New Year's Eve
|New Year's Eve|
Fanciful sketch by reporter and artist Marguerite Martyn of a New Year's Eve celebration, from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch of 4 January 1914
|Observed by||People around the world|
|Significance||The final day of the Gregorian year|
|Celebrations||Reflection; late-night partying; family gatherings; feasting; gift exchanges; fireworks; countdowns; watchnight services; social gatherings, during which participants may dance, eat, consume alcoholic beverages, and watch or light fireworks|
|Next time||31 December 2021|
|Related to||New Year's Day, Christmas Day, Christmas Eve|
In the Gregorian calendar, New Year's Eve (also known as Old Year's Day or Saint Sylvester's Day in many countries), the last day of the year, is on 31 December. In many countries, New Year's Eve is celebrated at evening parties, where many people dance, eat, drink, and watch or light fireworks. Some Christians attend a watchnight service. The celebrations generally go on past midnight into New Year's Day, 1 January.
The Line Islands (part of Kiribati) and Tonga, are examples of the first places to welcome the New Year, while Baker Island (an uninhabited atoll part of the United States Minor Outlying Islands) and American Samoa are among the last.
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In Ghana, many people celebrate New Year's Eve by going to church; others go to nightclubs, pubs or take to the streets to celebrate. At midnight, fireworks are displayed across various cities of Ghana, especially in Accra and Tema.
In Nigeria, the New Year's Eve is often celebrated by going to church; others go to nightclubs, and parties organised by individuals, communities or State government like the Lagos Countdown. The Lagos Countdown is an event in Nigeria, created to increase tourism and making Lagos a premium destination for business and leisure. The event kicks off in December and lasts till 1 January. It is attended by an average of 100,000 people. The event takes place at the Eko Atlantic city, beside the Barbeach attracting thousands of domestic and foreign tourists who are entertained every evening by different artists.
In Rwanda, New Year's Eve is celebrated mostly by going to church, taking part in social gatherings and family activities. The services usually start from 6 pm for the Roman Catholic church and 10 pm for the Protestants. At 00:00, the president delivers an end-of-year address which is broadcast live on many Radio and Televisions stations. Fireworks were introduced in recent years, with the most significant displays happening at Kigali Convention Centre, Rebero Hill, Mount Kigali.
People in South Africa vote on a top ten music countdown before 31 December. When the countdown reaches number one, the song with the most votes plays on all the country's radio stations. Fireworks are lit all around South Africa. People engage in occasional drinking and braais.
In South Sudan, people attend church services at many churches in Juba. The service begins at 9 pm. At the stroke of midnight, people sing the famous carol, "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" to mark the end and beginning of the year with a blessing. The service ends at 12:30 am.
Just before midnight, people flock to the streets to enjoy fireworks and light firecrackers. The fireworks can be seen in any terrace. The first day of the New Year is celebrated at midnight with cider or champagne. People wish each other a happy New Year, and sometimes share a toast with neighbours. Parties often continue until dawn. Residents in La Plata have a long tradition making giants dolls, mostly made of paper and wood with some fireworks on it, to later on after the midnight burn them down.
The celebration is during the summer, like in many South American countries, so it's normal to see many families in the New Year at tourist centers of the Argentine Atlantic coast (Mar del Plata, Necochea, Villa Gesell, Miramar, etc.).
Because Brazil is in the southern hemisphere, New Year's Eve (Portuguese: Ano Novo) is the second holiday of the summer season. As the month of January is the peak of the school holiday season in the country. Unlike Christmas, when most people spend supper with close relatives or friends, a large number of people celebrate the date in restaurants or private clubs, where large parties are held. The local traditions determine the opening a bottle of Champagne or a correlate at midnight. Due to the great religious syncretism, there is a tradition of wearing certain colors clothes during that night's celebrations (examples: white for good luck, yellow for good energies, happiness and money, red for love). Several rituals such as the consumption of grapes, lychees and lentils also take place due to this mixture.Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro hosts the main party on the country, with one of the main fireworks displays. The event is televised live on major Brazilian television networks with the most notable being Show Da Virada on Globo. In 2017–18, the local security services estimated an accumulated audience of more than three million people, coming from locations around the world. Outside the main centers of the country, the main celebrations take place in Manaus in the region around the Rio Negro Bridge, where also monumental fireworks display also happens. Apart the beach or river celebrations, another big event happens on Paulista Avenue, in São Paulo. The capital Brasília also holds a public celebration on the Monumental Axis or Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha (each year could be held in a different place, due the public security reasons). Usually the party attracts an annual average of over one hundred thousand people. Due to the local traditions the parties held a massive fireworks display. Another national tradition is the realization in São Paulo is the Saint Silvester Road Race which is held annually since 1925. The route of the race involves several famous or main streets of the city's downtown as the Avenida Brigadeiro Luís Antônio and the Viaduto do Chá ending at Paulista Avenue.
New Year's Eve traditions and celebrations in Canada vary regionally, but are typically similar to those in the United States, with a focus on social gatherings and public celebrations (such as concerts and fireworks displays).
In 1992, the sketch comedy troupe Royal Canadian Air Farce began airing an annual New Year's Eve special — Year of the Farce — on CBC Television, which featured sketches lampooning the major events and news stories of the year. The 1992 edition was presented as a one-off special (as the troupe's first production made specifically for television), and became part of a regular Royal Canadian Air Farce television series that aired from 1993 through 2008. The 2008 edition doubled as the program's series finale, but Year of the Farce continued to air as an annual reunion special until 2019, featuring members of the original cast. It was announced that due to budget cuts and other factors, the 2019 edition (which premiered prior to New Year's Eve) would be the final edition.
Since 2017 (with the inaugural edition marking the beginning of the country's sesquicentennial year), CBC has also broadcast a more traditional countdown special, with music performances and live coverage of festivities from a city in each time zone (with the telecasts split regionally across the CBC's regional stations).
Similarly, the CBC's French-language television network Ici Radio-Canada Télé airs its own New Year's Eve comedy special, Bye Bye. Unlike Year of the Farce, Bye Bye has been presented by various comedians; originally running from 1968 to 1998, it was revived in 2006 by the Québécois troupe Rock et Belles Oreilles. Its 2008 edition, hosted and co-produced by Québécois television personality Véronique Cloutier, was criticized for featuring sketches that viewers perceived as offensive, including sketches making fun of English Canadians and American president-elect Barack Obama. In 2018, the special was seen by 3.3 million viewers.
The Canada men's national junior ice hockey team usually plays their final preliminary round game at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship on New Year's Eve. The game typically has millions of viewers on TSN and attracts sellout crowds when the tournament is played in Canada.
New Year's Eve is celebrated in Chile by the observation of traditional rituals, such as wearing yellow underwear and yellow clothing. It is said to restore vitality to your life. People who want to travel walk the streets with a suitcase in hand, others hold money in their hand or place coins at their door for good fortune in the new year. Celebrations include a family dinner with special dishes, usually lentils for good luck, and twelve grapes to symbolize wishes for each month of the coming year. Family celebrations usually last until midnight, then some continue partying with friends until dawn. In Chile's capital Santiago, thousands of people gather at the Entel Tower to watch the countdown to midnight and a fireworks display.
