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New Year's Eve

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New Year's Eve
New Year celebration in Eberhardzell, Germany, 2018
Also called
  • Hogmanay (Scotland)
  • Calennig (Wales)
  • Shchedryi Vechir (Ukraine)
  • Ambang/Malam Tahun Baharu/Baru (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore)
  • Yangi Yil, Yılbaşı arifesi, Yeni İl ərəfəsi (Uzbekistan, Turkey and Azerbaijan)
  • Karamu (African diaspora)
  • Silvester (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland)
  • Réveillon (Algeria, Angola, Brazil, France, Macau, Morocco, Mozambique, Portugal, Romania, Tunisia, Wallonia, and French-speaking locations in North America)
  • Kanun Novogo Goda (Russia)
  • Ōmisoka (Japan)
  • Pele ga Ngwaga o Mosha (Botswana)
  • Nochevieja (lit. Old Night) (Spain and other countries where Spanish is mostly spoken)
Observed byUsers of the Gregorian calendar
SignificanceThe last day of the year in the Gregorian calendar
CelebrationsReflection; 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
Date31 December
Next time31 December 2024 (2024-12-31)
Related toNew Year's Day

In the Gregorian calendar, New Year's Eve, also known as Old Year's Day, is the evening or the entire day of the last day of the year, 31 December. In many countries, New Year's Eve is celebrated with dancing, eating, drinking, and watching or lighting 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), Samoa and Tonga, in the Pacific Ocean, are the first places to welcome the New Year, while American Samoa, Baker Island and Howland Island (part of the United States Minor Outlying Islands) are among the last.[1]

By region[edit]



In Algeria, New Year's Eve is usually celebrated with family and friends. In the largest cities, there are fireworks at midnight.[citation needed] The Martyrs' Memorial is the main attraction during the celebration, while some Algerians prefer celebrate outside the country, generally in Tunis or Paris.[citation needed]

At 8 PM (AST), the President's message of greetings is read on TV. The EPTV network airs an entertainment show, with different hosts and guests.[citation needed]


In Egypt, New Year's Eve is celebrated with fireworks and often evening parties with friends and family.[citation needed]


In Ghana, Ghanaians 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.[citation needed]


Casablanca fireworks display

In Morocco, New Year's Eve is celebrated in the company of family and friends. Moroccans get together to eat cake, dance, and laugh. Traditionally, Moroccans celebrate it at home, but some prefer to go to nightclubs. At midnight, fireworks are displayed across Ain Diab, in the corniche of Casablanca.[citation needed]


HKN's Davido entertaining the crowd at the Lagos Countdown 2012 in Nigeria

In Nigeria, Nigerians often Celebrate the New Year's Eve by going to church; others go to nightclubs and parties organized by individuals, communities, and other organizations.

In Lagos, a year-end festival known as Lagos Countdown (later renamed One Lagos Fiesta)[2] was first held in 2012, as part of an effort to establish tourism-oriented New Year's festivities more in line with those of other major metropolitan areas.[3][4]


In Rwanda, Rwandans celebrate New Year's Eve by going to church, taking part in social gatherings and organizing family activities. The services usually start from 6 pm for the Roman Catholic church and 10 pm for the Protestants. At 00:00, at midnight, the president delivers an end-of-year address which is broadcast live on many radio and television stations.[5] Fireworks were introduced in recent years, with the most significant displays happening at Kigali Convention Centre, Rebero Hill, Mount Kigali.[citation needed]

South Africa[edit]

In South Africa, South Africans vote on a top ten music countdown before 31 December.[citation needed] 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. South Africans engage in occasional drinking and braais.[citation needed]

South Sudan[edit]

In South Sudan, South Sudanese attend church services at many churches in Juba. The service begins at 9 pm. At the stroke of midnight, the famous carol, "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" is sung to mark the end and beginning of the year with a blessing. The service ends at 12:30 am.[citation needed]


In Tunisia, Tunisians celebrate by spending the evening in restaurants and hotels and exchange gifts and flowers, or travel outside Tunisia to spend New Year's Eve in a European country. But most Tunisians prefer to celebrate it at home in a family evening with relatives and friends.[6]

Tunisians buy cakes or prepare them at home, in addition to holding dinner banquets, as roast chicken remains the main dish for this occasion, and staying up until midnight to eat cake as the first moments of the new year arrive.[6]

In recent years, the popular Tunisian film Choufli Hal on New Year's Eve is broadcast every year, ending just minutes before the new year. This has become an annual tradition.[7]


Some Asian countries where the main celebrations of the New Year are on a day other than 1 January.


The Gregorian calendar is still in force after Azerbaijan became an independent republic, and 1 January is celebrated as a day off. The day before, 31 December, is also marked as International Solidarity Day of Azerbaijanis, marking the double anniversary of that day in 1989 when the local residents took down the Soviet–Iranian border in then-Nakhichevan ASSR to reunite with Iranian Azerbaijanis south of the border, as well as the Istanbul-held first World Congress of Azerbaijanis which tackled issues regarding the Azeri expat communities.[8]

Celebrations of the holiday are influenced from its Soviet history, at midnight the national anthem is played on all TV stations following the message of the President of Azerbaijan produced by state channel AzTV.


New Year celebration in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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, Bangladeshis go to parties at clubs or hotels, beaches, at the crowded roadsides and bridges where firecrackers are blasted out in the sky at night. The roadsides and bridges are also lighted up by colorful lights at night. Bangladeshis 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 television 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 on the night of 31 December so that Bangladeshis can enjoy more.[9] Bangladeshis also enjoy New Year's Eve with their families, relatives, and friends in the ships and yachts especially in the sea while going to Saint Martin where DJs liven up their night through their music and songs.[10]

Muslims during the year's last Jumu'ah 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.[11] 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.[citation needed]

Hong Kong[edit]

Fireworks display in Hong Kong to ring in 2010.

