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New Year's Eve
Also called Hogmanay (Scotland),
Calennig (Wales),
Silvester (Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine),
Réveillon (France),
Ano Novo (Brazil, Portugal),
Nochevieja (Spain, Latin America) Oud en Nieuw (Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname, Netherlands Antilles)
Observed by People around the world
Type International
Significance The final day of the Gregorian year
Date 31 December, climaxing at midnight
Celebrations Reflections, Late-Night Partying, Family- Gatherings, Feasting, Present Exchanges, Fireworks, Countdowns
Related to New Year's Day

New Year's Eve or Old Year's Night is on 31 December, the final day of the Gregorian year, and the day before New Year's Day.

New Year's Eve is a separate observance from the observance of New Year's Day. In modern Western practice, New Year's Eve is celebrated with parties and social gatherings spanning the transition of the year at midnight.

Many cultures use fireworks and other forms of noise making in part of the celebration. New Year's Eve is observed universally on 31 December according to the year numbering of the Common Era, or A.D. Anno Domini convention, even in non-Christian nations. New Year's Eve is also the seventh day of Christmas in western Christianity. Traditional and religious celebrations for e.g. the Chinese, Muslim and Jewish new year, which occur on different dates, are still celebrated separately in the cultures that observe them, on the appropriate dates each year.


Localised celebrations



Fireworks at Sydney Harbour.
The Melbourne fireworks display as seen from Alexandra Gardens.

Each major city around Australia holds New Year’s Eve celebrations, usually accompanied by a fireworks display amongst other events. Gloucester Park, a racecourse in central Perth, is the largest and most recognised display in Perth. In Brisbane 50,000 people annually gather at sites around the Brisbane River in the city to watch a fireworks display while events are held in the city and at Southbank.

The two largest New Year's Eve celebrations in Australia are held in its two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne. The celebrations in Sydney are usually accompanied by a theme which is displayed in light shows and a large symbol in the middle of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Over 1.5 million people gathered around Port Jackson (Sydney attendance of 2 million people). The fireworks display last from 12 to 25 minutes and is followed by music shows set on several stages throughout the beach.

As one of the first major New Year's celebrations each year (due to time zones), Sydney's fireworks display is often broadcast throughout the world during the day of 31 December.[1]


In Austria, the New Year's Eve is usually celebrated with friends and family. At exactly midnight, all radio and television programmes operated by ORF broadcast the sound of the Pummerin (bell of St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna), and right after that the "Donauwalzer" (The Blue Danube) by Johann Strauss II is played, which many people dance to at parties or on the street. Large crowds gather on the streets of Vienna, where the municipal government organises a series of stages from which bands and orchestras play music. Fireworks are set off both by ordinary people and the municipal governments.


Belgian New Year's Eve celebrations are held in all large cities on 1 January. These celebrations are usually accompanied by fireworks.


The Ano Novo (New Year in Portuguese) celebration, also know in Brazilian Portuguese by the French word Reveillon, is one of the country's main holidays, and officially marks the beginning of the summer holidays, that usually end by Carnival (analogous to Memorial Day and Labor Day in the United States).
The beach of Copacabana (in Portuguese: Praia de Copacabana) is considered by many to be the location of the best fireworks show in the world. Brazilians usually have a copious meal with family or friends at home, in restaurants or private clubs, and consume alcoholic beverages. They usually dress in white, to bring good luck into the new year. Fireworks, offerings to African-Brazilian deities, eating grapes or lentils are some of the customs associated with the holiday.
The city of São Paulo also has a famous worldwide event: the Saint Silvester Marathon (Corrida de São Silvestre), which traverses streets between Paulista Avenue and the downtown area. It is contested by athletes of many countries, including such Olympic stars as the Kenyan runner Paul Tergat, who won it five times.

''As it is said all the countries without exception celebrate the New Year's Eve and eventually the New year. this is an event that concerns everyone and it is obvious that it is well celebrated!All the countries of the world celebrate in its own manner and the more spectacular it is, the better it is for the eyes of other countries.

Also in Paulista Avenue is a great New Year's Eve, with large fires burning in the midnight. Famous singers in Brazil are in the party. In moving from 2008 to 2009, 1 million people attended the party.


In Canada, New Year's traditions and celebrations vary from region to region. Generally, New Year's Eve (also known as New Year's Eve Day or Veille du Jour de l'An in French) in Canada is a social holiday. In major metropolitan areas such as Toronto and Montreal, major celebrations with music and fireworks are often held at midnight. Other common New Year's Eve celebrations such as late-night partying are also major events in these cities and other places around Canada. In some areas, such as in rural Quebec, people ice fish and drink with their friends until the early hours of January 1.[2]

On television, the sketch comedy troupe Royal Canadian Air Farce had been known for their New Year's Eve specials on CBC, which in addition before the start of their weekly television series, was one of their first forays into television after years on radio. Consequentially, the series finale of their television series was a New Year's Eve special on December 31, 2008, although due to their popularity, the CBC requested that they return for a New Year's Eve special for 2009.[3][4]


In China, although the celebrations of the Lunar New Year are not until a few weeks into the new year, celebrations of the Gregorian New Year are still held in some areas. Celebrations with fireworks and rock concerts have taken place in Beijing's Solana Blue Harbor Shopping Park.