There are several fireworks shows across the country. Over one million spectators attend the most popular, the "Año Nuevo en el Mar", in Valparaiso. Since 2000, the sale of fireworks to individuals has been illegal, meaning fireworks can now only be observed at major displays.
In Colombia it is a traditional celebration. There are many traditions across the country. Included among these traditions are: a family dinner with special dishes, fireworks, popular music, wearing special or new clothes, eating empanadas and different parties. With each stroke of the clock until midnight, the families eat grapes.
In Costa Rica, families usually gather around 8 pm for parties that last until 1 or 2 am, the next day. There are several traditions among Costa Rican families, including eating 12 grapes representing 12 wishes for the new year, and running across the street with luggage to bring new trips and adventures in the upcoming year.
A New Year's Eve tradition in Ecuador is for men to dress haphazardly in drag (clowny looking make-up, cheap colorful wigs, very hairy legs in miniskirts) for New Year's Eve representing the "widow" of the year that has passed. The "widows" then go to the streets and stop each car that passes on that particular street in order to parody some form of sexy dancing. Large crowds would gather around to watch and laugh at the entertainment and the drivers are forced to give the "widows" some coins in order to obtain passage through the street.
There are also traditional family events, meals, and modern celebrations such as hosting parties and going to nightclubs. People usually eat grapes and drink Champagne with close family members and friends.
In El Salvador, New Year's Eve is spent with families. Family parties start around 5:00 pm, and last until 1:00 to 3:00 am, the following day. Families eat dinner together and sing traditional New Year's Eve songs, such as "Cinco para las Doce". After the dinner, individuals light fireworks and continue partying outside. A radio station broadcasts a countdown to midnight. When the clock strikes midnight, fireworks are lit across the country. People start exchanging hugs and wishes for the new year.
The main event takes place at midnight where fireworks are lit along with thousands of life-size effigies called "Año Viejo". Most every local family creates the effigy from paper scraps, old clothes or purchases it altogether. They place just outside the front of their home. The effigy represents things you disliked from the previous year and are made to look like famous celebrities, politicians, public servants, cartoons, etc. They are burnt right at midnight to shed the old year and represent a new beginning. Some of the braver Ecuadorians jump through these burning effigies 12 times to represent a wish for every month.
In Guatemala, banks close on New Year's Eve, and businesses close at noon. In the town of Antigua, people usually gather at the Santa Catalina Clock Arch to celebrate New Year's Eve (Spanish: Fin del Año). In Guatemala City the celebrations are centered on Plaza Mayor. Firecrackers are lit starting at sundown, continuing without interruption into the night. Guatemalans wear new clothes for good fortune and eat a grape with each of the twelve chimes of the bell during the New Year countdown, while making a wish with each one.
The celebrations include religious themes which may be either Mayan or Catholic. Catholic celebrations are similar to those at Christmas. Gifts are left under the tree on Christmas morning by the Christ Child for the children, but parents and adults do not exchange gifts until New Year's Day.
Mexicans celebrate New Year's Eve, (Spanish: Vispera de Año Nuevo) by eating a grape with each of the twelve chimes of a clock's bell during the midnight countdown, while making a wish with each one. Mexican families decorate homes and parties in colors that represent wishes for the upcoming year: red encourages an overall improvement of lifestyle and love, yellow encourages blessings of improved employment conditions, green for improved financial circumstances, and white for improved health. Mexican sweet bread is baked with a coin or charm hidden in the dough. When the bread is served, the recipient of the slice with the coin or charm is said to be blessed with good luck in the New Year. Another tradition is to make a list of all the bad or unhappy events over the past 12 months; before midnight, this list is thrown into a fire, symbolizing the removal of negative energy from the new year. At the same time, they are expressed for all the good things during the year that is ending so that they will continue in the new year.
Mexicans celebrate with a late-night dinner with their families, the traditional meal being turkey or pork loin. Afterwards many people attend parties outside the home, for example, in night clubs. In Mexico City there is a street festival on New Year's Eve centered on the Zocalo, the city's main square. Celebrations include firecrackers, fireworks and sparklers and shouts of "¡Feliz Año Nuevo!"
For New Year's Eve, Panama usually celebrates with a dinner, followed by multiple individual fireworks celebrations. Fireworks begin around 11 pm for parties that last until 1 am, the next day. Many leave the city and go to the rural towns across the country, to celebrate with family and friends.
During New Year's Eve in Suriname, the Surinamese population goes into cities' commercial districts to watch fireworks shows. This is a spectacle based on the famous red-firecracker-ribbons. The bigger stores invest in these firecrackers and display them 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 am 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 stop between 10 and 11 pm after which the people go home to light their pagaras (red-firecracker-ribbons) at midnight. After midnight, the parties continue and the streets fill again until daybreak.
Trinidad and Tobago
In Port of Spain the tradition is to celebrate in one's yard with friends, family and neighbors, and eat and drink till sunrise. At midnight the city becomes festive with fireworks in every direction. The celebration only starts at midnight. Music is heard from all the houses and bars, nightclubs, street parties, and Soca raves. The people are celebrating not only the new year but the beginning of the carnival season as well.
The most prominent celebration in the country is the "ball drop" held at New York City's Times Square, which was inspired by the time balls that were formerly used as a time signal. At 11:59:00 p.m. ET, an 5,400-kilogram (11,875 lb), 3.7-metre-diameter (12 ft) ball is lowered down a 21-metre-high (70 ft) pole on the roof of One Times Square, reaching the roof of the building sixty seconds later. The event has been held since 1907, and has seen an average attendance of one million spectators yearly. Since 2009, the ball itself—which is adorned with Waterford Crystal panels and an LED lighting system—has been displayed atop the building year-round. The spectacle has inspired similar events outside of New York City, where a ball or other item is lowered or raised in an identical manner. The items used for these events often represent local culture or history: Atlanta's Peach Drop reflects Georgia's identity as the "Peach State".
New York City and Times Square serve as the focal point for national media coverage of the holiday. Bandleader Guy Lombardo and his band—The Royal Canadians—were well known for their annual broadcast from New York City. Their signature performance of "Auld Lang Syne" at midnight helped make the standard synonymous with the holiday. Beginning on radio in 1929, Lombardo moved to CBS television from 1956 to 1976, adding coverage of the ball drop. Following Lombardo's death, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve (which premiered for 1973 on NBC, and moved to ABC for 1975) became the dominant New Year's Eve special on U.S. television—especially among younger viewers—with Clark having anchored New Year's coverage (including New Year's Rockin' Eve and the one-off ABC 2000 Today) for 33 straight years. After Clark suffered a stroke in December 2004, fellow television personality Regis Philbin guest hosted the 2005 edition. Due to a lingering speech impediment brought upon by the stroke, Clark retired as host and was replaced by Ryan Seacrest for 2006, but continued making limited appearances on the special until his death in 2012.
