New Year’s Eve is inspirational. Today is known by many names. Old Year’s Day, Saint Sylvester’s Day, Hogmanay, and Calennig are a few. It is the last day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. December 31st of each year is a day that is celebrated around the world. People use it as a day to reflect and look ahead. People have family gatherings, party, feast, go to watchnight services, watch fireworks, exchange gifts, and/or watch countdowns. Many people dance, eat, drink, and watch or light fireworks.
In North America celebrations vary. There are concerts, sporting events, late night partying, and fireworks. In Canada, the CBC airs a comedy special. In Mexico, and other countries, people eat a grape and make a wish with each of the twelve clock chimes during the countdown to midnight. In Puerto Rico, celebrations end with fireworks and the singing of “Auld Lang Syne” in Spanish at midnight. In the United States, the “ball drop” in New York City’s Time Square is watched by millions of people on TV and has around a million spectators at the event. Music and television accompanies parties.
In Europe, family gatherings and parties can include decoration, gift giving, traditional meals, and fireworks. Wearing red underwear and the dropping of old or unused items from a window has been a tradition followed by some in Italy. Celebrations are held in many major cities and in homes with small gatherings of loved ones. In Portugal, twelve raisins are eaten with a wish for each month of the year. Trees are decorated and Santa visits in Serbia. Other European countries have Christmas traditions at this time as well.
In Central and South America, parties and family gatherings include traditional meals, fireworks, and traditions followed in other countries. In Guatemala, celebrations include a religious theme. Celebrations start at midnight in people’s yards with friends, family, and neighbors in Trinidad. Wearing yellow underwear, eating traditional foods, and watching special programs on television happen in Venezuela.
In Oceania, Australians celebrate in major cities. Fireworks and popular music are part of the celebration. Kiribati and Samoa are two of the first places to welcome the New Year. Parties include street carnivals and fireworks in New Zealand.
Several countries in Africa celebrate by going to church. Fireworks and family are part of celebrations. Other people go to nightclubs and parties. In South Sudan, church services begin at 9 PM and end at 12:30 AM following the midnight singing of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”.
In Asia, China celebrates the Lunar New Year, a couple weeks after the Gregorian New Year, in some areas. Rock concerts, fireworks, and other events have occurred. In Hong Kong, the celebration includes their own Times Square ball drop. Like other countries, Central Asia has the presidential address and the playing of their national anthem at midnight. In India, different celebrations are held in major cities and small towns. In Japan, in addition to celebrations, people clean their homes and Buddhist temples ring their bells 108 times. In the Philippines, New Year’s Eve is a non-working holiday.
Enjoy a New Year’s Eve song today. “Auld Lang Syne”, “Imagine”, “It Was a Very Good Year”, and “It’s Just Another New Year’s Eve” are a few songs. Be inspired! Have a bright day!