The Danes usually celebrate New Year's Eve, or nytårsaften in Danish, with their families or, more commonly nowadays, with their close friends, with fireworks and champagne. The evening meal on New Year's Eve is often more exclusive, and often consists of three courses; traditional desserts include Marzipan ring cake (Danish: kransekage, lit.: ring cake). Danes often watch the Queen's New Year's Speech on television. The climax is when the clock on the Copenhagen City Hall reaches twelve, and the thousands of gathered people at the city square cheer and set off their fireworks. As in Germany the national television station. Traditionally people go around town and throw old dishes at their friends and families doors. The amount of broken cutlery heaped at a door is a measure of the popularity of the owner.[5] DR1 broadcasts Dinner for One (in Danish: 90 års fødselsdagen (lit.: The 90th birthday)).


Ecuador celebrates a unique tradition on the last day of the year. Elaborate effigies, called Años Viejos (Old Years) are created to represent people and events from the past year. Often these include political characters or leaders that the creator of the effigy may have disagreed with. The dummies are made of straw, newspaper, and old clothes, with papier-mâché masks. Often they are also stuffed with fire crackers. At midnight the effigies are lit on fire to symbolize burning away of the past year and welcoming of the New Year. The origin of the tradition has its roots in pagan Roman and pre-Roman Spanish traditions still celebrated in Europe and which were brought to many countries of Latin-America in colonial times.

Other rituals are performed for the health, wealth, prosperity and protection. For example, traditionally each person eats twelve grapes before midnight, making a wish with each grape. Popularly, yellow underwear is said to attract positive energies for the New Year. Finally, walking around the block with one's suitcase will bring the person the journey of their dreams.


New Year's Eve fireworks in Paris

The French call New Year's Eve "la Saint-Sylvestre". It is usually celebrated with a feast called le Réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre. This feast customarily includes special dishes like foie gras and drinks like champagne. The celebration can be a simple, intimate dinner with friends and family or a much fancier ball (une soirée dansante).

On le Jour de l'An (New Year's Day), friends and family exchange New Year's resolutions and sometimes gifts. Some people eat heart or log shaped desserts, sometimes made of ice cream[6]

The holiday period ends on January 6 for the Epiphany. On this day, they traditionally enjoy a type of cake that varies depending on where you are in France, resembling king cake in the United States.


Germans call New Year's Eve Silvester because 31 December is the feast day of Pope St. Sylvester. Since 1972, each New Year's Eve, several German television stations broadcast a short English (recorded by West German television in 1963) theatrical performance titled Dinner for One.[7] A punch line from the comedy sketch, "same procedure as every year", has become a catch phrase in Germany.[8] Every year Berlin hosts one of the largest New Year's Eve celebrations in all of Europe which is attended by over a million people. The focal point is the Brandenburg Gate and the fireworks at midnight centered around that location. Germans have a reputation of spending large amounts of money on firecrackers and fireworks. At midnight, Germans toast to the New Year with a glass of Sekt (German sparkling wine) or champagne. 'Bleigießen' is another German New Year's Eve custom, which involves telling fortunes by the shapes made by molten lead dropped into cold water.

Great Britain

Britain traditionally welcomes the new year with the chimes of Big Ben. Many cities have large firework displays and street parties, the two main events being in London and Edinburgh.


The main celebrations are broadcasted showing London's firework display, which is centred around the London Eye. It is one of the world's biggest fireworks displays for New Year. At the start of 2005, fireworks were launched from the wheel itself for the first time. The timing of the new year is usually indicated by the chimes on Big Ben.[9]

The celebrations have been televised from London over the last few years by the BBC in England and Wales. Other major displays are held in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Newcastle . Bideford in North Devon is also renowned for its New Year's Eve celebrations and traditional fancy dress, the centre of the celebrations on the quayside and around the Old Bridge.


Welsh celebrations on New Year's Eve are known as Calennig. The tradition of giving gifts and money on New Year's Day is an ancient custom that survives even in modern-day Wales, though nowadays it is now customary to give bread and cheese[10].

Thousands of people descend every year on Cardiff city centre to enjoy live music, catering, ice-skating, funfairs and fireworks. Many of the celebrations take place at Cardiff Castle and Cardiff City Hall.


Hogmanay Fireworks in Edinburgh

Scotland celebrates New Year as Hogmanay, and is celebrated greatly across the country with several different customs, such as First Footing, which involves friends or family members going to each others houses with a gift of whisky and sometimes a lump of coal. Other cities across Scotland, such as Aberdeen, Glasgow, and Stirling also have celebrations, also with fireworks at midnight.

Edinburgh has one of the world's most famous New Year celebrations with the focus being a major street party along Princes Street. The cannon is fired at Edinburgh Castle at the stroke of midnight and is followed by a large fireworks display. Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, hosts a full 4 or 5 day festival stretching from the 28th to either New Year's Day or 2 January, which is also a Bank holiday in Scotland, unlike the rest of the United Kingdom.

BBC Scotland broadcast the celebrations in Edinburgh to a Scottish audience, with the celebrations also broadcast across the world. STV covers the New Year celebrations worldwide, with additionally providing coverage in Scotland of events going on around the country.


In the town of Antigua, Guatemala, people usually get together at the Santa Catalina Clock Arch to celebrate.

Guatemalans down a grape with each of the twelve chimes of the bell during the New Year countdown, while making a wish with each one.

Other traditions include sweeping the dirt out and taking luggage outside as a symbol of future trips.