Other notable celebrations include the Las Vegas Strip's "America's Party", which consists of a ticketed concert event at the Fremont Street Experience, and a public fireworks show at midnight that is launched from multiple casinos on the Strip. Los Angeles, a city long without a major public New Year celebration, held an inaugural gathering in Downtown's newly completed Grand Park to celebrate the beginning of 2014. The event included food trucks, art installations, and culminating with a projection mapping show on the side of Los Angeles City Hall near midnight. The inaugural event drew over 25,000 spectators and participants. For 2016, Chicago introduced an event known as Chi-Town Rising. Alongside the festivities in Times Square, New York's Central Park hosts a "Midnight Run" event organized by the New York Road Runners, which features a fireworks show and a footrace around the park that begins at the stroke of midnight. Since 2014–15, musician Pitbull has hosted a New Year's Eve concert at Miami's Bayfront Park (which was initially televised as a New Year's special on Fox, Pitbull's New Year's Revolution, until 2017–18).
Major theme parks also hold New Year's celebrations; Disney theme parks, such as Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida and Disneyland in Anaheim, California, are traditionally the busiest around the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
In the Roman Catholic Church, 1 January is a solemnity, the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus; it is a Holy Day of Obligation in most countries (Australia being a notable exception), thus the Church requires the attendance of all Catholics in such countries for Mass that day. However a vigil Mass may be held on the evening before a Holy Day; thus it has become customary to celebrate Mass on the evening of New Year's Eve. (New Year's Eve is a feast day honoring Pope Sylvester I in the Roman Catholic calendar, but it is not widely recognized in the United States.)
Many Christian congregations have New Year's Eve watchnight services. Some, especially Lutherans and Methodists and those in the African American community, have a tradition known as "Watch Night", in which the faithful congregate in services continuing past midnight, giving thanks for the blessings of the outgoing year and praying for divine favor during the upcoming year. In the English-speaking world, Watch Night can be traced back to John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, who learned the custom from the Moravian Brethren who came to England in the 1730s. Moravian congregations still observe the Watch Night service on New Year's Eve. Watch Night took on special significance to African Americans on New Year's Eve 1862, as slaves anticipated the arrival of 1 January 1863, when Lincoln had announced he would sign the Emancipation Proclamation.
Radio specials give a countdown and announce the New Year. In Caracas, the bells of the Cathedral of Caracas ring twelve times. During these special programs, is a tradition to broadcast songs about the end of the year. It is a non-working holiday. Popular songs include "Viejo año" ("Old year"), by Gaita group Maracaibo 15, and "Cinco pa' las 12" ("Five minutes before twelve"), which was versioned by several popular singers including Nestor Zavarce, Nancy Ramos and José Luis Rodríguez El Puma. 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. Many people play the national anthem in their houses.
Traditions include wearing yellow underwear, eating Pan de jamón, and 12 grapes with sparkling wine.
Special holiday programs are broadcast on Venezuelan television stations including Venevision.
The New Year celebrations take place in all around the country mostly in Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Khulna, Barishal, Cox's Bazar etc. The celebrations mostly take place at night. On this day, people go to the parties at club or hotels, beaches, at the crowdy roadsides and bridges where firecrackers are blast out in the sky at night. The roadsides and bridges are also lighted up by colourful lights at night. People do a get-together as well as enjoy with their families. That day, Cox's Bazar becomes a popular tourist destination for both Bangladeshi and foreign tourists.
Music, songs and dances are organized in the auditoriums, hotels, beaches and as well as in the grounds which are shown live concert on T.V where many Dhallywood celebrities along with many personalities participate in the dance, music, songs and often drama to liven up the concert more. Sometimes marriages and weddings take place in the clubs at night of 31 December so that the people can enjoy more. People also enjoy the New Year's Eve with their families, relatives and friends in the ships and yachts specially in the sea while going to Saint Martin where DJs liven up their night through their music and songs.
The Muslims during the year's last Jumma prayer of mosque permanently pray a Munajat (which is done all over the mosques of the country) so that Allah may bless them and the coming year can be fruitful. Hindus organize a Puja so that the coming year can be fruitful for them. The Christians go to the churches for a watch night service till midnight, praying for blessing in the coming new year as it is also part of the Christmastide season observances.
In China, although the celebrations of the Lunar New Year are not until a few weeks after the Gregorian New Year, celebrations of the Gregorian New Year are held in some areas, particularly in major cities. For example, celebrations with fireworks and rock concerts have taken place in Beijing's Solana Blue Harbor Shopping Park, while cultural shows and other events are held at the city's Millennium Monument, Temple of Heaven, Great Wall of China, Olympic Green, and the Summer Palace. Since 2011, a light and sound show has been held at The Bund in Shanghai, a few minutes before midnight.
In Hong Kong, many gather in shopping districts like Central, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui. Beginning in 2008, a 60-second numerical countdown to New Year's, consisting of LED lights and pyrotechnic display effects, on the facade of Two International Finance Centre was launched, followed by a fireworks display, alongside an exhibition of the Symphony of Lights. For the arrival of 2013, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre initiated the countdown, while the fireworks display and A Symphony of Lights show were extended to eight minutes.
Shopping malls are often major celebration venues. The Times Square shopping mall, for instance, holds their own celebration of the ball drop held at Times Square, New York City. There are also various district-wide celebrations.
In Central Asia, New Year's Eve celebrations were inherited from Soviet traditions; thus they are similar to those of Russia. An example of such traditions would be the playing of the national anthem at midnight and the presidential address before it.
In India as a land of diverse cultures and practices, apart from the Gregorian new year, there are Parsi New Year, Hindu New Year (which might differ from region to region), Muslim New Year, etc. Celebration for culture-specific new years is different from the celebrations of the Gregorian new year. Gregorian new year celebration is mostly by way of parties late night and a working holiday followed by it. Most celebrations for 31 December take place in the major metropolitan cities like Kochi, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune, Visakhapatnam and Ahmedabad. New Year is also celebrated in other cities and towns around the country like Agra, Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Cuttack, Vadodara and Vijayawada. There are many shows, events, awards and parties organized all over India. Big and small celebrities and personalities perform as well as enjoy in these parties. Many discos and pubs organize big singers, DJs or local talent to liven up the night with their music and songs. Goa and Kerala are the most visited destinations during New Year celebrations both by Indian and foreign tourists.
Major events like live concerts and dances by film and music stars are also organized and attended mostly by youngsters. More often people like to celebrate New Year Eve with their family. Hotels and resorts are also decked up in anticipation of tourist arrival and intense competition makes them entice the tourists with exciting New Year offers. Many people across the country also follow old traditions. The Christian community often go to church for a watch night service till midnight praying for blessing in the coming new year.
In Japan, New Year's Eve is used to prepare for and welcome Toshigami (年神), the New Year's god. People clean their homes and prepare Kadomatsu or Shimenawa to welcome the god before New Year's Eve. Buddhist temples ring their bells 108 times at midnight in the traditional Joya no Kane (除夜の鐘). The rings represent the 108 elements of bonō (煩悩), mental states that lead people to take unwholesome actions.
In most cities and urban areas across Japan, New Year's Eve celebrations are usually accompanied by concerts, countdowns, fireworks and other events. In Tokyo, the two most crowded celebrations are held at the Shibuya crossing in Shibuya and the Zojoji Temple in Minato. People gather around the Zojoji Temple to release helium balloons with New Year's wishes up in the sky and watch the lighting of Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree with a year number displayed on the observatory at the stroke of midnight.
