New Years celebrations around the world
New Year’s Eve
- In Brazil, celebrations are held around the nation. Most famous is the celebration in Rio de Janeiro which occurs in Copacabana beach, drawing 1.5 to 2.5 million people.
- In Australia, celebrations are held around the nation, especially in Sydney, where one of the world’s largest fireworks displays draws 1 to 1.5 million people to the harbour. Australia is one of the first countries in the world to celebrate the new year.
- In New York City, the now 11,875-pound (5,386-kg), 12-foot-diameter (3.7-m) Times Square Ball located high above Times Square is lowered starting at 11:59:00 p.m., or the last minute of the year, and reaches the bottom of its tower at the stroke of midnight with fireworks. It is sometimes referred to as “the big apple” like the city itself; the custom derives from the time signal that used to be given at noon in harbours.
- Other ball drops occur in Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro and Sydney Harbour.
- In European countries, the New Year is greeted with massive private fireworks. This day is also the occasion to make bonfires of discarded Christmas trees in some countries.
- In Russia the New Year is greeted by fireworks and drinking champagne. The New Year is considered a family celebration, with lavish dinner tables and gifts. The president of Russia normally counts down the final seconds of the “old year”, as it is called in Russia. A giant clock tower chimes in the new year, and it is customary to make a wish with each chime.
- In South Korea, the most popular way of celebrating New Year’s Day is to travel to Jung dong jin, the place on the peninsula where the Sun can first be seen each day.
- In Scotland, there are many special customs associated with the New Year. Known as Hogmanay, the Scots name for the New Year celebration.
- The Peach Drop in Underground Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia, United States.
- In Davos, Switzerland, the final match of the Spengler Cup Ice Hockey Tournament is usually held on this day by tradition.
- In the Philippines, people light fireworks, loud firecrackers, booming sound system, bamboo canons as well as make a lot of noise. Coins are also jumbled in tin cans to make noise with the belief that this will bring more money to the revellers.
New Years Day
- In England and Scotland an extra round of football fixtures is played (unless New Year’s Day falls on a Thursday, Friday or Sunday).
- In Pasadena, California, United States, the Tournament of Roses is held, with revelers viewing the parade from the streets and watching on television, followed by the Rose Bowl college football game. The game is one of several postseason bowl games played in college football in the United States
- Polar Bear Clubs: in many northern hemisphere cities near bodies of water, they will have a tradition of people plunging into the cold water on New Year’s Day. The Coney Island Polar Bears Club in New York is the oldest cold-water swimming club in the United States. They have had groups of people enter the chilly surf since 1903.
- In Philadelphia, the Mummers Parade is held on Broad Street.
- Hindus celebrate the new year by paying respects to their parents and other elders and seek their blessings. They also exchange tokens of Good Wishes (Kai Vishesham).
- The New Year’s Day Parade is held in London. Performers include acts from each of the city’s 32 boroughs, as well as entertainment from around the world.
- In the southern United States, people traditionally prepare a meal of collard greens and black-eyed peas for a year of good luck. A dime is often placed beneath the plate as a part of the tradition.
- In Pennsylvania and Ohio, it is common to celebrate New Year’s Day with a meal of pork, sauerkraut, and mashed potatoes. The practice comes from a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition that dictates these foods will bring good luck in the new year.
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