The celebrations are very similar to those of Mexico and Spain.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the people usually get together in Central, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui to celebrate and to look at the night lights along the harbor. The Times Square shopping mall in Hong Kong also holds their own send-off to the ball drop held at Times Square in New York City.


"Gleðilegt nýtt ár" is "Happy new year" in Icelandic. In Iceland the biggest new year events are usually in the greater Reykjavik area. Fireworks are very popular in Iceland. Bonfires are also set in several places throughout the country and are often accompanied with shows, musical events and sometimes foodtables.


In India, Goa with its inherent party culture, is the ideal venue for celebrating the birth of a new year. Tourists and backpackers from all over the world descend on Goa to revel in the festivities accompanying the New Year celebration. Most celebrations take place in the larger cities of India like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and since 2009-10, in Chandigarh. Events such as live concerts and dances by Bollywood stars are organised and attended mostly by youngsters. Large crowds also gather at popular spots along the coastline such as the Gateway of India, Girgaum Chowpatty, Bandra Bandstand, Juhu Beach etc. More often than not friends rather than family tend to get together to celebrate the New Year.

Many people individually arrange "Puja's" of their respective gods and goddess(especially on 1 January) to mark the New Year.


The local government of Jakarta often holds a music show, a new year's countdown, and fireworks party in New Year's Eve celebration. The events often held in Monumen Nasional, Taman Impian Jaya Ancol, and Taman Mini Indonesia Indah. In Jakarta, people celebrates New Year's Eve in Jalan Muhammad Husni Thamrin, with their families, siblings, or their friends. Trumpet and fireworks are the most important things for Indonesian people to celebrate their New Year's Eve.


The Irish call New Year's Eve New Year's Eve, or in Irish - Oíche Chinn Bliana, Oíche na Coda Móire or Oíche Chaille. Celebrations in major cities are modest. The beginning of 2009 was heralded only by the ringing of church bells. This is due to a ban on fireworks.


Italians call New Year's Eve Capodanno (the "head of the year") or Notte di San Silvestro (the night of St. Silvestro). Traditionally there are a set of rituals for the new year, such as wearing red underwear and getting rid of old or unused items by dropping them from the window.

Dinner is often eaten with parents and friends. It often includes zampone or cotechino (a kind of spiced Italian sausage) and lentils. At half past eight pm, The President of the Republic reads a television message of greetings to Italians.

At midnight, fireworks are displayed across Italy.


The day is a preparation day to welcome toshigami (年神), new year's god. Therefore, traditionally, people clean their home and prepare Kadomatsu and/or Shimenawa to welcome the god before New Year's Eve.

Buddhist temples ring their bells 108 times[8] at midnight. This tradition is called joya no kane (除夜の鐘) which means "bell rings on new year eve's night." The rings represent 108 elements of bonō (煩悩), defilements, or Kilesa in Sanskrit, which is said people have in their mind. The bells are rung to repent 108 of the bonnō.

A popular TV show on New Year's Eve in Japan is Red and White Year-end Song Festival. Kōhaku Uta Gassen is a 60-year-old tradition involving a singing contest between male and female teams of celebrity singers.

Kiribati, Republic of

This is the first country to receive the New Year. Kiritimati (UTC+14) is the first place of this country to see the sun rise.


In Lebanon, people celebrate the New Year's Eve by the use of fireworks, and by organizing tabouli, hummus and kibbi and other Lebanese foods for family and friend gatherings. These celebrations could also take place at some diners and clubs. Game shows are also organised where people can try their luck to win some money. The synchronised final countdown is broadcast through the leading TV channel and the celebrations usually continue until sunrise.


Mexicans down a grape with each of the twelve chimes of the bell during the New Year countdown, while making a wish with each one. On New Year's Eve, women who want to find love in the new year wear red underwear, or yellow if they want money.[8] They make life-size dolls out of old clothes, fill them with fireworks and set them on fire at the stroke of midnight. Other traditions include sweeping the dirt out, taking luggage outside as a symbol of future trips, hanging sheep dolls (mainly made out of wool) in the doorknob for prosperity, among others. The celebrations are very similar to those of Spain.


Montenegrin New Year's Eve celebrations are held in all large cities on 1 January. These celebrations are usually accompanied by fireworks. It is usually celebrated together with family or friends in house or outside. Restaurants, clubs, cafe's and hotels are always organizing celebration with food and music.


Fireworks in New Year's Eve, Casablanca

New Year's Eve is also celebrated in Morocco. Moroccans call it Rass l'aam or (رأس العام) which means the "head of the year".

In Casablanca, New Year's Eve is celebrated in the company of family and friends. People get together to eat cake, dance, laugh. Traditionally, people celebrate it at home, but some of them prefer to hit the clubs.

At midnight, fireworks are displayed across Ain Diab, in the Corniche of Casablanca.


Nederland 3 clock and a countdown to 2000.[1]

New Year's Eve is called Oud en Nieuw ("Old and New") or simply oudejaarsavond ("old year's evening"), and is usually celebrated as a cosy evening with family or friends. Traditional snack foods are oliebollen (oil dumplings) and appelbeignets (apple slice fritters).[11] On television, the main feature is the oudejaarsconference, a performance by one of the major Dutch cabaretiers (comparable to stand-up comedy, but more serious; generally including a satirical review of the year's politics). In Reformed Protestant families, Psalm 90 is read, although this tradition is now fading away.[12] At midnight, Glühwein (bishopswine) or Champagne is drunk. Many people fire off their own fireworks, which are on sale from a few days before; towns don't organise a central fireworks display. Public transport shuts down completely (the only scheduled time during the year) between approximately 20:00 and 01:00.