Three notable music-oriented television specials air near New Year's Eve. Since 1951, NHK has traditionally broadcast Kōhaku Uta Gassen (紅白歌合戦) (Red/White Singing Battle) on New Year's Eve, a music competition where two teams of popular musicians (the red and white teams, which predominantly contain female and male performers respectively) perform songs, with the winning team determined by a panel of judges, audience members at the NHK Hall, and televotes. The special is traditionally one of the most-watched television programs of the year in Japan. Although it did air on 31 December from 1959 to 2006, the Japan Record Awards ceremony, recognizing outstanding achievements in the Japanese music industry, is held annually on 30 December since 2007 and is broadcast by TBS. Since 1996, Fuji Television has broadcast Johnny's Countdown—a live concert at the Tokyo Dome organized by the talent agency Johnny & Associates. A newer tradition on New Year's Eve is mixed martial arts: promotions such as Pride Fighting Championships, DREAM, K-1 and now Rizin have hosted a large event each New Year's Eve at Saitama Super Arena since 2001. This card features highly-anticipated or title fights, and even special attractions such as Rizin's 2018 NYE card, which had as its main event an exhibition between kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa and American boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr..
There are two New Years celebrated in both North and South Korea, which are Lunar New Year and Solar New Year. The Solar New Year are always celebrated on the first day of January while Lunar New Year varies. Sometimes there are some traits that both North and South Korea celebrate, while some traits are celebrated differently or only on one side.
In both Koreas, they call New Year's Day 설날 (Seoll-Nal). They eat a special soup called 떡국 (Tteok-Guk) which is a hot soup with thin, flat rice cakes and most of the times, eggs are inserted. The Koreans believe that one would get to earn one age if the soup is eaten New Year's Day. They say if one dares to not eat the soup on New Year's Day, then he or she will lose luck.
Most cities and urban areas in both Koreas host New Year's Eve gatherings. In South Korea, two of the biggest celebrations take place in Seoul: the ringing of Bosingak bell 33 times at midnight and fireworks display at Myeong-dong, and an LED laser light show and fireworks display at the Lotte World Tower in Songpa-gu. In Pyongyang, North Korea, the chimes of the clock at the Grand People's Study House and the national fireworks display along Kim Il-sung Square, Juche Tower and the surrounding areas signal the start of the New Year. The celebration in Pyongyang, however, also marks the beginning of the North Korean calendar or the Juche Year, which is based on 15 April 1912, Kim Il-sung's date of birth, the celebrations are more recent in origin with the fireworks displays dating from 2013.
Ambang Tahun Baru, a celebration sponsored by the government was held at Merdeka Square, the field opposite the Sultan Abdul Samad Building in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur in the early days. The event was broadcast live on government as well as private TV stations at those times. Countdown is now broadcast live on Government televisions from Putrajaya and the Broadcasting centre which the concert is held and Fireworks are displayed at the Petronas Towers.
Mongolians began celebrating the Gregorian New Year in the Socialist period, with influence from the former Soviet Union. As a modern tradition, New Year's Eve as well as New Year's Day are public holidays, and are two of the biggest holidays of the year. They celebrate New Year's Eve with their family. It is common, just like in the former Soviet Union, that the National Anthem of Mongolia is to be played at the midnight hour on television.
Many Pakistani youngsters enjoy the type of celebrations held the world over. The elite and educated classes participate in night-long activities in urban and cosmopolitan cities like Karachi, Lahore, and the capital of Islamabad.
In the Philippines, New Year's Eve (Bisperas ng Bagong Taon) is a special non-working holiday. Filipinos usually celebrate New Year's Eve in the company of family or close friends. Traditionally, most households would visit the churches and attend year-end service and afterwards, would host or attend a midnight feast called the Media Noche. Typical dishes included holiday fare, pancit (for long life) and Hamón. Lechon (roasted pig), is usually prepared, as is barbecued food. Some refrain from serving chicken, as their scratching and pecking for food is unlucky, being an idiom for a hand-to-mouth existence.
Many opt to wear new, bright, or colourful clothes with circular patterns, such as polka dots, or display sweets and twelve round fruits as the centrepiece, in the belief that circles attract money and fortune and that candies represent a sweeter year ahead. Several customs must only be done at midnight: some throw about coins to increase wealth in the coming year, or jump to increase their height, while some follow the Spanish custom of eating twelve grapes, one for each month of the year. People also make loud noises by blowing on cardboard or plastic horns, called torotot, banging on pots and pans, playing loud music, blowing car horns, or by igniting firecrackers, in the belief that the din scares away bad luck and evil spirits. Bamboo cannons are also fired on the night in some places.
Urban areas usually host many New Year's Eve parties and countdown celebrations hosted by the private sector with the help of the local government. These parties, which include balls hosted by hotels, usually display their own fireworks and are often very well-attended. Within Metro Manila, popular locations for celebrations include the area along Manila Bay at Roxas Boulevard or Luneta Park in Manila, the intersection of Ayala and Makati Avenues in Makati City, Resorts World Manila and SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City, Quezon Memorial Circle in Diliman and Eastwood City in Libis, Quezon City, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City, Entertainment City in Parañaque City, and the Philippine Arena at Ciudad de Victoria in Bocaue and Santa Maria, Bulacan. Fireworks displays are also held in select cities in the regions.
New Year's celebrations in the city-state of Singapore are centered upon Marina Bay, which hosts a midnight fireworks show organized by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The Float @ Marina Bay serves as the focal point of the event, with its ticketed grandstands and nearby buildings (such as hotels) being the most sought-after viewing locations for the show. For the 2018/19 and 2019/20 editions, the fireworks have been produced by Star Island—an Avex Group-owned production that combines the fireworks with a large light show and other elements, where in 2019/20 edition, the production included a synchronized drone show. Broadcaster Mediacorp organises a televised concert at The Promontory. Smaller, local celebrations are also held outside of the downtown core.
The most prominent New Year's event in Taiwan is a major fireworks show launched from the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei. In 2018, the show was enhanced by the installation of a new LED display system on the north face of the tower between its 35th and 90th floors, which can be used to display digital animation effects. This change countered a reduction in the number of firework shells launched during the show, as part of an effort to produce less pollution.
Aside from the traditional Thai New Year called Songkran (Thailand) (which falls on 13 April or 14 April), Thais also celebrate the arrival of the Gregorian New Year on 1 January with their families, relatives and friends, which includes a family dinner and following different customs. It is a public holiday. In most cities and urban areas across Thailand, New Year's Eve celebrations are accompanied by countdowns, fireworks, concerts and other major events, notably, the CentralWorld Square at CentralWorld and the area along Chao Phraya River at ICONSIAM and Asiatique in Bangkok, and the Pattaya Beach in Pattaya, while public places such as hotels, pubs, restaurants and nightclubs, also host New Year's Eve parties by offering food, entertainment and music to the guests, and they usually stay open until the next morning.
Preparations for New Year's Eve in Albania start with the Christmas tree, which in Albania is known as "New Year's Tree" or "New Year's Pine". At midnight, everyone toasts and greets each other and fireworks are lit.
In Austria, 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, the bell of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, followed by the Donauwalzer ("The Blue Danube") by Johann Strauss II. Many people dance to this at parties or in the street. Large crowds gather in the streets of Vienna, where the municipal government organises a series of stages where bands and orchestras play. Fireworks are set off by both municipal governments and individuals.
