Lebanon celebrates New Year’s Day with a public holiday every 1 January, as does most of the rest of the world. However, the celebrations really begin on New Year’s Eve and reach a high point with the turning of the clock from 11:59pm on 31 December to midnight on 1 January.
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New Year’s Day is a time of resolutions and starting fresh for some, while for others it is spent recovering from a big, late night spent with friends and family.
Lebanon has long had its New Year’s Eve traditions, but in the late 2010s, the citywide mega-party in Beirut has been widely recognised as one of the top 10 New Year’s parties on the planet.
Beirut’s relatively new New Year’s tradition includes an electrifying combination of fireworks and dazzling lights in Nejmeh Square in the city’s downtown area. The flashing bursts of light reflect off of surrounding buildings and structures and off of the thousands in the crowd. There are also bands, shows, art displays, and more.
Most in Lebanon will at least watch the Beirut event on TV. They may have simpler celebrations at home or in local town squares, however, rather than attend the more glamorous Beirut festivity.