On television a clock is broadcast several minutes before midnight.

New Zealand

Auckland is 496.3 kilometres (308.4 mi) west of the International Date Line and thus is the first major city to see the beginning of the new year, however it is Kiritimati, Republic of Kiribati that is the first "city" in the world to see the first sun rise for the year. In New Zealand, cities celebrate this with large street parties and fireworks displays. Elsewhere in New Zealand, local councils usually organise parties and street carnivals and fireworks displays. In recent years however, liquor bans have been imposed on many of the more popular areas due to disorder, vandalism and other anti-social behaviour. During the day of New Year's Eve, in recent years, the Black Caps have played a One Day International cricket game in Queenstown.


Filipinos usually celebrate New Year's Eve with the company of family and close friends. Traditionally, most households stage a dinner party named Media Noche in their homes. Typical dishes include pancit, Hamon , Lechón (roasted pig), which is usually considered as the centerpiece of the dinner table. Barbecued food is also an integral part of the menu.

Most Filipinos follow a set of traditions that are typically observed during New Year's Eve. Included among these traditions is the customary habit of wearing clothes with circular patterns like polka dots, this signifies the belief that circles attract money and fortune or other colorful clothing to show enthusiasm for the coming year. Throwing coins at the stroke of midnight is said to increase wealth that year. Traditions also include the serving of circularly-shaped fruits, shaking of coins inside a metal casserole while walking around the house, and jumping up high which is believed to cause an increase in physical height. People also make loud noises by blowing on cardboard or plastic horns, called "torotot", banging on pots and pans or by igniting firecrackers and pyrotechnics at the stroke of midnight, in the belief that it scares away malevolent spirits and forces.

Urban areas are usually hosts to many New Year's Eve parties and countdown celebrations which are usually hosted by the private sector with the help of the local government. These parties usually display their own fireworks spectacles and are often very well attended.


New Year's Eve is usually celebrated in the country with joy; however, as Pakistan is an Islamic country, they also celebrate New Year's Eve on the very first of Muharram (First Islamic Month). It is celebrated as a religious occasion with Muslims offering special prayers on this eve.


The celebration of New Year's Eve in Poland is full of much vibrance. Traditionally, Poles have devoted each day on the calendar to a particular saint for adoration and devotion to that saint. December 31 is named after St. Sylvester, and thus the day is commonly referred to as "Sylvester". Celebrations partake both indoor and out, with the most notable being held in the Main Square - Rynek in Krakow. Here, thousands celebrate the New Year with live music and a fireworks display over St. Mary's Basilica. Similar festivities are held in cities around Poland such as Wroclaw.

For those who do not wish to spend the New Year in a city, the mountains are a popular destination. Zakopane, located in the Carpathian Mountain Range, is the most popular Polish mountain resort.


The celebration of the New Year's Eve in Romania has a totally traditional flavor. Romanians welcome the New Year with the customs, rituals and conventions that have been around for centuries. The children as well as the adults, take part in the joyous celebrations with great enthusiasm. On New Year's Eve in Romania, small school going children sing Plugusorul and Sorcova. The songs wish good luck, happiness and success.


Most Russians celebrate New Year's Eve with their families and close friends. The celebration usually starts one or two hours before midnight and the common tradition is to "say farewell to the old year" by remembering most important events of the last twelve months. At five minutes to twelve most of the people watch the president's speech on TV[13] or watch popular New Year TV shows ("Goluboy Ogonek"). There is a tradition to listen to the Kremlin clock bell ('Kuranty') ringing twelve times on the radio or on TV. During these last 12 seconds of the year people keep silence and make their secret wishes for the next year. After that they drink champagne and have rich dinner, watching TV concerts and having fun. Some people like starting fireworks outside and visiting their friends and neighbors. As the 30th and 31 December are working days, a lot of people also have small parties at work, though 31 December is mostly spent at home or with friends. There is an old superstition that if the first visitor (especially unexpected one) on the 1st of January is a man, the year will be good. People also try to start the new year without debts.


New Year in Serbia is traditionally celebrated extensively. Indoors, families celebrate New Year's Eve with an abundance of food. Decorated "Christmas"-trees are predominantly related to New Year, hence called "novogodišnja (new years) jelka". Around or after midnight, "Deda Mraz" (Grandpa Frost) visits houses and leaves presents under the tree, to be unpacked then or, if the family is asleep, only to be discovered in the morning.

Restaurants, clubs, cafe's and hotels are usually full-booked and organize New Year's celebrations with food and live music.

However, Serbian New Year's celebrations are most known for the outdoors festivities in Belgrade, and several other major cities such as Novi Sad and Niš. As of mid-December, cities are extensively decorated and lit. The decorations remain until way into January due to the persistent influence of the old, Julian calendar. Throughout the region, especially amongst former Yugoslav republics, Belgrade is known as the place to be for major parties, concerts and happenings. It has become common for large groups of Slovenes to visit their former capital and celebrate the beginning of a new year. Especially since the mid-nineties, street celebrations grew into mass gatherings with hundreds of thousands of people, celebrating New Year on one of several locations throughout Belgrade. During former President Milošević's mandate, the gatherings had a strong political connotation as well. As of 2000, every year the City of Belgrade organizes several concerts with major national and international performers on Belgrade's major squares; the Republic Square, Terazije Square and in front of the Serbian (formerly Federal) Parliament building. The concerts commence early in the evening and last well into the morning. Usually, there are separate celebrations and concerts organized for small children (Slavija Square) and for elderly (Kalemegdan park). Midnight is marked by major fireworks fired from suitable buildings within the city.