In Belgium, New Year's Eve (Sint Sylvester Vooravond ("Saint Sylvester's Eve") or Oudjaar ("old year")) is celebrated with family parties, called réveillons in the French speaking areas. On television, a stand-up comedian reviews the past year after which a musical or variety show signals midnight, when everyone kisses, exchanges good luck greetings, and toasts the New Year and absent relatives and friends with champagne. Many people light fireworks or go into the street to watch them. Most cities have their own fireworks display: the most famous is at Mont des Arts in Brussels. Cities, cafés and restaurants are crowded. Free bus services and special New Year's Eve taxis (the Responsible Young Drivers) bring everyone home afterwards.
On 1 January (Nieuwjaarsdag in Dutch) children read their "New Year's letter" and give holiday greeting cards of decorated paper featuring golden cherubs and angels, colored roses and ribbon-tied garlands to parents and godparents, on decorated paper.
Belgian farmers also wish their animals a happy New Year.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
New Year is widely celebrated in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Streets are decorated for New Year's Eve and there is a fireworks show and concerts in all the larger cities. Restaurants, clubs, cafes and hotels are usually full of guests and they organize New Year's Eve parties.
In Sarajevo, people gather in the Square of children of Sarajevo where a local rock band entertains them. Several trumpet and rock groups play until the early morning hours. At midnight there is a big fireworks show.
New Year's Eve (Silvestr/Silvester) celebrations and traditions in Czech Republic and Slovakia are very similar. New Year's Eve is the noisiest day of the year. People generally gather with friends at parties, in pubs, clubs, in the streets, or city squares to eat, drink, and celebrate the new year. Fireworks are a popular tradition; in large cities such as Bratislava, or Prague, the fireworks start before noon and steadily increase until midnight. In the first minutes after midnight, people toast with champagne, wish each other a happy new year, fortune and health, and go outside for the fireworks.
In both countries all major TV stations air entertainment shows before and after the midnight countdown, which is followed by the National anthem of each country. The Presidents of the republics gave their New Year speech in the morning – the new Czech President Miloš Zeman renewed the tradition of Christmas speeches. In recent years however the Czechoslovak national anthem is played at midnight, in honor of the shared history of both nations.
People in Denmark may go to parties or entertain guests at home. There is a special evening meal that concludes with Kransekage, a special dessert, along with champagne. Other traditional dishes are boiled cod, stewed kale and cured saddle of pork. However, expensive cuts of beef as well as sushi have become increasingly popular.
Multiple significant traditional events are broadcast on television and radio on 31 December. This includes, but is not limited to:
The monarch's New Year message from Amalienborg Palace at 18:00 and the Town Hall Clock in Copenhagen striking midnight. Thousands of people gather together in Rådhuspladsen (the Town Hall Square) and cheer.
The Royal Guard parade in their red gala uniforms. The climax of the celebration is fireworks launched as the Town Hall Tower bells chime on the stroke of midnight. After midnight, all radio & television stations play: "Vær velkommen, Herrens år" [Danish new year's hymn] and followed by "Kong Christian stod ved højen mast" [Danish Royal Anthem] and "Der er et yndigt land" [Danish National Anthem].
Like in the surrounding nations, the German comedy sketch Dinner for One is broadcast every year at 23:45, and ends just minutes before the new year. This has been a tradition every year since 1980 (except in 1985).
Another reoccurring broadcast is the 1968 film The Party, which is aired after midnight on 1 January.
To celebrate New Year's Eve in Estonia, people decorate villages, visit friends and prepare lavish meals.
Some believe that people should eat seven, nine, or twelve times on New Year's Eve. These are lucky numbers in Estonia; it is believed that for each meal consumed, the person gains the strength of that many men the following year. Meals should not be completely finished—some food should be left for ancestors and spirits who visit the house on New Year's Eve.
Traditional New Year food includes pork with sauerkraut or Estonian sauerkraut (mulgikapsad), baked potatoes and swedes with hog's head, and white and blood sausage. Vegetarians can eat potato salad with navy beet[clarification needed] and pâté. Gingerbread and marzipan are very popular for dessert. Traditional New Year drinks include beer and mead, but mulled wine and champagne have become modern favourites.
In Finland, New Year's Eve is usually celebrated with family or friends. Late supper is served, often featuring wieners, Janssons frestelse, and potato salad. Some municipalities organize fireworks at midnight. Consumer fireworks are also very popular. A Finnish tradition is molybdomancy – to tell the fortunes of the New Year by melting "tin" (actually lead) in a tiny pan on the stove and throwing it quickly in a bucket of cold water. The resulting blob of metal is analyzed, for example by interpreting shadows it casts by candlelight. These predictions are however never taken seriously.
The Finnish Broadcasting Company broadcasts the reception of the New Year at Helsinki Senate Square. Countdown to New Year is with the Helsinki Cathedral clock. In the afternoon programme, the German comedy sketch Dinner for One is shown every year. On the radio, just before midnight, the poem Hymyilevä Apollo (Smiling Apollo) by Eino Leino is read.
In France, New Year's Eve (la Saint-Sylvestre) is usually celebrated with a feast, le Réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre (Cap d'Any in Northern Catalonia). This feast customarily includes special dishes including foie gras, seafood such as oysters, and champagne. The celebration can be a simple, intimate dinner with friends and family or, une soirée dansante, a much fancier ball.
In Germany, parties are common on New Year's Eve. Fireworks are very popular, both with individuals and at large municipal displays. 31 December and the three days leading up to it are the only four days of the year on which fireworks may be sold in Germany. Every year Berlin hosts one of the largest New Year's Eve celebrations in all of Europe, attended by over a million people. The focal point is the Brandenburg Gate, where midnight fireworks are centered. Germans toast the New Year with a glass of Sekt (German sparkling wine) or champagne. Molybdomancy (Bleigießen) is another German New Year's Eve tradition, which involves telling fortunes by the shapes made by molten lead dropped into cold water. Other auspicious actions are to touch a chimney sweep or rub some ash on your forehead for good luck and health. Jam-filled doughnuts with or without alcoholic fillings are eaten. Finally a tiny marzipan pig is consumed for more good luck. In some northern regions of Germany (e.g. East Frisia) the making of Speckendicken (also Speckdicken) is another tradition – people go door to door visiting their neighbors and partaking in this dish. It looks similar to a pancake, but the recipe calls for either dark molasses or dark syrup, topped with a few mettwurst slices and bacon strips.
Another notable tradition is the British comedy sketch Dinner for One, which has traditionally been broadcast on German television on New Year's Eve since 1972. The version traditionally broadcast on German television was originally recorded in 1963, and was occasionally used as filler programming by NDR due to popular demand; in 1972, Dinner for One received its traditional New Year's Eve scheduling. The sketch, as well as its catchphrase "the same procedure as every year", are well known in German pop culture. Dinner for One is also broadcast on or around New Year's Eve in other European countries, although it is, ironically, relatively unknown in the United Kingdom.