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.

From 1993 to 2014, the Times Square shopping centre in Causeway Bay hosted New Year's Eve festivities featuring the "lowering" of an apple (via 22 m (72 ft) of signage), in imitation of the ball drop at New York City's Times Square. The countdown event was discontinued in 2015 in favor of other events over the holiday season.[12][13]


New Year's Eve celebrations are the biggest in large cities, and include Goa's beaches and Park Street, Kolkata. Other cities such as New Delhi and Mumbai also celebrate extravagantly[14][15]


New Year's Eve has been observed in Israel since the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1918; it is referred to as Silvester to distinguish it from the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, which falls in either September or October on the Gregorian calendar. It is largely celebrated through social gatherings and parties.[16] The New Year's holiday has historically attracted a negative stigma among parts of the Israeli Jewish population due to its connection to Pope Sylvester I—who is widely considered to have been an antisemite. As a result, celebrations have historically been modest in comparison to other countries.[17][18] In December 2014, wearables manufacturer Jawbone published a report estimating that only 67.4% of Israelis were awake at midnight on New Year's Eve in 2013, and most people only stayed up as late as 12:45 a.m. IST.[19][20]

During the era of Mandatory Palestine in the early-1930s, promotional material for formal New Year's Eve parties and masquerade balls was targeted primarily towards Arabic and English-speaking residents (by contrast, posters for Hanukkah parties were written in Hebrew). These parties also became popular among German and Austrian Jews that had emigrated to avoid the rise of Nazi Germany.[16] The increasing popularity of Silvester faced criticism from the Orthodox population, including the Hapoel HaMizrachi, who considered them contrary to Zionist values.[16] In 1934, it was reported that the municipal council of Tel Aviv had passed a resolution to ban Silvester parties, calling them "contrary to the spirit and traditions of the people of Israel". However, reported efforts to ban the holiday were unsuccessful or left unenforced, and it continued to increase in popularity—especially among secular populations.[16]

Following the post-Soviet aliyah, Novy God was imported into Israel by emigrants. The observance was initially obscure outside of Israel's Russian Jewish community, and also faced stigma from those who mistook its traditions for being Christmas or Silvester. In the mid-2010s, a campaign was launched to promote awareness of the holiday among the 1.5 generation of immigrants, as well as non-Russian residents. By the late-2010s, public awareness of Novy God had increased; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began to acknowledge Novy God in his holiday greetings, and it became more common for retailers to stock Novy God-related goods.[21][22][18] In a 2020 survey, 72% of Israelis surveyed stated they were familiar with the holiday, but 54% did not perceive Novy God to be part of the country's culture.[22][23][24]


Tokyo Tower on New Year's Eve, 2012

In Japan, New Year's Eve is used to prepare for and welcome Toshigami (年神), the New Year's god. Japanese 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).[25] The rings represent the 108 elements of bonō (煩悩), mental states that lead Japanese to take unwholesome actions.[26]

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, revelers gather at the Zojoji Temple in Minato, who 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. Shibuya Crossing formerly hosted a gathering of revellers at midnight, but this ended in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a subsequent crackdown on gatherings around Halloween and New Year's Eve due to issues with overtourism and public intoxication.[27][28][29]

Three notable music-oriented television specials air near New Year's Eve. Since 1951, NHK has traditionally broadcast the Kōhaku Uta Gassen ("Red and White Song 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. The winning team is determined by a panel of judges, audience members at the NHK Hall in Tokyo, 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, recognizing outstanding achievements in the Japanese music industry, is held annually on 30 December since 2007 and is broadcast on 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 more recent tradition in Japan have been combat sports supercards; the Saitama Super Arena has hosted an MMA event on New Year's Eve since 2001, which were initially promoted by Pride Fighting Championships. After its dissolution and sale to UFC, Yarennoka! was organized by former Pride executives in 2007,[30] while its predecessor Dream would hold the event through 2012 (which marked its final event).[31] These cards have also featured kickboxing matches, promoted by groups such as Glory and K-1[31][30] Rizin Fighting Federation would take over the tradition beginning in 2015 with its inaugural event.[32]


In Central Asia, such as Kazakhstan, 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.


Image shows bell about three metres high, with celebrant alongside
Many South Korean gather at Bosingak in Seoul to celebrate the New Year.

Although the traditional Korean New Year (Seollal) is typically a more important holiday in both North and South Korea, the 31 December New Year's Eve of the Gregorian calendar is also celebrated. 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 the capital of 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. Television networks KBS and SBS both broadcast award shows, the KBS Drama Awards and SBS Drama Awards, to honor achievements in the television dramas aired by the networks. Until 2022 South Koreans calculated their age using the East Asian age reckoning method, with all South Koreans adding a year to their age at midnight of the New Year (of the Gregorian, not the Korean calendar), the government finally ended the practice for 2023 and onwards.[33]

In Pyongyang, the capital of 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. For 2018–19, Kim Il Sung Square hosted a concert performance by the state Moranbong Band, midnight fireworks, and a drone show.[34]


In Lebanon. Lebanese 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 Lebanese foods. These celebrations could also take place in restaurants and clubs. Game shows are also organized where contestants 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.


Fireworks in George Town, Penang on 1 January 2018

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. The countdown is now broadcast live on Government television from Putrajaya and the Broadcasting Centre in which the concert is held and fireworks are displayed at the Petronas Towers.