On January 1, the central Svetogorska street is closed for traffic and used to hold the "street of open heart" festival; food and warm drinks are served and open air theater plays are performed, while families with children as well as politicians (often including the President) walk down the street. The evening of the first of January is reserved for the so-called "repriza", a repetition of the previous night; people often go to the club, friends or square where they were last night to celebrate once more. Slightly down-scaled festivities are organized.

On January 13, a large part of the population celebrates "Serbian New Year", according to the Julian calendar. This time, usually one concert is organized in front of either City Hall or the National Parliament (in Belgrade), while fireworks are prepared by the Serbian Orthodox Church and fired from the Saint Sava Temple, where people also gather. Other cities also organize such celebrations.


Marina Bay New Year's Eve Countdown.

In Singapore, the biggest celebration and also the main focal point of all New Year's Eve celebrations in Singapore takes place at the Marina Bay area. It would be attended by some 250,000 or more people spanning around the bay area starting from the Marina Bay floating Stadium to the Esplanade promenade, the Esplanade Bridge, Benjamin Sheares Bridge, Merlion Park, and the Padang at City Hall facing the Marina Bay direction.

Other places where people has also soak in the celebration atmosphere in Marina Bay includes from nearby hotels such as The Fullerton Hotel, Marina Madarin, The Ritz-Carlton Millenia, Marina Bay Sands, offices located at Raffles Place, Marina Bay Financial Centre, Residential Apartments at The Sail @ Marina Bay, and from atop the world's tallest ferris wheel - The Singapore Flyer. All of whom are facing the Marina Bay direction and overlooking the waterfront also.

Out on the watersfronts of Marina Bay, 20,000 inflatable 'wishing spheres' - carrying 500,000 wishes penned down by Singaporeans would formed a visual arts display filled with brilliant colors beamed from the spotlights erected along the Esplanade promenade open area.

The audiences would also be entertained by a host of variety shows and concerts staged at the Marina Bay floating platform stage featuring local and overseas artistes viewable by all at the bay and telecast live on the republic's local TV channel.

10 seconds to the stroke of midnight, the concert emcees would be initiating the final countdown together with the audiences. And thereafter, spectacular and glittering fireworks would be fired off from the waters at Marina Bay and lighting up the whole bay against the backdrop of the Singapore skyline.


The Puerta Del Sol in 2005 New Year's Eve

Spanish New Year's Eve (Nochevieja or Fin de Año in Spanish, Cap d'Any in Catalan, Cabo d'Anyo in Aragonese) celebrations usually begin with a family dinner, traditionally including shrimp and lamb or capon. Spanish tradition says that wearing new, red underwear on New Year's Eve brings good luck. The actual countdown is primarily followed from the clock on top of the Casa de Correos building in Puerta del Sol square in Madrid. It is traditional to eat twelve grapes, one on each chime of the clock. This tradition has its origins in 1909, when grape growers in Alicante thought of it as a way to cut down on the large production surplus they had had that year. Nowadays, the tradition is followed by almost every Spaniard, and the twelve grapes have become synonymous with the New Year. After the clock has finished striking twelve, people greet each other and toast with sparkling wine such as cava or champagne, or alternatively with cider.

After the family dinner and the grapes, many young people attend New Year parties at pubs, discothèques and similar places (these parties are called cotillones de nochevieja, after the Spanish word cotillón, which refers to party supplies like confetti, party blowers, party hats, etc.). Parties usually last until the next morning and range from small, personal celebrations at local bars to huge parties with guests numbering the thousands at hotel convention rooms. Early next morning, party attendees usually gather to have the traditional winter breakfast of chocolate con churros (hot chocolate and fried pastry).


Pagara (Red-firecracker-ribbons) New Year's Eve in Suriname is called Oud jaar which means old year. It is during this period that the Surinamese population goes to the city's commercial district to watch demonstrational fireworks. This is however, a spectacle based on the famous red-firecracker-ribbons. The bigger stores invest in these firecrackers and display them out in the streets. Every year the length of them is compared, and high praises are held for the company that has managed to import the largest ribbon. These celebrations start at 10 in the morning and finish the next day. The day is usually filled with laughter, dance, music, and drinking. When the night starts, the big street parties are already at full capacity. The most popular fiesta is the one that is held at café 't Vat in the main tourist district. The parties there stop between 10 and 11 at night. After which the people go home to light their pagaras (red-firecracker-ribbons) at midnight. After 12, the parties continue and the streets fill again until daybreak.


In Switzerland, New Year's Eve is typically celebrated at a residence with friends (Christmas usually having been celebrated with family). There are no particular main dishes associated with the event, although sweets and desserts are usual. Each commune has its own government-arranged countdown in a public space, accompanied with formal fireworks shows in larger cities.


