Samoa went back to the future last year when it skipped a full day, changed sides of the International Date Line and went from being the last country to the first to see in the New Year. If you're visiting the island nation on Dec. 31 this year you can look forward to events that are less about fireworks and fanfare and more about family.
After visiting elders, Samoans traditionally welcome Jan. 1 with song and prayer services at large, and loud, choral exhibitions. You won't go hungry -- village banquets are very generous -- or thirsty for that matter, with all festivities beginning and ending with a kava ceremony. Don't forget your ukulele.
In Kyoto, New Year's Eve revelers are encouraged to make some noise. Crowds flock to the city's shrines, where stalls sell omikuji (fortune notes) and taiyaki (fish-shaped pancakes with green tea, chocolate or red bean fillings).
As the clock ticks toward 2013, temples across town ring large bronze bells 108 times, a Buddhist tradition said to rid humans of earthly desires.
The Yasaka Shrine and Chion-in Temple are particularly busy on Dec. 31 -- the latter features a bell that weighs more than 70 tons and takes a team of 17 monks to strike it, crying out "Ee hitotsu" (One more!) and "S?re" (Now!) each time they make contact.
The Taiwanese capital thinks big when it comes to New Year's Eve, transforming the 509-meter-high Taipei 101 tower into a fireworks frenzy with a 188-second show themed, "Amazing Moment, Amazing Taipei."
Six of the country's favorite performers, one for each hour of the official countdown, will entertain crowds at ground level.
If you can't secure a spot at Rainbow Riverside Park or Elephant Mountain, head to Miramar Entertainment Park, where an equally dazzling display will fill the night sky. After the big bangs subside, locals make their way to nearby hot-spring resorts for a romantic soak -- the perfect start to 2013.
Never shy of making a grandiose statement, Dubai sees in the New Year with a bang -- literally. The world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, is the launching pad for a multi million-dollar pyrotechnics display (also claiming to be the largest of its kind in the world), which sees choreographed fireworks cascading down the 828-meter-tall skyscraper to the tune of Arabic and world music notes.
The fun continues on the beach at the Atlantis, The Palm resort where the annual Sandance festival sees headlining acts Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora, Roger Sanchez and Paul Van Dyk entertain revelers into the early hours of 2013, backdropped by more fireworks, of course.