New Year’s Day is a holiday in Namibia as part of celebrations that start 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.
Celebrating New Year’s in Namibia is certainly a bit different than in other parts of the world. It’s true the calendar and tradition basically came from the West, and things like fireworks, new year’s resolutions, and all-night clock watching have migrated to Namibia.
But in Namibia, New Year’s get togethers and braai barbecues will sometimes have a special theme and may involve dressing up in costumes. These events are times of big social interaction, dancing that seems to never end, and lively discussions.
In Windhoek and some of the bigger cities, stadiums, hotels, and other venues will put on shows and fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve, which are well attended. The beaches are also packed this time of year, and you’ll see bonfires on the sand and fireworks overhead. Swakopmund’s Long Beach is especially popular.
Many tourists also visit on or around New Year, and it’s a prime time for going on safari in Namibia’s many national parks.