A common tradition among Greek Orthodox families is the cutting of a vasilopita ("King's pie" or "St. Basil's pie") at midnight. A coin or similar object is usually baked inside, and whoever finds it is said to have luck over the next year. New Year's Day is considered a feast day for Basil of Caesarea, and it is also considered a custom to reserve the first slice of the vasilopita for St. Basil.
New Year's Eve (Szilveszter) in Hungary is celebrated with home parties and street parties, including a gathering in downtown Budapest. Fireworks and firecrackers are popular. Champagne, wine and traditional Hungarian New Year dishes—frankfurter sausages with horseradish, lentil soup, fish, and roast pig—are consumed. The national anthem is commonly sung at midnight.
In past centuries, some Hungarians believed that animals were able to speak on New Year's Eve, and that onion skins sprinkled with salt could indicate a rainy month.
Since the 1940s, state broadcaster RÚV has traditionally broadcast Áramótaskaupið (literally The New Year's Comedy), a special which features comedy sketches satirizing the events and news headlines of the past year. Originating from radio and later moving to television, the special is the most-watched television program of the year in Iceland (with an estimated 75% of the population having watched the special in 2018, across 98% of all televisions in the country), and some of its sketches—such as a 1989 sketch that portrayed then Minister of Finance Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson as a Batman-esque superhero known as "Skattmann" ("Taxman")—have become well known in local popular culture.
New Year's Eve (Oíche Chinn Bliana, Oíche na Coda Móire, or Oíche Chaille, the night of big portion) when traditionally households would partake in a large feast that was believed to ensure a plentiful new year. Beliefs around the day meant that no food or other goods would be taken from the house, to guard against less or hunger in the year to come, believing that if anything was taken from the house on this day the house would remain empty for the year and have no luck. It was traditional for no water to be drawn from a well after sunset. Even the homeless and those in need would not be offered food or alms on this day. In many of the country, a large barmbrack would be baked during the day, with the man of the house taking three large bites of the cake in the evening, and throwing it against the inside of the front door as an offering to the Holy Trinity. An invocation accompanied this:
"Fógraímíd an gorta
Amach to tír na dTurcach;
Ó 'nocht go bliain ó 'nocht
Agus 'nocht féin amach"
This translates as "We warn famine to retire, To the land of the Turks; From tonight to this night twelve months, And from this night itself." The bits of cake would be gathered, and eaten by the family. Other variations include throwing the cake to someone outside the door, or conducting the ritual in the stables or other animal housing. Church bells ringing, the lighting of bonfires, and singing would take place towards midnight.
In modern times, celebrations in major cities are modest, with most people favouring small parties in the home for family and friends.
In Italy, New Year's Eve (Italian: Vigilia di Capodanno or Notte di San Silvestro) is celebrated by the observation of traditional rituals, such as wearing red underwear. An ancient tradition in southern regions which is rarely followed today was disposing of old or unused items by dropping them from the window.
Dinner is traditionally eaten with relatives and friends. It often includes zampone or cotechino (a meal made with pig's trotters or entrails), and lentils. At 20:30, the President of the Republic reads a television message of greetings to Italians.
At midnight, fireworks are displayed all across the country. Rarely followed today is the tradition that consist in eating lentil stew when the bell tolls midnight, one spoonful per bell. This is supposed to bring good fortune; the round lentils represent coins.
Malta organized its first New Year's street party in 2009 in Floriana. The event was not highly advertised and proved controversial, due to the closing of an arterial street for the day. In 2010 there were the first national celebrations in St. George's Square, Valletta Although professional fireworks are very popular in Malta, they are almost totally absent on New Year's Eve. Usually the Maltese hit nightclubs and specific dance music parties to celebrate New Year's Eve.
In Montenegro, New Year's Eve celebrations are held in all large cities, usually accompanied by fireworks. It is usually celebrated with family or friends, at home or outside. Restaurants, clubs, cafés and hotels organize celebrations with food and music.
New Year's Eve (Oud en Nieuw or Oudejaarsavond) in the Netherlands is usually celebrated as a cozy evening with family or friends, although many people attend big organized parties. Traditional snack foods are oliebollen (dutch doughnuts) and appelbeignets (apple slice fritters). 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). Historically, in Reformed Protestant families, Psalm 90 is read, although this tradition is now fading away. At midnight, Glühwein (bishops wine) or champagne is drunk. Many people light their own fireworks. Towns do not organize a central fireworks display, except for Rotterdam where the national fireworks display can be seen near the Erasmus Bridge. In rural areas, the tradition of nl:Carbidschieten (blasting off footballs or churnlids with Calcium carbide gas filled milk churns) is performed instead of lighting fireworks.
New Year's Eve is celebrated across North Macedonia. New Year's Day is celebrated by day-long fireworks shows. The day is celebrated together with family or friends at home or in restaurants, clubs, cafés and hotels. During the day-time celebration, children get gifts. Evening celebrations include food, music, and dancing to both traditional Macedonian folk music, and modern music. New Year's Eve is celebrated on 31 December and also on 14 January according to the Macedonian Orthodox Calendar.
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In Norway New Year's Eve (Nyttårsaften) is the second biggest celebration of the year, after Christmas Eve. While Christmas Eve is a family celebration, New Year's Eve is an opportunity to celebrate with friends.
Traditionally, there is first a feast, commonly consisting of stuffed, roast turkey with potatoes, sprouts, gravy and Waldorf salad. The accompanying beverage is traditionally beer (commonly either Christmas beer or lager beer). Dessert will often be vanilla pudding or rice cream, and there will be cakes and coffee later in the evening – commonly accompanied by a glass of cognac. Then, at close to 12 am on New Year's Day, people will go outside to send up fireworks. Fireworks are only permitted to be sold to the general public on the days leading up to New Year's Eve, and only to be launched that night.
Due to the general use of fireworks, more fires occur on New Year's Eve than on any other day of the year in Norway. Accordingly, most Norwegian cities, and many towns, host a large, public fireworks display in order to discourage private use of fireworks in built-up areas. People will then congregate in a central square or similar to watch and celebrate.
In Poland New Year's Eve (Sylwester) celebrations include both indoor and outdoor festivities. A large open-air concert is held in the Main Square in Kraków. 150,000 to 200,000 revelers celebrate the New Year with live music and a fireworks display over St. Mary's Basilica. Similar festivities are held in other cities around Poland.
For those who do not wish to spend the New Year in the city, the mountains are a popular destination. Zakopane, located in the Carpathian Mountains, is the most popular Polish mountain resort in winter.
In Portugal the New Year celebration is taken very seriously. The tradition is to drink champagne and eat twelve raisins – one for each month of the year, making a wish for each. Another Portuguese tradition is a special cake called Bolo-Rei (literally: King Cake). Bolo-Rei is a round cake with a large hole in the centre, resembling a crown covered with crystallised and dried fruit. It is baked from a soft, white dough, with raisins, various nuts and crystallised fruit. Inside is hidden the characteristic fava (broad bean). Tradition dictates that whoever finds the fava has to pay for the Bolo-Rei next year. Initially, a small prize (usually a small metal toy) was also included within the cake. However, the inclusion of the prize was forbidden by the European Union for safety reasons. The Portuguese brought the recipe of the Gateau des Rois from France in the second half of the 19th century. To this day, this recipe is a very well kept secret.