In Sweden, New Year's Eve is usually celebrated with families or with friends. A few hours before and after midnight, people usually party and eat a special dinner, often three courses. New Year's Eve is celebrated with large fireworks displays throughout the country, especially in the cities. People over 18 are allowed to buy fireworks, which are sold by local stores or by private persons. While watching or lighting up fireworks at midnight, people usually drink champagne. During the evening there is a showing on TV of the old West German cult classic Dinner for One with Freddie Frinton. This was released in 1963 in West Germany, Sweden 1969, and Denmark 1973.Ref:


A fireworks display on Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan, New Year's 2008. A rare example of fireworks on a skyscraper.[14]

Many people in Taiwan celebrate the end of the year. Concerts are held in most of the cities, including Taoyuan, Taichung, Taipei, and Kaoshiung. Recently, the nation has used higher technology to communicate among the cities via video, enabling the cities to count down together. The most crowded city is the capital, Taipei, where most people gather by Taipei 101 and shopping centres in its vicinity. The tower is located in the shopping and financial area of the Xinyi District. People gather around the streets of Taipei 101 as they count down. With each number they count, one of the layers of Taipei 101 (eight floors per layer) lights up until 0, when the fireworks shoot out from the top of each layer (eight layers excluding a layer under the antenna) in different directions, as shown in the picture at right.


Numerous decorations and customs traditionally associated with Christmas and Bayrams find a secular translation in Turkish New Year's Eve celebrations, where homes and streets are lit up in glittering lights as well as various traditional Turkish aesthetic practices. Small gifts are exchanged, and large family dinners are organized with family and friends, featuring a special Zante currant-pimento-dill iç pilav dish, dolma, hot börek, baklava baklava and various other eggplant dishes, topped with warm pide, salep and boza.

Television and radio channels are known to continuously broadcast a variety of special New Year's Eve programs, while Municipalities all around the country organize fundraising events for the poor, in addition to celebratory public shows such as concerts and family-friendly events, as well as more traditional forms of entertainment such as the Karagöz and Hacivat shadow-theater and even performances by the Mehter - the Janissary Band that was founded during the days of the Ottoman Empire.

Public and private parties with large public attendances are organised in a number of cities and towns, particularly in the largest metropolitan areas such as Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Adana and Antalya, with the biggest celebrations taking place in Istanbul's Taksim, Beyoğlu, Nişantaşı and Kadıköy districts and Ankara's Kızılay Square, which generally feature dancing, concerts, laser and lightshows as well as the traditional countdown and fireworks display.


In the former Soviet Union, New Year has the same cultural significance as Christmas has in the United States, but without the religious connotations. Russian, Ukrainian and other families from former Soviet Union traditionally install spruce trees at home, the equivalent of a Christmas tree. In Eastern Europe, there is the Ded Moroz, who looks similar to Santa Claus, except he wears robes, and instead of reindeer, he is pulled by a troika (i.e. a three-horse drawn sled). Families gather to eat a large feast and reflect on the past year. They have a large celebration, make toasts, and make wishes for a happy New Year. Families give presents to their friends as well as informal acquaintances. This is due to Russians being a closely-knit community, and it is seen as a taboo to not give presents to those the family associates with. Children stay up until midnight, waiting for the New Year. Also, during these celebrations many Russians tune to special New Year shows, which have become a long-standing tradition for the Russian TV.

New Year is often considered a "pre-celebration" for the Eastern Orthodox living in Eastern Europe, primarily in Russia and Ukraine, since Christmas is celebrated on January 7 according to the Eastern Orthodox tradition.

United States

Countdown 2006 in NYC

In the United States, New Year's Eve is a major social holiday. One of the top destination cities for New Year's Eve is New York City.[15] Las Vegas's America's Party‎ is also attracting a large number of New Year's Eve party goers with the famous Las Vegas Strip being closed to vehicles and fireworks launched from numerous rooftops.

In the past 100 years the "ball dropping" on top of One Times Square in New York City, broadcast to all of America (and rebroadcast in many other countries), is a major component of the New Year celebration.[16] The 11,875-pound (5,386 kg), 12-foot (3.7 m) diameter Waterford crystal ball located high above Times Square is lowered, starting at 11:59:00pm and reaching the bottom of its tower 60 seconds later, at the stroke of midnight (12:00:00am). This is repeated in many towns and cities across the United States.[16] From 1981 to 1988, New York City dropped an enlarged apple in recognition of its nickname. It is sometimes referred to as "the big apple" like the city itself; the custom derives from the time signal that used to be given at noon in harbors.

Excessive drinking is longstanding feature of U.S. New Year's Eve celebrations (1912 postcard).

From 1972 through 2007 (except in 1999), Dick Clark hosted televised coverage of the event called Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, shown on ABC, and now renamed Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest for the arrival of 2009. The show did not air for the arrival of 2000 as it was preempted by ABC 2000 Today, but Dick Clark reported during the "ABC 2000" broadcast, with an introduction from Peter Jennings, saying some would not consider it the New Year if Dick Clark did not count it down. From 1956 to 1976 on CBS, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians serenaded the United States from the ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Park Avenue in New York City. The Royal Canadians continued on CBS until 1978, and Happy New Year, America replaced it in 1979, continuing until 1995. The song Auld Lang Syne has become a popular song to sing at midnight on New Year's Eve, with the Lombardo version being the standard. NBC also has hosted New Year's coverage; traditionally, the networks' late night hosts have hosted special editions of their regular shows (including a special Central Time Zone-specific countdown on Late Night with Conan O'Brien), but since 2005, the network has opted for a special entitled New Year's Eve with Carson Daly. Fox, CNN, and Fox News Channel also have their own New Year's specials. One of the more popular traditions is the Twilight Zone marathon hosted on SyFy (formerly SciFi)


