For two months, from June 9 to July 29, jazz musicians from all over the world offer outdoor concerts in the Parc Floral every weekend. Whether you are a jazz aficionado, a lover of live music, or simply enjoy picnics in gorgeous settings, this festival will entertain, delight, and enchant you with music and beauty.
The Parc Floral is the ideal setting for enjoying jazz. Laid out in 1969 for an international flower show, the blooms in this exceptional park change with the seasons, making each visit a new experience. The Jazz Festival will set up two stages in the park, a main stage and another stage over the water. While you listen to the cool sounds of guitar, drum, trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, and the human voice, you can sit back and watch the eponymous flowers of the park sway in time to the music. Read the entire story here…»
At first glance, the French holiday of Fête du Travail (Labor Day) would seem to have a lot in common with the American late summer holiday. Both celebrations commemorate the contributions of the nation’s workers and both offer the public a day off from that labor. A visit to Paris for Fête du Travail will show you just how different these two celebrations are.
To start, you will see friends exchanging lily-of-the-valley bouquets. This tradition started in 1561, when King Charles IX was offered a bouquet of these beauties on May 1 of that year. He was so taken by the gift that he decided to give the ladies of his court lilies-of-the-valley each year on May 1, and so a tradition was born. Read the entire story here…»
Foire de Paris Logo
Each spring, over 500,000 visitors flock to Paris’s Porte de Versailles convention center to enjoy the Foire de Paris—that is, the Paris Home Show. And yet, there is so much more to this gathering than just items for the home. 2,500 exhibitors arrive to show their goods, which include everything from furniture to tools to organic food to music to cars to gadgets to toys to housewares. The Foire de Paris, which has been held annually since 1904, is the perfect place to see what’s new in any number of fields.
A visit to the Foire de Paris is a treat for the entire family. This year’s show slogan is “Y’a d’la joie!” Roughly translated, it means “There is joy!” And truly, the show is all about making your world a pleasanter place to live in. The fair is broken into three exhibitions: Home and Environment, Well-Being and Leisure, and World of Cultures. Whether you are looking to organize or beautify your home, improve your health and recreation, or simply enjoy food, arts, clothing, and culture from around the world, the Foire de Paris offers you more options than you can imagine. Read the entire story here…»
A cycle race
On your Easter vacation to Paris, consider taking a quick day trip to watch the most grueling cycling event on the calendar. The Paris-Roubaix bicycle race—nicknamed the Hell of the North—will give you an opportunity to spend the day outdoors, watching elite athletes cycling through mud, rough terrain, and over the famous French provincial cobblestones, which make up over 67 uneven and bone-jolting miles of the 160 mile race.
Held each year on Easter Sunday (which falls on April 8 this year), the Paris-Roubaix race is one of the world’s oldest cycling events. It was first run in 1896, where it began at Porte Maillot in Paris and finished at the Roubaix velodrome, as it still does to this day. The start of the race has since been moved to Compiègne, a beautiful town northeast of Paris. Read the entire story here…»
Playing hoaxes and pranks on the first day of April is a long-standing tradition in America, but many people do not know that the quirky holiday actually originated in France, where the butt of an April 1st joke is known as a Poisson d’Avril—that is, an April fish. A common prank among French schoolchildren is to tape a paper fish to the back of an unsuspecting friend, only to shout “Poisson d’Avril!” when the fish is discovered.
Although the reason why fish are the symbol of this good-natured holiday is still a mystery, it is recognized that the holiday originated in Paris in the 16th century. In 1564, the French King Charles XIV decreed that the New Year would no longer be celebrated at the beginning of April, as it had been for years. Instead, January 1st would mark the start of each calendar year. Unfortunately, without reliable communication between the King’s court in Paris and the rural areas all over France, many of the French throughout the countryside either did not hear the news for several years, or simply did not believe that such a major change took place. So tricks and pranks were often played on those still following the old calendar rules—and a fun and silly tradition began. Read the entire story here…»
Valentine's Day in Paris
Paris is not only the most beautiful city to visit in the world, it is also unparalleled for romance and beauty. For Valentine’s Day this year, why not rediscover love through the age by taking a tour of the famous lovers in art and sculpture at the Louvre? You’re in for an unforgettable and romantic experience.
Most visitors to the Louvre take the time to admire the Venus de Milo, but you’ll want to look at her with new eyes on this trip. Venus—or her Greek counterpart, Aphrodite—was the immortal goddess of love and beauty. This graceful sculpture was carved around 100 BCE, and its unknown sculptor believed in appealing to Aphrodite for help with matters of the heart. Share a kiss with your sweetheart in front of this monument to love, and reap the rewards of Aphrodite’s favor.
Aphrodite was not the only god in charge of love in the ancient world. Her son, Cupid (also known as Eros) was the young man who shot love arrows at unsuspecting couples, making them fall helplessly in love with each other. Cupid also fell for a woman—the beautiful mortal Psyche, of whom his mother was jealous. The sculpture Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss by Antonio Canova depicts the moment when Cupid saves his beloved from an endless sleep caused by Venus. The elegant lines of this tender scene will move any art lover and anyone who has ever fallen in love. Read the entire story here…»
Chapms Elysees on New Years Eve with Fireworks
No one throws a New Years Eve party like they do in Paris! This December 31st, don’t miss the opportunity to dress to the nines, drink a glass of bubbly in the country that invented it, and give a celebratory bisou to your sweetheart when the clock strikes midnight. This year, why not enjoy a Parisian New Year’s that you will never forget?
For those revelers who prefer to celebrate with 100,000 of their closest friends, look no further than the outdoor party that is the Champs-Elysées each New Years. From 9 p.m. onwards, the Champs- Elysées is filled with party-goers carrying bottles of sparkling wine and plastic Champaign flutes, ready to toast each other when theEiffel Tower’s annual display of gorgeous lights and colors hits at the stroke of midnight. The famous tower’s show is not the end of the New Years revelry, however. Stick around to catch the post-midnight fireworks that cap off a night of glitter and glamour.
If you’d like a somewhat more subdued outdoor party, spend the evening on New Years Eve in Montmartre. The plaza of Sacré Coeur Cathedral fills with revelers who are somewhat calmer than their Champs-Elysées celebrating-brethren. Being at the top of the highest hill in Paris offers incredible views of the city skyline on clear nights, and New Years offers the opportunity to see fireworks displays set off in any corner of Paris. Montmartre is also home to bars, restaurants, cabarets, and clubs for those who prefer to celebrate the New Year inside. Treat yourself to a never-to-be forgotten dinner or a night of dancing to start your year off right. Read the entire story here…»