In Lisbon the New Year is celebrated with a grand concert. The New Year's Concert is held at the CCB (Centro Cultural de Belém) on the evening of 1 January, featuring the prestigious Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra.
Traditional celebrations of New Year's Eve (Revelion) are the norm in Romania. Romanians follow centuries-old customs, rituals, and conventions. Children sing "Plugușorul" and "Sorcova", traditional carols that wish goodwill, happiness and success.
Parties are common in the evening. Since the Romanian Revolution of 1989, Romanians have gathered in the University Square in Bucharest. Other significant parties occur in Piața Constituției. New Year's Eve is also marked by a national all-night telecast on Romanian Television, which also celebrates its anniversary on this holiday, having opened its doors in the New Year's Eve of 1956.
The most prominent public celebration of the New Year is held at Moscow's Red Square under the Kremlin Clock—whose chimes at midnight are traditionally followed by the playing of the Russian national anthem, and a fireworks display. The President's New Year's address is traditionally televised shortly before midnight in each time zone, reflecting on the previous year and the state of the country; in 1999, unpopular president Boris Yeltsin used the New Year's address to announce his resignation.
Secular celebrations of the New Year in Russia, also known as Novy God, are derived from traditions associated with Christmas; New Year trees (yolka) are put up in homes and in public, and Grandfather Frost (Ded Moroz) delivers presents to children for New Year's Day in a similar manner to Santa Claus. The practice dates back to the early 20th century: due to the Communist Party's stance of state atheism and a larger series of anti-religious policies, the celebration of Christmas and other religious holidays was widely discouraged. In particular, Christmas trees were singled out for originating from World War I enemy Germany, and being a symbol of the bourgeoisie. In 1935, Soviet politician Pavel Postyshev and other high-ranking officials began to promote the concept of New Year trees as a wide, secular tradition—representing happiness and prosperity among youth. Even with the reinstatement of religious holidays after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Novy God has remained a popular celebration in modern Russia.
The Soviet film The Irony of Fate—which is set during New Year celebrations—is a staple in former Soviet countries. It is often broadcast by Russian television channels on New Year's Eve, to the extent that it has been compared to the traditional broadcast of It's a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve in the United States.
On 13 January, some people celebrate "Old New Year", according to the Julian calendar.
New Year's Eve in Serbia is traditionally celebrated extensively. Indoors, families celebrate New Year's Eve with an abundance of food. Serbs decorate trees, Novogodišnja jelka, at New Year's Eve, rather than at Christmas Eve. Near, or after midnight, Santa Claus (Deda Mraz) visits houses and leaves presents under the tree, to be unpacked then or, if the family is asleep, to be discovered in the morning.
Serbian New Year's celebrations take place 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 influence of the Julian calendar. Throughout the region, especially amongst former Yugoslav republics, Belgrade is the most popular destination for major parties.
On 13 January, a large part of the population celebrates "Serbian New Year", according to the Julian calendar. 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 Cathedral of Saint Sava, where people also gather. Other cities also organize such celebrations.
In Slovenia, New Year's Eve is known as a Saint Sylvester's Day (Silvestrovo). Streets are decorated for December. In larger cities like Ljubljana, Maribor, Celje or Koper there are concerts, culture programmes and countdowns followed by fireworks. There is also a special programme on national TV. Tradition is that the family comes together and has dinner. At midnight, people toast with champagne, wish each other a happy new year, fortune and health. People have already decorated the Christmas tree before Christmas and children are waiting for the third "Goodman of December – Dedek Mraz."
Spanish New Year's Eve (Nochevieja or Fin de Año) celebrations usually begin with a family dinner, traditionally including shrimp or prawns, and lamb or capon. The actual countdown is primarily followed from the clock on top of the Royal House of the Post Office 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, champagne or cider. The song "Un año más" by the Spanish group Mecano, is frequently played. The event is broadcast live on major Spanish networks including Antena 3 and RTVE.
Earlier in the evening at around 20:00, there is a 10k run called San Silvestre Vallecana, which starts on Paseo de la Castellana, next to Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, and ends at the Vallecas Stadium. Professional runners come to Madrid for this 10k.
After the family dinner and the grapes, many young people attend cotillones de nochevieja parties (named for the Spanish word cotillón, which refers to party supplies like confetti, party blowers, and party hats) at pubs, clubs, and similar places. 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 the next morning, party attendees usually gather to have the traditional winter breakfast of hot chocolate and fried pastry (chocolate con churros).
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 the age of 18 are allowed to buy fireworks, which are sold by local stores or by private people. While watching or lighting fireworks at midnight, people usually drink champagne.
The Swedish lottery television show BingoLotto features a special New Year's Eve edition to commemorate the holiday with musical guests, four bingo games, and surprises.
In Switzerland, New Year's Eve is typically celebrated in private gatherings or public events.
The final of the Spengler Cup ice hockey tournament is traditionally held on New Year's Eve.
In Ukraine, New Year's has the same cultural significance as Christmas has in the United States, but without the religious connotations. Ukrainian families traditionally install spruce trees at home, the equivalent of a Christmas tree. 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. As Ukrainians are traditionally a close-knit community, 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. During these celebrations, many Ukrainians tune to special New Year shows, which have become a long-standing tradition for Ukrainian TV. And just before midnight the President of Ukraine gives his New Year's message to the nation, and when the clock strikes 12, the National Anthem Shche ne vmerla Ukraina is played in all TV and radio stations as well as in Independence Square in Kyiv and other cities where holiday celebrations are held.
The first New year dish in Ukraine which associates with the New year for every Ukrainian person is the Olivier salad. It has become the main «character» of many jokes and anecdotes. There are several versions about where the name Olivier comes from, but most people say that it appeared thanks to the French chef Olivier, who lived in the USSR in the 1960s and was the owner of a French restaurant in Moscow. He was the first one to cook this dish. Nowadays this salad is also called Russian, potato and meat salad.
New Year is often considered a "pre-celebration" for Greek Catholics and Eastern Orthodox living in Eastern Europe, primarily in Ukraine, since Christmas is celebrated on 7 January.
The most prominent New Year's Eve (Old Year's Night) celebration in England is that of Central London, where the arrival of midnight is greeted with the chimes of Big Ben. In recent years, a major fireworks display has also been held, with fireworks launched from the nearby London Eye Ferris wheel. On New Year's Eve 2010, an estimated 250,000 people gathered to view an eight-minute fireworks display around and above the London Eye which was, for the first time, set to a musical soundtrack.
In Scotland, New Year's (Hogmanay) is celebrated with several different customs, such as First-Footing, which involves friends or family members going to each other's houses with a gift of whisky and sometimes a lump of coal.
Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, hosts one of the world's most famous New Year celebrations. The celebration is focused on a major street party along Princes Street. The cannon is fired at Edinburgh Castle at the stroke of midnight, followed by a large fireworks display. Edinburgh hosts a festival of four or five days, beginning on 28 December, and lasting until New Year's Day or 2 January, which is also a bank holiday in Scotland.
BBC Scotland broadcast the celebrations in Edinburgh to a Scottish audience, with the celebrations also screened across the world. STV covers both worldwide New Year celebrations, and details of events happening around Scotland.