There are New Year countdown parties in major cities such as George Town, Shah Alam and Kuching, typically organized by the private sector in these cities.[35][36]


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 families. 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 following the holiday address by the President of Mongolia.


New Year's Eve is usually celebrated with fireworks in big cities (e.g. Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad). Musical nights and concerts are also held.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]


Fireworks display in Manila Bay in front of the SM Mall of Asia.

In the Philippines, New Year's Eve (Bisperas ng Bagong Taon) is a special non-working holiday (except for 2021 and 2022, where it is a special working holiday),[37] and Filipinos usually celebrate in the company of family or close friends. Traditionally, most households would attend church for year-end services and afterwards, host or attend an abundant midnight feast called the Medianoche. Typical dishes include pancit (a noodle dish meant to symbolize for a longer life) and hamón (dry-cured ham), while lechon (roasted pig) is usually prepared as is barbecued food and various desserts. Some refrain from serving chicken, as their scratching and pecking for food is said to be an unlucky idiom for a hand-to-mouth existence. Many Filipinos also buy firecrackers and fireworks to be used in New Year's Eve, which is believed to drive away any bad luck in the start of the new year.

Many opt to wear new, bright, or colorful clothes with circular patterns, such as polka dots, or display sweets and twelve round fruits in the belief that circles attract money, while candies represent a sweeter year ahead. Several customs must be done exactly at midnight: scattering coins to increase wealth in the coming year, jumping to increase height, or the Spanish custom of eating twelve grapes, one for each month of the year. Filipinos 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 lighting firecrackers and bamboo cannons. It is an apotropaic ritual, as the din is believed to scare away bad luck and evil spirits.

Although many Filipinos typically spend their New Year's Eve at their family homes, in some urban areas, many New Year's Eve parties and countdown celebrations are also 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 also well-attended.

Saudi Arabia[edit]

Until 2016, Saudi Arabia used the Umm al-Qura calendar—which is based on astronomical calculations—for administrative purposes. The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (CPVPV, the Saudi religious police) also enforced a ban on public celebrations of the Gregorian New Year as per a religious edict, and could fine shops for offering New Year's-related products and confiscate them. However, the religious police did not go after individual citizens holding private celebrations.[38][39]

The power of the CPVPV was curtailed by the 2016 reforms of Mohammed bin Salman.[40][41] The country also began to base the salaries of public sector employees on the Gregorian calendar as a cost savings measure, while retaining the Islamic calendar for religious purposes.[42][43][44] In 2019, the capital of Riyadh introduced a new winter entertainment festival known as Riyadh Season, in support of Saudi Vision 2030.[45][46] The inaugural festival included New Year's festivities centred upon Boulevard Riyadh City, including fireworks and a concert at Mohammed Abdo Arena featuring top Arabic music performers.[47][48]


A midnight fireworks show in Marina Bay, Singapore, welcoming 2012.

New Year's Eve celebrations in Singapore are centered in Marina Bay, which had hosted the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown with light shows being held in December under Shine The Light programme while fireworks at the city are not permitted on New Year's Eve. Heartland celebrations are held instead on New Year's Eve at various locations for countdown fireworks. Similarly, public transport services are extended; last MRT trains will leave City Hall at 1.15am.[49]


The Taipei 101 fireworks show in 2009.

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.[50][51]


Fireworks at Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand 2019

Aside from the traditional Thai New Year Songkran (Thailand) (which falls on 13 April or 14 April), Thais also celebrate the arrival of the Gregorian New Year on 1 January with 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.


New Year's Eve decorations in Kadıköy, Istanbul.

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 Turks generally do not celebrate Christmas, decorating New Year trees is an emerging tradition on New Year's Eve in Turkey and 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 organized in a number of cities and towns, particularly in the largest metropolitan areas such as Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir, 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.

In addition, at midnight, which is the moment of the new year, the president makes his holiday address on state television simulcast on the private television channels.[52]

United Arab Emirates[edit]

New Year celebrations, including fireworks at the Burj Khalifa at midnight

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.[53] 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.[54][55][56] The fireworks show returned for 2019, in tandem with a multimedia presentation.[57]



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, Albanians toast and greet 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 Austrians dance to this at parties or in the street. Large crowds gather in the streets of Vienna, where the municipal government organizes 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 Belgians kiss, exchange good luck greetings, and toast the New Year and absent relatives and friends with champagne. Many Belgians 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 Belgians 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.[58]

Bosnia and Herzegovina[edit]

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 the capital Sarajevo, Bosnians 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.

Czechia and Slovakia[edit]

Prague New Year Fireworks

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. Czechs and Slovaks 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 the clock strikes midnight. In the first minutes after midnight, Czechs and Slovaks toast with champagne, wish each other a happy new year, fortune and health, and go outside for the fireworks displays.

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 – ex-Czech President Miloš Zeman renewed the tradition of Christmas speeches. In recent years however the Czechoslovak national anthem is played at midnight in some stations, in honor of the shared history of both nations.


New Year fireworks over Copenhagen

Danes 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.[59] However, expensive cuts of beef as well as sushi have become increasingly popular.[60]

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[61] at 18:00 and the Town Hall Clock in Copenhagen striking midnight. Thousands of Danes gather together in Rådhuspladsen (the Town Hall Square) and cheer.[62]

The Royal Guard[63][64] 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 [da]" [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].[65]

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, Estonians decorate villages, visit friends and prepare lavish meals.

Some believe that Estonians 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.


