Unique ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve during the pandemic

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New Year’s Eve is a highly anticipated day on many people’s calendars. Social schedules tend to be busy during the holiday season, and that typically culminates on December 31, when people across the globe gather to say goodbye to one year and welcome in a new one.

Much of the world is no doubt ready to put 2020 in its rearview mirror, but New Year’s Eve celebrations will almost certainly have to be scaled back this year. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the ways people gather socially, so traditional New Year’s Eve parties likely won’t be in the cards as the world turns the calendar from 2020 to 2021.

Raucous parties might not be on the docket this December 31, but that does not mean people cannot still celebrate the end of what’s proven to be a very challenging year.

Don’t wait until midnight

Many people love to be around friends and family as the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that the COVID-19 virus spreads more easily indoors than outdoors. So gathering around the television to watch the ball drop in Times Square as you count down to the new year may put celebrants’ health in jeopardy. If you want to gather with loved ones, do so earlier in the day and gather outdoors when the weather figures to be much warmer than it will be at midnight. A champagne toast around a backyard firepit can serve as a stand-in for midnight toasts.

Hit the road

Travel restrictions may dictate where people can safely celebrate New Year’s Eve, but if large gatherings with friends are prohibited this year, families can plan getaways. New Year’s Eve is on a Thursday this year, and many offices will be closed on the following Friday in observance of the New Year’s Day holiday. That makes it an ideal weekend to get out of town. Many vacation rental services like VRBO and Airbnb have introduced guidelines to address health and safety concerns prospective travelers may have. Before booking a getaway, contact hosts to determine what they’re doing to make their rentals safe for renters.

Celebrate over and over again

One unique way to see 2020 to the door and usher in 2021 is to celebrate throughout the day and night as various areas of the world officially close the book on 2020. The Pacific island nations of Tonga, Samoa and Kiribati are the first countries to ring in the new year, and they will do so at what will be 5:00 a.m. on December 31 in New York. Many countries across the globe ring in the New Year before residents of North America, so North Americans can make a day of sending 2020 into the history books and celebrate each time a new country reaches 2021.

New Year’s celebrations figure to be different as the world ushers in 2021. But there are many unique ways to celebrate that can make New Year’s Eve just as fun as it’s always been. (MC) 

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