New Year’s Celebrations Around the World

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New Year’s Celebrations Around the World

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With students back in school, the second semester of the school year has finally started. For many students, this marks the halfway point to summer (only 137 more days to go!), but for everyone else it marks the start of 2019.

Celebrating New Years is a global event that takes place annually on the first of January to celebrate the upcoming new year. Celebrations usually begin on December 31st of the previous year with people waiting until 12 a.m. to celebrate the official start of the new year. Parties and gatherings usually last well into the night, with many people toasting to a great new year.

New Years at Times Square, New York City (image taken via

December 31st, more commonly known as New Year’s Eve and in many other countries as Old Year’s Day, is an exciting day and when many people start to prepare for their celebrations. Common types of celebrations include social gatherings, religious watchnight services, firework displays, dancing, feasts, countdowns, live music, and much more. In the United States, many people gather at Times Square in New York City to watch the ball drop. The ball is a part of the New Year festivities and slowly begins to descend 141 feet during the last 60 seconds of the previous year. Covered in 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles and weighing about six tons, it has been around since 1907, and every year manages to attract an average of 1,000,000 people. The event is broadcasted by numerous networks every year, and in recent times live music has been added to the fun.

New Year’s celebrations in other parts of the world are very similar, yet different. In London, England, people celebrate the year by a huge firework display over the River Thames. Later, they sing “Auld Lang Syne” as the clock strikes midnight. In Scotland, a common tradition is “first-foot”. The Scottish people believe that the first person to step inside someone’s home (hence “first-foot”) will be a bringer of luck for the upcoming year.

London’s New Year celebration (image taken via

In Australia, the Sydney Harbor invites more than a million people to watch fireworks over the harbor. A tradition in Estonia consists of people eating seven, nine, or 12 meals on New Year’s Eve and leaving part of each meal unfinished for the spirits of their ancestors. In Brazil, people jump over seven waves and make seven wishes for the coming year. In Denmark, your friends throw dishes on your doorsteps to show how much they value your friendship. They also stand on chairs and jump to the ground at 12 to “jump into the new year”. The French have a huge pancake feast and the Greeks hang onions on their doors to symbolize birth and regrowth. In Russia, celebrators write down a wish for the year, burn the paper, put the ashes in a glass of champagne, and drink before the countdown begins. Some common traditions that can be found in many countries include coming up with a list of New Year’s resolutions, or to kiss someone at midnight.

New Years is one of the most celebrated holidays in the world today, and it allows people to relax and celebrate the beginning of another electrifying year. ACP wishes you a happy 2019!