Fireworks in the forest of Ruka on New Year's Eve in Kuusamo, Finland

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 principal broadcast is aired by YLE at Helsinki Senate Square featuring Finnish music stars. The countdown to the New Year is with the Helsinki Cathedral clock. Preceding this the German comedy sketch Dinner for One is shown every year in the afternoon. On the radio, just before midnight, the poem Hymyilevä Apollo (Smiling Apollo) by Eino Leino is read.[66]


(video) Celebrations at the Eiffel Tower in 2014

In France, New Year's Eve (la Saint-Sylvestre) is usually celebrated with a feast, le Réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre[67] (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.

On New Year's Day (le Jour de l'An) friends and family exchange New Year's resolutions, kisses, and wishes. Some people eat ice cream.[68]

Paris and Marseille host the main festivities of the day. A sound and light show using video mapping techniques has been held on the Arc de Triomphe since 2014 (except in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic), ending with a fireworks display at midnight. It is broadcast live on major television networks like France 2.


In Germany, parties are common on New Year's Eve (Silvester), and wishes of luck may be worded as „Guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr!“, which literally translates into “Good slide into the new year!” or “Slide well into the new year!”[69], as well as „Prost Neujahr!“ for “Cheers (to the) New Year!” or „Frohes Neues!“ literally meaning “Happy new one!”[70] 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 Germans. The focal point is the Brandenburg Gate, where midnight fireworks are centered, with a live broadcast on ZDF under the name Willkommen with musical guests beginning in 2011.[citation needed] Germans toast the New Year with a glass of Sekt (German sparkling wine) or champagne.[citation needed] 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 one's 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.[citation needed] In some northern regions of Germany (e.g. East Frisia) the making of Speckendicken [de] (also Speckdicken) is another tradition – Germans 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.[71]

Another notable tradition is watching 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.[25][72]

In 2023 On New Year's Eve in Berlin, the fire department reported 38 separate incidents, including 14 cases where firetrucks were supposedly "lured into ambushes" and shot at with fireworks and pelted with beer crates.The level of aggression toward emergency service staff was completely unexpected, Berlin fire department spokesman Thomas Kirstein told public radio RBB. A total of 15 emergency responders were injured in Berlin, with one requiring hospital treatment. The police department said 18 of its officers had been injured.

Berlin's fire department said it was "shocked and saddened" by the incidents, which left many asking what lies behind the apparent increase in violence toward emergency service staff and why they in particular have become a target.[73]


A midnight fireworks display is held over the historic Parthenon temple in the capital of Athens.[74]

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.[75][76]


Midnight – Millenáris, NYE 2017

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.

Television channels usually broadcast comedic and musical programs most of the day and in the evening. At midnight, a countdown is followed by the national anthem and the President's speech (which is usually pre-recorded).

A common greeting is "BUÉK!", a common slang expression to 'wish a Happy New Year' (or Boldog Új évet).

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.

Hungarian Christian communities focus on celebrating Mass on both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.[77][78] The Kiskarácsony traditions are also connected to the time (a holiday which has been present since the Middle Ages or longer)


New Year fireworks over Reykjavík, Iceland

Fireworks are very popular in Iceland, particularly on New Year's Eve. Iceland's biggest New Year's Eve events are usually in and around the capital, Reykjavík.

Since the 1940s, the country's public broadcaster RÚV has traditionally broadcast Áramótaskaupið (literally The New Year's Comedy or The New Year's Lampoon), 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).[79] Some of its sketches have become well known in local popular culture, such as a 1989 sketch that portrayed then Minister of Finance Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson as a Batman-esque superhero known as "Skattmann" ("Taxman"), and a 2008 sketch which popularized the catchphrase "Helvítis fokking fokk!" as a reaction to the Icelandic financial crisis.[79][80]


New Year's Eve (Oíche Chinn Bliana, Oíche na Coda Móire or Oíche Chaille, the night of big portion)[81] when traditionally households would partake in a large feast that was believed to ensure a plentiful new year.[82] Beliefs around the day meant that no food or other goods would be taken from the house, to guard against lack 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.[83] Even the homeless and those in need would not be offered food or alms on this day. In some parts 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"[82]

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.[82] Other variations include throwing the cake to someone outside the door, or conducting the ritual in the stables or other animal housing.[81] Church bells ringing, the lighting of bonfires, and singing would take place towards midnight.[82]

In modern times, celebrations in major cities are modest, with most Irish citizens favoring small parties in the home for family and friends.


Traditional Cotechino, polenta and lentils

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.[84] An ancient tradition in southern regions which is rarely followed today was disposing of old or unused items by dropping them from the window.[85]

Dinner is traditionally eaten with relatives and friends. It often includes zampone or cotechino (a meal made with pig's trotters or entrails), lentils and (in Northern Italy) polenta. At 20:30, the President of Italy's address to the nation, produced by RAI, the state broadcaster, is broadcast countrywide on radio and TV networks.[86]

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.[87]

Usually the evening is spent with family or friends in a square (where concerts or various parties are organised) but also at home. Generally, starting from 10 seconds before midnight, it is customary to count down until reaching zero, thus wishing a happy new year, toasting with spumante and watching or lighting fireworks, shooting firecrackers or guns loaded with blanks.

On television, Rai 1 broadcasts a special to welcome the New Year at 21:00 called L'anno che verrà hosted by Amadeus with musical guests, surprises and many more.


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[88] Although professional fireworks are very popular in Malta, they are almost totally absent on New Year's Eve. Maltese Usually 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\big organized parties can also be attended. Traditional snack foods are oliebollen (Dutch doughnuts) and appelbeignets (apple slice fritters).[89] 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.[90] At midnight, Glühwein (bishops wine) or champagne is drunk. Many Dutch citizens light their own fireworks. City centres are usually intensely crowded, and large crowds combined with the fire quickly turn into a safety hazard. Towns do not organize a central fireworks display, except for Rotterdam where the national fireworks display can be viewed near the Erasmus Bridge. Additionally, there are certain types of fireworks that are banned.[91] In rural areas, the tradition of nl:Carbidschieten (blasting off footballs or churnlids with Calcium carbide gas filled milk churns) is performed instead of or alongside the lighting of fireworks.

