New Year’s Eve: Ushering in 2014

Yes, it’s New Year’s Eve again, time to bust out the champagne and make resolutions you probably won’t keep.

But this year’s different. Cities around the world will host some of the most amazing celebrations ever. Edible confetti raining over London? Check. How about 400,000 pyrotechnics exploding over Dubai? Got that, too.

And let’s not forget that the new year also means bizarre new laws.

Here’s what to look out for in the coming hours:

1. Taste the rainbow

Why have a fireworks show that only looks good? Revelers in London can stick out their tongues during tonight’s extravaganza and enjoy banana-flavored confetti that’s choreographed to the fireworks. They’ll also see floating oranges drifting through the night sky — pop them to enjoy a citrusy scent!

Food artists Harry Parr and Sam Bompas have been working on the show for an entire year. They’ve even made sure their edible treats are kosher, vegan and hypoallergenic.

“We developed a special confetti that’s actually biodegradable, and in the rain it will magically dissolve,” Parr said. “Even better, it tastes amazing.”

Dubai rings in the New Year with a six-minute show featuring 400,000 pyrotechnics over 400 parts of the Dubai shoreline.

Dubai rings in the New Year with a six-minute show featuring 400,000 pyrotechnics over 400 parts of the Dubai shoreline.

2. Dubai goes big — really big

In Dubai — a city obsessed with superlatives — organizers attempted a world record for the biggest fireworks display near the world’s tallest building.

The spectacular show featured 400,000 pyrotechnics over 400 parts of the Dubai shoreline. That’s 100 kilometers (62 miles) of waterfront lighting up.

We’re waiting to hear if Dubai pulled off. If it did, it’ll blew Kuwait’s world record out of the water. That mark was set last year, when 77,000 fireworks exploded over 64 minutes.

3. Have a ball – an ‘odd’ ball

Sure, New York has a massive sparkly ball they’ve been dropping for the past century or so. But what other objects can you relinquish to gravity to mark the new year?

In some U.S. cities, it’s a fruit. In Honolulu, it’s a colossal glowing pineapple. In Atlanta, it’s a giant peach.

The North Carolina mountain town of Brasstown prefers a possum — slowly lowered and then set free.

For 16 years, Gary "Sushi" Marion has taken center stage on New Year's Eve in Key West, Florida, as the star of the annual "shoe drop."

For 16 years, Gary “Sushi” Marion has taken center stage on New Year’s Eve in Key West, Florida, as the star of the annual “shoe drop.”

But Key West, Florida, takes the cake with its drag queen drop.

For years, female impersonator Gary “Sushi” Marion has been lowered from the Bourbon St. Pub in Key West while riding in a massive high-heel shoe.

“It was inspired by ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ when it first came out, with the whole high heel on top of the bus,” said Joey Schroeder, owner of Bourbon St. Pub. “I wanted to take that idea and do something fun on New Year’s Eve.”

4. 25 hours of celebrations

Samoa and American Samoa are virtually neighbors, with just 101 miles between them. But they’re also 25 hours apart.

So one was among the first to ring in the new year; the other will be among the last.

How can this happen? Let’s just say the international date line isn’t even close to a straight line.

And because the date line isn’t fixed by any international law or agreement, it can zig and zag to accommodate government and business interests. It’s as close to a time machine as we’ll probably get.

5. Yes to placentas, no to shark fins

More than 40,000 new laws will take effect in the U.S. on New Year’s Day. While Colorado’s legalization of marijuana has racked up plenty of headlines, here are some of the more peculiar ones:

In Oregon, mothers will be allowed to take their placentas home from the hospital. Some say placenta capsules can help with postpartum depression, KGW reported, though there’s not a lot of medical research backing that up.

Delaware will join a growing number of states where you can’t own, sell or distribute shark fins, which is considered a delicacy in some East Asian cuisine.

And thousands of companies will have to provide calorie counts for products sold in vending machines.

Because if you’re going to a vending machine, clearly you care the most about calories, right?

Depends on what day of the resolution you’re on.

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