Bidding farewell to the past year as yet another year makes its way calls for celebration. While many flock to popular destinations to celebrate New Year’s Eve with pomp and pageantry, the Maldive islands tops many lists, and not without reason. The scattered island nation offers something to satiate the palate of every traveller. From private islands, cruises along the Indian Ocean, mouthwatering seafood barbecues, traditional Maldivian dinners, and grand beach parties with renowned musicians, and large dinner spreads, Maldivian celebrations range from humble to all-out gala events.
While half of the world celebrates during winter, the Maldives beckons you with the sunny side of life. After a day of snorkeling around the house reef, exploring sea and swimming alongside juvenile sharks, mantas and schools of radiant fish, have a gourmet five-course dinner waiting for you at the end of the night. Enjoy a balmy evening at the beach, clad in sundress and shorts, toes curling into the powder white sand, listening to the waves lap against the shore in gentle strokes as you wine and dine under the stars in a private sandbank.
If you wish to get a taste of authentic Maldivian cuisine, that can be arranged too. Both small hotels and high-end resorts offer traditional barbecue dinners. Start your day in the ocean, and catch your dinner for the night with seasoned fishermen at the helm of traditional Maldivian fishing vessels, Dhonis. Afterwards, enjoy the fruits of your labour at a traditional Maldivian style barbecue feast. Marinated in rich Maldivian spices, the fresh catch is seasoned and seared. Octopus, squid and succulent reef fish tantalize your taste buds as you eat them hot off the grill. Dance away at the beach to a boduberu performance, with traditional drums and folk songs to beats that would get your blood pumping and even those having an aversion to dancing tapping their feet to the rhythm.
Step into the world of luxury resorts, and you will find gala dinners, large beach parties with top notch drinks, fine wine and international DJs flying in just for the occasion. Spend the day trying your hand at adrenaline gripping watersports from parasailing to wakeboarding, or cruise along slicing the turquoise waters in a catamaran. Even better, venture deeper into the blue and become a PADI certified diver. Large dinner spreads welcome you at night with cuisines from all across the globe, enough to delight even the pickiest of eaters. Drinks and dancing are in order, and as the clock strikes midnight, everyone toasts to the year ahead. The festivities are often accompanied by traditional dancers and even show stopping fire dancers who promise to keep you on edge.
No matter what part of the country you are in, step outside and enjoy music shows and festivities often accompanied by fireworks, or make your way to the beach and gather around the large bonfire – all new traditions, which have become a mandatory part of Maldivian new year celebrations – as it crackles under the stars, welcoming the year ahead.