Since 1999, originally to mark the new millennium, NPO Radio 2 has broadcast an annual top 2000 countdown of the greatest songs of all time, as determined by a survey of its listeners. The Top 2000 usually begins on Christmas Day, and airs non-stop through New Year's Eve.[92][93][94]


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 daytime 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.


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.[95]

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 midnight on New Year's Day, Norwegians 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. Norwegians 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.[96] 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.

Also, New Year's Eve (Sylwester) celebrations are in Katowice, near the Spodek arena. In Sławatycze, Polish Citizens tour the streets dressed up as bearded men.[97]

Major television networks broadcast the events live all across the country on New Year's Eve like Polsat and TVP.


Fireworks in Funchal, Madeira Islands

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 crystallized and dried fruit. It is baked from a soft, white dough, with raisins, various nuts and crystallized 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.


Romexpo indoors during Vanghelion New Year's Eve party.

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.


Midnight at Red Square in 2012.

The most prominent public celebration of the New Year (Novy God) 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.[98] 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 famously used the New Year's address to announce his resignation.[99][100][101]

Novy God is practiced as a gift-giving holiday with similarities to Christmas; New Year trees (yolka) are decorated and displayed in homes and public spaces,[102][103][104] and Ded Moroz (Russian: Дед Мороз, lit.'Grandfather Frost') is depicted as delivering presents to children on New Year's Eve.[102][103][104] with assistance from his granddaughter Snegurochka (Russian: Снегурочка, lit.'the Snow Maiden').[105]

The present-day traditions were established under Soviet rule, when the Communist Party abolished Christmas and other religious holidays in 1928 as part of policies meant to curtail the practice of religion. In 1935, Soviet officials, including politician Pavel Postyshev, began promoting the New Year as a non-working holiday in the benefit of youth. Christmas traditions such as trees and a Santa Claus-like figure were adapted in a secular form.[102][103][104][106] Even after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the reinstatement of religious holidays, Novy God has remained a popular celebration in modern Russia,[107][108][102] and among Soviet and Russian expats living in other countries.[109]

The Soviet romantic comedy The Irony of Fate (which is set during the New Year holiday) is traditionally broadcast by multiple Russian television channels on New Year's Eve, and has been compared to the traditional Christmas Eve telecast of It's a Wonderful Life in the United States.[110][111] The Soviet variety show Little Blue Light traditionally broadcast a New Year's special, which was revived by Russia-1 in 1997.[112][113]


The Gregorian calendar was adopted by Yugoslavia in 1919,[114] but the Serbian Orthodox Church continues to follow the Julian calendar, meaning that the new year is often celebrated twice. Prior to World War II, the New Year's holiday was celebrated more often by Serbs in urban regions, with large parties held on both 1 and 14 January. By contrast, residents of rural regions rarely celebrated the new year, and placed a larger focus on Christmas.[115]

In 1945 after World War II, the League of Communists of Yugoslavia came into power, and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was succeeded by the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFR Yugoslavia). As in the Soviet Union, the communist government discouraged the observance of religious holidays, encouraged celebrations of the New Year on 1 January as a secular gift-giving holiday, and similarly adopted the figure of Grandfather Frost (Deda Mraz).[116] Some residents (especially those in opposition to the communist government) continued to celebrate the Orthodox New Year, doing so quietly by candlelight in order to evade attention from authorities.[115]

After the end of communist rule and the breakup of Yugoslavia, the three holidays began to co-exist: the Gregorian New Year and the Serbian New Year (14 January) are both marked by festivities in major Serbian cities, although festivities for the Serbian New Year (which became designated as a public holiday again in 2013) are usually modest in comparison to their Gregorian counterparts.[116][115]


As in the other constituents of SFR Yugoslavia, Christmas and other religious holidays were abolished by the communist government in the mid-1940s, with the New Year promoted as a secular holiday in the place of Saint Nicholas Day and Christmas. Grandfather Frost is refereed to in Slovenian as "Dedek Mraz", and was originally billed as having come from Siberia. After Yugoslavia broke from the Eastern Bloc, the character was stated to come from the Triglav mountain instead, and artist Maksim Gaspari created a new depiction of Dedek Mraz in traditional Slovenian apparel.[117]

Saint Nicholas Day and Christmas were reinstated as holidays after the end of communist rule.[117]


Madrid's Puerta del Sol on New Year's Eve, 2005.

In Spain, the main public celebration of New Year's Eve (Nochevieja, literally "Old Night", or Fin de Año) is held at Puerta del Sol in Madrid, where revellers await the midnight chimes of the clock tower at the Royal House of the Post Office. The event is broadcast on all major national television channels —since Televisión Española (TVE) broadcast it for the first time in 1962 and whose coverage is the flagship broadcast— and the national radio stations. A notable Spanish tradition is to eat twelve grapes at midnight —one for each chime of the clock— which is said to bring luck and prosperity. The tradition dates back as early as 1895[118] but first gained wider attention in 1909, when it was promoted by Alicante grape growers to help spur sales of that year's surplus harvest. In the lead-up to the holiday, grocery stores are usually stocked with large amounts of grapes.[119][120] The tradition has also been adopted in other communities with cultural ties to Spain or Latin America, including Hispanic and Latino Americans.[121][122]

It is common to attend cotillones de nochevieja that last into the following morning,[123] including smaller parties at bars and larger-scale events at hotels. After midnight, Spaniards often drink sparkling wines such as cava and champagne.[120]

A 10 km (6.2 mi) race known as the San Silvestre Vallecana is also held in Madrid on the evening of New Year's Eve, which includes an amateur fun run and a competitive event for elite athletes. In 2012 the event hosted a record of around 40,000 runners.[124]

Regional capitals and major cities also host New Year's Eve festivities.