Religious Communities
United Methodists and Protestant churches serving the black community have a tradition of New Year's Eve known as "Watch Night." The faithful congregate in worship services commencing New Year's Eve night and continuing past midnight into the new year. Watch Night is a time for giving thanks for the blessings of the outgoing year and praying for divine favor during the upcoming year. Though held by some to have begun in the African American community, watch night can actually be traced back to John Wesley, the founder of Methodism.[17] Wesley learned the custom of Watchnight from the Moravian Brethren who came to England in the 1730s.Moravian Congregations still observe the Watchnight Service on New year's Eve. Watch Night took on special significance to African Americans on New Year's Eve 1862, however, as slaves anticipated the arrival of January 1, 1863, and Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.[18]

Local celebrations

Many cities in the US have their own local version of the celebration, even while keeping an eye on New York, and the New York-centric aspect of the holiday is diminishing.

In recent years, festivities in downtown Cleveland, Ohio have increased in popularity, demonstrating a midwest style to the traditional New Year's festivities. Specifically, several bars including "Blind Pig" and more recently "Cadillac Ranch" host parties drawing thousands of revelers. The party at "Cadillac Ranch" is especially a sign of the revitalization of the Cleveland area as its location is adjacent to the Health Line.

Many cities, echoing the New York tradition of ball drop, also descend or lower an object (or an enlarged representation of an object) For example, big balloon drops are traditional at the Professionals Guild singles New Year's Eve parties in Sacramento and in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The festivities in downtown Chicago take place at Navy Pier, as fireworks are shot off next to the pier.

In some communities the objects dropped have special local significance. Orange County, California, Orange County, Texas, and Orange County, New York, all drop large oranges (Orange County, Florida, tried it briefly, but has since ceased doing so). There are also examples of things going up. In Seattle the countdown is done by raising the Space Needle's elevator and launching fireworks up the side of the tower until both reach the top at midnight. Also Atlanta, Georgia does their famous Peach Drop, another event that is shown on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve.

New Year's Eve is a major event in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the Las Vegas Strip is shut down as several hundred thousand people party. New Year's Eve is traditionally the busiest day of the year at Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California, where the parks stay open late and the usual nightly fireworks are supplemented by an additional New Year's Eve-specific show at midnight. In New Orleans, Louisiana, another of the most popular New Year celebration venues in North America, similar crowds of hundreds of thousands gather in the French Quarter, particularly on Bourbon Street and Canal Street, to celebrate the New Year.

Many cities also celebrate First Night, a non-alcohol family-friendly New Year's Celebration, generally featuring performing artists, community events, parades, and fireworks displays. First Night began in Boston in 1976 and is now found in over 60 cities nationwide. A similar celebration is Providence, Rhode Island's Bright Night,and an artist-run arts celebration that started when Providence's First Night went bankrupt in 2003.

Celebratory gunfire and unapproved fireworks use

In several cities of the U.S., New Year celebrations are punctuated by celebratory gunfire which could potentially cause injuries or deaths. Police departments in many cities, aided by gun safety organizations, have attempted to crack down on this practice through technology and stiffer penalties.


In Venezuela, many of the traditions are very similar to the ones from Spain, with an over-emphasis in traditions that supposedly will bring good luck in the year forthcoming. Those who want to find love in the New Year are supposed to wear red underwear on New Year's Eve; those who want money must have a bill of high value when toast, those who want to travel must go out home while carrying some luggage, and so on. Yellow underwear is worn to bring happiness in the New Year.

Usually, people listen to radio specials, which give a countdown and announce the New Year according to the legal hour in Venezuela, and, in Caracas, following the twelve bells from the Cathedral of Caracas. During these special programs is a tradition to broadcast songs about the sadness on the end of the year, being popular favorites "Viejo año" ("Old year") by Gaita group Maracaibo 15 and "Cinco pa' las 12" ("Five minutes before twelve") who was versioned by several popular singers like Nestor Zavarce, Nancy Ramos and José Luis Rodríguez El Puma, and the unofficial hymn for the first minutes of the New Year is "Año Nuevo, Vida Nueva" ("New Year, New Life"), by the band Billo's Caracas Boys.


In English-speaking countries, a few popular songs are associated with New Year's Eve and it is common to hear them on the radio these countries on, or shortly before, December 31.

Year 2000 related songs

During the festivities for the year 2000, Prince's 1999 was re-released and enjoyed increased popularity due to the song's namesake year. Will Smith also released a song entitled Will 2K, which also proved successful, owing to the lyrics' celebration of millennium parties. Robbie Williams enjoyed a similar success with his 1998 single Millennium, as did Pulp for their 1995 sing Disco 2000.

A song that may also receive some moderate airplay on this night as well is The Final Countdown, for obvious reasons, which was recorded by the Swedish hard rock band EUROPE, who delivered a notable performance of the song on New Year's Eve 1999, with both of their lead guitarists John Norum and Kee Marcello, the only such performance EUROPE ever had with both of them on stage together with the rest of the band.

