In keeping with annual tradition, the Eiffel Tower in Paris is expected to be lit up as visitors and locals alike celebrate New Year's Eve at midnight. In the past year, the nation has been rocked by two major terrorist massacres, and the tradition of the ceremony takes on fresh symbolic importance for the City of Light.
Terrorists with ties to the militant organization the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, descended on Paris Nov. 13, carrying out a spate of coordinated attacks that left 130 people dead in cafes, restaurants, a stadium and a concert hall. Parisians have tried to return to normal life in the wake of the attacks, though many local residents said many people remain afraid.
“We’ve had a lot of New Year’s Eve cancelations,” one caterer who had over 400 orders for New Year's Eve parties in 2014 told British newspaper the Telegraph. “It’s been catastrophic," said Francis Cousin, adding, "Everyone wanted to cancel everything. People are reluctant to organize events involving a lot of people.”
Peace for Paris pic.twitter.com/ryf6XB2d80
— jean jullien (@jean_jullien) November 13, 2015
The Eiffel Tower has long been one of the most recognizable symbols of Paris, and local graphic designer Jean Julien created a peace sign image using the Eiffel Tower during the wake of the November attacks. He posted his design to Twitter with the caption “Peace For Paris,” and the symbol quickly became popular, appearing throughout Paris, at the sites of the attacks and everywhere online.
For the many Parisians and visitors who will remain in the capital New Year's Eve, the Eiffel Tower is expected to draw crowds at midnight despite fears concerning another attack. People around the world can watch a live stream of the Eiffel Tower New Year's Eve via EarthCam here.
Known as “Saint-Sylvestre" or “Le Réveillon” to locals, many Parisians spend the night at cafes, restaurants or dance clubs, dancing and toasting the New Year.