Gothenburg fireworks on New Year's Eve, 2008.

In Sweden, New Year's Eve is usually celebrated with families or with friends. A few hours before and after midnight, Swedish citizens 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, major ones in particular having distinguishing celebrations. Swedish citizens 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, Swedish citizens usually drink champagne.

On television, the lottery 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.


New Year celebration in Kyiv

The main public celebration is held at Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kyiv, including concerts and a fireworks display. For 2013–14, amid the Euromaidan movement, it also included a world record attempt at the largest simultaneous singing of a national anthem.[125] Similar celebrations are held in all other major cities and regional capitals.

Under Soviet rule, Ukrainian New Year's celebrations became patterned off the secular Novy God traditions, with Christmas (which, among those who practice Eastern Christianity, is held on January 7) officially considered abolished—if not celebrated in secret by those opposed to the communist regime. Christmas regained prominence after the dissolution, with figures such as Grandfather Frost eventually being displaced by Western figures such as Saint Nicholas and Santa Claus.[126][127]

As in other former Soviet countries, The Irony of Fate was regularly screened on or around the New Year in Ukraine; in 2015, broadcaster STB pulled the film as part of a wider boycott of Russian films in response to the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea (citing, in particular, a lead actress who had been blacklisted by the Ukraine government for her support of the invasion).[128] Nationalists have also criticized the practice of New Year trees due to their connection to the Soviet era despite being from the West.[129]

Small scale festivities, since the 2022 Russian invasion, have been the current norm of events in Ukraine on this day, which also marks Malanka, one of the nation's traditional holidays. With the celebrations of Christmas now unified to the December 25 date marked by Catholics and Protestants beginning 2023, the celebrations have been progressively Westernized with infusions of local influences.

United Kingdom[edit]

Thousands of Britons gather in central London for New Year celebrations, including fireworks at the London Eye at midnight.

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 spectators 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.[130][131] A drone show was added to the fireworks for the first time in 2021.[132][133][134]

Other major New Year events are held in the cities of Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, and Newcastle.

Hogmanay fireworks in Edinburgh.

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.

From 1953 to 1985, Hogmanay had received exposure across the entire United Kingdom via the BBC, who televised BBC Scotland-produced specials such as The White Heather Club as its New Year's Eve programming. The specials were often lambasted by critics for their stereotypical portrayal of Scottish culture, but were popular enough to spawn competitors on ITV. The practice ended after 1985, after the poor reception to that year's Live into 85 led to the BBC, among others, abandoning the concept altogether. BBC One Scotland has since continued to air a local Hogmanay special as a regional opt-out (with the rest of the UK taking the BBC's London-centric special).[135][136]

A Mari Lwyd c. 1910–1914. Traditionally carried from door to door during Calennig in Wales

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.[137]

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

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.

North America[edit]


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).[138]

The CBC's English- and French-language television networks have been well known for airing sketch comedy specials on New Year's Eve, lampooning the major events and news stories of the year. From 1992 through 2019, CBC Television aired Year of the Farce, an annual special produced by the radio comedy troupe Royal Canadian Air Farce. The special became part of a weekly Royal Canadian Air Farce television series beginning in 1993, while the 2008 edition doubled as the program's series finale. The troupe continued to produce Year of the Farce as an annual reunion special until 2019.[139][140][141]

The CBC's French network Radio-Canada airs a similar special, Bye Bye, which has been presented by various comedians and troupes, 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.[142] Four out of the five highest-rated television broadcasts in Quebecois history have been editions of Bye Bye, with the 2021 edition being seen by a record 4.862 million viewers.[143]

Since 2017 (with the inaugural edition marking the beginning of the country's sesquicentennial year),[144] CBC Television has broadcast a more traditional countdown special: a localized version is broadcast for each time zone, which features music performances and midnight festivities from across the country.[145]

The Canadian men's junior hockey team has usually played their final preliminary round game at the IIHF World Junior Championship on New Year's Eve.[146]

Costa Rica[edit]

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.[citation needed]

El Salvador[edit]

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. Salvadorans start exchanging hugs and wishes for the new year.[citation needed]

The main event takes place at midnight where fireworks are lit along with thousands of life-size effigies called "Año Viejo". Almost every local family will either make such an effigy from scraps of paper and old clothes or buy one ready-made. The effigy is placed just outside the front of their home. Such effigies represent the things people hated about the departing year and are fashioned to resemble celebrities, politicians, public servants, cartoon characters etc. They are burnt on the stroke of midnight to banish the old year and mark a fresh start in the new. Some of the braver Salvadorans jump through these burning effigies 12 times to represent a wish for every month.[citation needed]


In Guatemala, banks close on New Year's Eve, and businesses close at noon.[147] In the town of Antigua, Guatemalans 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.[citation needed]

The celebrations include religious themes which may be either Mayan or Catholic.[148] 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.[149]


Mexicans celebrate New Year's Eve (Spanish: "Fin de Año" or "Nochevieja") observing many traditions, including the Spanish tradition of 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 [citation needed]. 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.[150] 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.[151]

Mexicans celebrate with a late-night dinner with their families, the traditional meal being turkey or pork loin. Afterwards many Mexicans attend parties outside the home, for example, in night clubs. In Mexico City the national street festival on New Year's Eve takes place on the Zocalo, the city's main square.[152] After the twelfth chime, Mexicans will shout and wish each other a "¡Feliz Año Nuevo!" (transl.  Happy New Year!) and, in many places, celebrations also include fireworks, firecrackers and sparklers. Celebrations there are either Spanish in origin or those adding influences of Aztec nature.