Staying at home

While many people go to parties to celebrate New Year's Eve, according to a recent survey, 62% stay at home. Seven percent do not celebrate New Year's Eve at all, though a proportion of those may well tune in to the live tv broadcasts from the comfort of their homes.[19]

See also

External links


  1. ^ "New Year's Eve in Australia". 
  2. ^ "New Year's Eve in Canada". 
  3. ^ Brioux, Bill (December 24, 2009). "'Royal Canadian Air Farce' returns". Canadian Press. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  4. ^ Harris, Bill (December 18, 2009). "Farce back for New Year's Eve". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "New Year's Day in France". 
  7. ^ "New Year's Eve in Germany". 
  8. ^ a b c Peake, Mike (December 30, 2006). "Gesundheit to an old favourite". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved January 1, 2007. 
  9. ^ "New Year's Eve in the United Kingdom". 
  10. ^ Hutton, Ronald (1996). The Stations of The Sun. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. p. 67. ISBN 0-19-820570-8. 
  11. ^ "New Year's Day in the Netherlands". 
  12. ^ Wim Kan displaced Psalm 90 and prayer, Trouw, 31 December 2001 (Dutch)
  13. ^
  14. ^ "A video of the celebration at the Taipei 101 in 2008". 
  15. ^ "Chicago Is Top Destination to Ring in 2007 for Third Year Running". 
  16. ^ a b "New Year's Eve in the United States". 
  17. ^ Butler, Joey (November-December 2006). "Watch Night services provide spiritual way to bring in New Year". The United Methodist Church Interpreter Magazine. Retrieved January 10, 2010. 
  18. ^ Sutton, Charyn (August 2004). "Watch Night". Western States Black Research & Educational Center. Retrieved January 10, 2010. 
  19. ^ AXA New Year's Eve Survey: Most People Stay Home

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

New Year's Eve
by Robert W. Service
Collected in The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses

New Year's Eve

It's cruel cold on the water-front, silent and dark and drear;
      Only the black tide weltering, only the hissing snow;
And I, alone, like a storm-tossed wreck, on this night of the glad New Year,
      Shuffling along in the icy wind, ghastly and gaunt and slow.

They're playing a tune in McGuffy's saloon, and it's cheery and bright in there
      (God! but I'm weak — since the bitter dawn, and never a bite of food);
I'll just go over and slip inside — I mustn't give way to despair —
      Perhaps I can bum a little booze if the boys are feeling good.

They'll jeer at me, and they'll sneer at me, and they'll call me a whiskey soak;
      ("Have a drink? Well, thankee kindly, sir, I don't mind if I do.")
A drivelling, dirty, gin-joint fiend, the butt of the bar-room joke;
      Sunk and sodden and hopeless — "Another? Well, here's to you!"

McGuffy is showing a bunch of the boys how Bob Fitzsimmons hit;
      The barman is talking of Tammany Hall, and why the ward boss got fired.
I'll just sneak into a corner and they'll let me alone a bit;
      The room is reeling round and round. . . O God! but I'm tired, I'm tired. . . .

*  *  *  *

Roses she wore on her breast that night. Oh, but their scent was sweet!
      Alone we sat on the balcony, and the fan-palms arched above;
The witching strain of a waltz by Strauss came up to our cool retreat,
      And I prisoned her little hand in mine, and I whispered my plea of love.

Then sudden the laughter died on her lips, and lowly she bent her head;
      And oh, there came in the deep, dark eyes a look that was heaven to see;
And the moments went, and I waited there, and never a word was said,
      And she plucked from her bosom a rose of red and shyly gave it to me.

Then the music swelled to a crash of joy, and the lights blazed up like day,
      And I held her fast to my throbbing heart, and I kissed her bonny brow.
"She is mine, she is mine for evermore!" the violins seemed to say,
      And the bells were ringing the New Year in — O God! I can hear them now.

Don't you remember that long, last waltz, with its sobbing, sad refrain?
      Don't you remember that last good-by, and the dear eyes dim with tears?
Don't you remember that golden dream, with never a hint of pain,
      Of lives that would blend like an angel-song in the bliss of the coming years?

Oh, what have I lost! What have I lost! Ethel, forgive, forgive!
      The red, red rose is faded now, and it's fifty years ago.
'Twere better to die a thousand deaths than live each day as I live!
      I have sinned, I have sunk to the lowest depths — but oh, I have suffered so!

Hark! Oh, hark! I can hear the bells!. . .Look! I can see her there,
      Fair as a dream. . .but it fades. . .And now — I can hear the dreadful hum
Of the crowded court. . .See! the Judge looks down. . . NOT GUILTY, my Lord, I swear. . .
      The bells — I can hear the bells again!. . . Ethel, I come, I come!. . .

*  *  *  *

"Rouse up, old man, it's twelve o'clock. You can't sleep here, you know.
      Say! ain't you got no sentiment? Lift up your muddled head;
Have a drink to the glad New Year, a drop before you go —
      You darned old dirty hobo. . .My God! Here, boys! He's DEAD!"

PD-icon.svg This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain). Flag of the United States.svg


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Proper noun

New Year's Eve


New Year's Eve

  1. The holiday occurring on the last day of the year, December 31st.

Related terms

New Year's Day


Simple English

New Year's Eve is the holiday before New Year's Day, on December 31, the last day of the current year.

Today, Western countries usually celebrate this day with a party which ends with a group countdown to midnight. Party hats, noisemakers, fire crackers and drinking champagne are fairly common during this holiday.

Many towns also have fireworks shows or other noisy ways to start the new year. Places like Berlin, Chicago, Edinburgh, Los Angeles, London, New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Toronto, and Tokyo are well known for their New Year's Eve celebrations.

New Year's Eve is also a work holiday in some countries, such as Australia, Argentina, Brazil, France, Mexico, the Philippines, and Venezuela.

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