The Welsh tradition of giving gifts and money on New Year's Day (Welsh: Calennig) is an ancient custom that survives in modern-day Wales, though nowadays it is now customary to give bread and cheese.
Every New Year's Eve, the Nos Galan road race (Rasys Nos Galan), a five-kilometre (3.1 mi) running contest, is held in Mountain Ash in the Cynon Valley, Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales. The race celebrates the life and achievements of Welsh runner Guto Nyth Brân.
Founded in 1958 by local runner Bernard Baldwin, it is run over the five-kilometre route of Guto's first competitive race. The main race starts with a church service at Llanwynno, and then a wreath is laid on Guto's grave in Llanwynno graveyard. After lighting a torch, it is carried to the nearby town of Mountain Ash, where the main race takes place.
The race consists of a double circuit of the town centre, starting in Henry Street and ending in Oxford Street, by the commemorative statue of Guto. Traditionally, the race was timed to end at midnight, but in recent times it was rescheduled for the convenience of family entertainment, now concluding at around 9 pm.
This has resulted in a growth in size and scale, and the proceedings now start with an afternoon of street entertainment, and fun run races for children, concluding with the church service, elite runners' race, and presentations.
Middle East & North Africa
In Algeria, New Year's Eve (French: Réveillon; Arabic: Ra’s al-‘Ām) is usually celebrated with family and friends. In the largest cities, such as Algiers, Constantine, Annaba, Oran, Sétif, and Béjaïa, there are large celebrations which may feature concerts, late-night partying, firecrackers, fireworks at midnight and sparklers and shouts of "Bonne année !". The Martyrs' Memorial and the Grand-Post Place in Algiers are the main attraction for the majority of Algerians during the celebration, while some others prefer spending this special night outside the country, generally in Tunis or Paris.
At 8pm (AST), the President's message of greetings to Algerians is read on TV. The EPTV network airs a yearly New Year's Eve entertainment show, variying its name, hosts and guests, which features sketches and musical performances. Popular films are also broadcast. At home or at restaurants, a special type of pastry cake called "la bûche" is eaten, and black coffee or soda is often drunk with it. People eat it a few minutes before the New Year's countdown.
On New Year's Day (le jour de l'an), people, especially children, write their "New Year's letter" on decorated paper, called "Carte de bonne année", to their parents and relatives, featuring their resolutions and wishes.
In Egypt the new year is celebrated with fireworks and often urban vandalism.
New Year's Eve (Silvester) in Israel, is celebrated informally among some groups, by parties, social get togethers, concerts, and dining out in major cities such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Immigrants from the former USSR celebrate Novy God, the Russian version of the holiday. The Eve of the Jewish New Year (Erev Rosh Hashanah) is also observed on the 29th of Elul according to the Jewish calendar (falling sometime in September or October by the Gregorian calendar).
Lebanon and Syria
In Lebanon and Syria, people celebrate New Year's Eve with a dinner attended by family and friends. The dinner features traditional dishes such as tabouli, hummus, kibbi, and other Syrian and Lebanese foods. These celebrations could also take place in restaurants and clubs. Game shows are also organized where people can try to win money. The countdown to New Year's is broadcast through the leading TV channel and the celebrations usually continue until sunrise. Fireworks are lit throughout the night.
In Morocco, New Year's Eve (Arabic: رأس العام, romanized: Rass l'aam—"head of the year") is celebrated in the company of family and friends. People get together to eat cake, dance, and laugh. Traditionally, people celebrate it at home, but some prefer to go to nightclubs. At midnight, fireworks are displayed across Ain Diab, in the corniche of Casablanca.
As the Islamic calendar is the official civic calendar, the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice—Saudi Arabia's religious police, has enforced a ban on public festivities of the Gregorian New Year. The organization can also fine shops for offering New Year's-related products, and confiscate them. However, the organization does not go after individual citizens holding private celebrations.
Numerous decorations and customs traditionally associated with Christmas and Bayrams are part of secular New Year's Eve celebrations in Turkey. Homes and streets are lit in glittering lights. Small gifts are exchanged, and large family dinners are organized with family and friends, featuring a special turkey dish stuffed with a zante currant, pine nuts, pimiento and dill iç pilav, dolma, hot börek, baklava, and various other Turkish dishes; accompanied with rakı, Turkish wine, boza, şerbet, salep, Turkish tea, or coffee. Even though Turkish people generally do not celebrate Christmas, decorating New Year trees is an emerging tradition on New Year's Eve in Turkey and the Turks associate Santa Claus with New Year's Eve.
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, Bursa 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 light shows as well as the traditional countdown and fireworks display.
United Arab Emirates
In Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the Burj Khalifa—the world's tallest building—has hosted an annual fireworks display, which is among the world's most expensive. A fireworks show was not held for 2017–18: instead, a multimedia light and sound show was presented using the tower's lighting system, which set a Guinness World Record for the largest light and sound show staged on a single building. The fireworks show returned for 2019, in tandem with a multimedia presentation.
Each major city in Australia holds New Year's Eve celebrations, usually accompanied by a fireworks display and other events. Gloucester Park, a racecourse in central Perth, is the largest and most recognized display in the Western Australian city. In Brisbane events are held at Southbank. At night, 50,000 people gather at sites around the Brisbane River to watch a fireworks display. In Melbourne, hundreds of thousands of people come to the Central Business District to see the fireworks. In the South Australian capital of Adelaide, events are held at both Rymill Park in the city and at Glenelg beach.
The most prominent celebration in the country is Sydney New Year's Eve, which takes place at Sydney Harbour and consists of two fireworks shows — the evening "Family Fireworks" held at 9:00 p.m., followed by the main fireworks at midnight. Sydney Harbour Bridge is a focal point of the show, via pyrotechnics launched from the bridge, as well as lighting displays that illuminate it during the show—colloquially known as the "bridge effect", and previously taking the form of a symbol, installed on its trusses, that reflected an annual theme.
Kiritimati (UTC+14) part of Kiribati (and other Kiribati's Line Islands, especially populated Tabuaeran and Teraina), is one of the first locations in the world to welcome the New Year. Other Kiribati islands follow at UTC+13 and UTC+12.
Many of New Zealand's cities and towns see in the new year with open-air concerts and fireworks displays.
Auckland regularly has a fireworks display at midnight from the top of the Sky Tower. In Wellington, Frank Kitts Park is the venue for a festival including fireworks, music, and open-air film displays. Similar events occur in Hamilton, starting with a family-friendly event at Steele Park, followed by an adult-specific party at SkyCity Hamilton. Gisborne, one of the first cities in the world to see sunrise at new year also celebrates with a new year festival. The small town of Whangamata, on the Coromandel Peninsula, is a major party venue in the new year, especially for Aucklanders.
In the South Island, both Christchurch and Dunedin host free live music concerts culminating with a midnight fireworks display. These are held at Hagley Park and The Octagon respectively. The South Island's main resort town, Queenstown is also a major new year party venue, with music and fireworks.
Since changing the time zone from UTC-11 to UTC+13 in winter and UTC+14 in summer (including new year), Samoa is the first country to receive the New Year as a whole, sharing it with some parts of Kiribati.
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- "1999" by Prince
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- "Millennium" by Robbie Williams
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- "Año Más" by Mecano
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