In Panama, Panamanians usually celebrate New Year's Eve 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 Panamanians leave the city and go to the rural towns across the country, to celebrate with families and friends.

Trinidad and Tobago[edit]

In Port of Spain the tradition is to celebrate in one's yard with friends, families 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. Trinidadians and Tobagonians celebrate not only the new year but the beginning of the carnival season as well.[citation needed]

United States[edit]

Crowds gather in Times Square to attend the ball drop at midnight each year.

In the United States, New Year's Eve is celebrated via a variety of social gatherings, and large-scale public events such as concerts, fireworks shows, and "drops"—an event inspired by time balls where an item is lowered or raised over the course of the final minute of the year.[153][154]

Drop events are typically patterned after the annual "ball drop" held at New York City's Times Square, where a 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. The event has been held since 1907, and the ball itself—which is adorned with Waterford Crystal panels and an LED lighting system—has been displayed atop the building year-round since 2009.[155][156] Drop events often use either a ball in imitation of Times Square, or items that represent local culture or history (such as Atlanta's Peach Drop, which reflects Georgia's identity as the "Peach State").[153][154]

New York City and Times Square serve as the focal point for national media coverage of the holiday.[157][158] 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.[159][160][161] 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 Dick Clark having anchored New Year's coverage (including New Year's Rockin' Eve and the one-off ABC 2000 Today) for 32 straight years. After Clark suffered a stroke in December 2004, Regis Philbin guest hosted the 2005 edition. Due to a lingering speech impediment brought upon by the stroke, Clark retired as host and was succeeded by Ryan Seacrest for 2006, but continued making limited appearances on the special until his death in 2012.[162][163][164][165][166]

Other notable New Year's events are held in New York besides those in Times Square; since 1984, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan has hosted the annual "New Year's Eve Concert for Peace", which was founded in 1984 by composer Leonard Bernstein.[167][168] The New York Road Runners hosts a "Midnight Run" event at Central Park, which features a fireworks show and a footrace around the park that begins at midnight.[169]

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 various casino resorts on the Strip.[170][171][169] Nashville has typically held concerts featuring country music performers and a music note drop; since 2021, the festivities have been televised by CBS as part of its special New Year's Eve Live: Nashville's Big Bash.[172] 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 arrival of 2014. The event included food trucks, art installations, and culminated 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.[173] For 2016, Chicago introduced an event known as Chi-Town Rising.[174] In Miami, major celebrations are centered around the downtown core, including the raising of the "Big Orange" on the side of the InterContinental Miami hotel, and concerts at Bayfront Park (which were televised as a New Year's special on Fox, Pitbull's New Year's Revolution, until 2017–18).[175][176][177][178][179]

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.[169][180][181]



Sydney's New Year's fireworks show in 2009.

Each major city in Australia holds New Year's Eve celebrations, usually accompanied by a fireworks display and other events. 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. local time, 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 on its trusses that reflected an annual theme.[182][183][184][185]

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 Australians gather at sites around the Brisbane River to watch a fireworks display. In Melbourne, hundreds of thousands of Australians come to the Central Business District to see the fireworks.[186] In the South Australian capital of Adelaide, events are held at both Rymill Park in the city, Semaphore and at Glenelg beach.


The parts of the Line Islands belonging to Kiribati, including Kiritimati, Tabuaeran and Teraina, are the first parts of the world to welcome the New Year as they are on the furthermost time zone at UTC+14:00. Other Kiribati islands follow at UTC+13:00 and UTC+12:00.

New Zealand[edit]

Fireworks in Auckland, New Zealand for the 2023 New Year taking place on the Sky Tower
Fireworks in Auckland, New Zealand for the 2023 New Year taking place on the Sky Tower

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[187] also celebrates with a new year festival. The small town of Whangamatā, 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.


Samoa was the first country to receive the New Year as a whole from 2011 to 2021, when it used UTC+14:00 as its time zone during the Southern Hemisphere summer, sharing it with the Line Islands of Kiribati.

South America[edit]


The burning of dolls is a local tradition in the city of La Plata.

Traditional celebrations in Argentina include a family dinner of traditional dishes, including vitel tonné, asado, sandwiches de miga, piononos. Like dessert: turrón, mantecol, budín and pan dulce.[188]

Just at midnight signalling the first day of the New Year, Argentines wish each other their regards and share toasts with their families, sometimes with the neighbours, with cider, champagne or alcohol. After it, some flock to the streets to enjoy light firecrackers and fireworks, although each year it has been gradually decreasing due to higher awareness of the danger of it and the economic crisis. Parties often continue until dawn or the early morning.

Citizens in La Plata have a long tradition of making giant dolls, mostly of paper and wood, although sometimes also incorporating fireworks, which are burnt after the stroke of midnight.[189]

The celebration is during the summer, like in many South American countries, so many families in the New Year are seen at tourist centers of the Argentine Atlantic coast (Mar del Plata, Mar de Ajó, Villa Gesell, Miramar, etc.).[190]


Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro hosts one of the world's largest fireworks displays on New Year's Eve, attracting over a million spectators.

In Brazil, Brazilians typically celebrate New Year's Eve (Portuguese: Ano Novo) at large parties hosted by restaurants and clubs; local traditions determine who opens a bottle of Champagne at midnight. People often wear colors with religious symbolism on New Year's Eve, such as white for good luck, yellow for good energies, happiness and money, red for love. Rituals such as the consumption of grapes, lychees and lentils also take place due to this mixture.[191]

The most prominent public celebration in Brazil is a fireworks display on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, which is one of the world's largest - justified as much of the nation is south of the Equator, the celebrations are held in summer time. In 2017, it was estimated that the fireworks would attract over three million spectators to welcome 2018.[192] Beaches in major cities and tourist areas are crowded all day long especially for nighttime events. On television, the most prominent New Year's Eve special is TV Globo's Show da Virada [pt], which features pre-recorded concert performances (usually filmed from a different Brazilian city annually), and live coverage of New Year's celebrations across the country [193]

Brasília holds a public celebration on the Monumental Axis or Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha. Celebrations in Manaus are centered upon a fireworks display on the Rio Negro Bridge, while Paulista Avenue hosts the main celebration in São Paulo, Brazil's largest city.[194][195][196][197][198][199][200]

Another notable New Year's Eve tradition in São Paulo is the Saint Silvester Road Race, a 15K run through the city's Central Zone. Held annually since 1925, its route incorporates several major streets and landmarks, including the Viaduto do Chá and Paulista Avenue.[201]


Over one million visitors crowd the streets and beaches of Valparaiso each New Year's Eve.

New Year's Eve is celebrated in Chile by the observation of various traditions, such as wearing yellow underwear and watching fireworks. Chileans 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.[202] Family celebrations usually last until midnight, then some continue partying with friends until dawn. In Chile's capital Santiago, thousands of Chileans gather at the Entel Tower to watch the countdown to midnight and a fireworks display.[203]

There are several fireworks shows across the country, and over one million spectators attend the most popular, the "Año Nuevo en el Mar", in Valparaiso.[204] Since 2000, the sale of fireworks to individuals has been illegal,[205] meaning fireworks can now only be observed at fireworks displays during major events.

As in much of South America, New Year's Eve is spent by Chileans in beach visits in major tourist areas of the nation as it falls in the southern hemisphere summer period.


In Colombia it is a traditional celebration. There are many traditions across the country, including a family dinner with special dishes, fireworks, popular music, wearing special or new clothes, eating empanadas and the giving of parties of various kinds. With each stroke of the clock until midnight, the families eat grapes. It is a common practice to consume a variety of tropical foodstuffs, including melon, sandia, or watermelon and chontaduro.[citation needed]


A New Year's Eve tradition in Ecuador is for men to dress in drag, representing the "widows" of the past year. They dance in the streets and ask for a toll from drivers to pass.[206]

There are also traditional family events, meals, and modern celebrations such as hosting parties and going to nightclubs. Ecuadorians usually eat grapes and drink Champagne with close family members and friends.[citation needed]


In Suriname, Surinamese Citizens goes into cities' commercial districts to watch fireworks shows on New Year's Eve. It 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.[citation needed]


In Uruguay, traditional celebrations begin at nightfall on New Year's Eve (December 31), with family gatherings in which asado and lechon are usually eaten, as well as turrón and pan dulce as desserts.[207] People usually wear white as it symbolizes optimism and purity.[208] At the stroke of midnight, Uruguayans flock to the streets to enjoy fireworks and light firecrackers, and to eat Twelve Grapes.[209][210]

Due to the fact that Uruguay lies in the Southern Hemisphere, the New Year is celebrated in summer, so resort cities such as Punta del Este are filled with Uruguayans and foreign tourists, including celebrities from the region, to attend parties and festivals of music, fireworks, and light shows on the beach.[211][212]

In the Old City of Montevideo, a district where a large number of office buildings are concentrated, employees, prior to the end of the last working day of the year, throw torn daybooks and calendars through the windows, causing a “paper rain”, which adds to the buckets of water that are thrown from the balconies. In the Mercado del Puerto there is a street party with a massive “cider fight” accompanied by music.[211]


Radio specials give a countdown and announce the New Year. In Caracas, the bells of the Cathedral of Caracas ring twelve times.[97] 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. Venezuelans 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 and Venezolana de Television, which airs the principal national event from Caracas' Bolivar Square featuring major stars.

Religious observances[edit]

Many Christian congregations have New Year's Eve watchnight services. Many denominations in Christianity, especially Moravians and Methodists, as well as congregations populated by certain ethnic communities, such as in the Korean community and African American community, have a tradition known as the Watch Night service (or Watch Night Mass), 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 services can be traced back to John Wesley, the founder of Methodism,[213] 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 services took on special significance to African Americans on New Year's Eve 1862, as slaves anticipated the arrival of 1 January 1863, when the Emancipation Proclamation became effective.[214]

With Christianity, in the Roman Catholic Church, Lutheran Churches, and the Anglican Communion, 1 January is observed as the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, and specifically within Roman Catholicism, honouring 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 also have Mass on the night of New Year's Eve (which are sometimes referred to as Watchnight Masses). (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).[citation needed] The Catholic Church grants a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, to those who recite the Te Deum in public on New Year's Eve, which is usually done prior to the celebration of Mass.[215]

In Vatican City, on December 31, the Pope usually performs a solemn service of Vespers with recitation of the Te Deum in St. Peter's Basilica. After the service, he usually goes out from the basilica into St. Peter's Square to greet the faithful and visit the Nativity scene on the square.[216]


John Masey Wright and John Rogers' c. 1841 illustration of "Auld Lang Syne".

Music associated with New Year's Eve comes in both classical and popular genres, and there is also Christmas song focus on the arrival of a new year during the Christmas and holiday season.

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