New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve is observed annually on December 31, the final day of any given year in the Gregorian calendar
Gregorian calendar
The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar, is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582, a papal bull known by its opening words Inter...

. In modern societies, New Year's Eve is often celebrated at social gatherings, during which participants dance
Dance is an art form that generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting....

, eat
EAT or eat may refer to:* Eating, the process of consuming food, for the purpose of providing for the nutritional needs of an animal* To take a loss in a transaction. The one who absorbs the loss is said to eat the cost of that loss...

, consume alcoholic beverages, and watch or light fireworks
Fireworks are a class of explosive pyrotechnic devices used for aesthetic and entertainment purposes. The most common use of a firework is as part of a fireworks display. A fireworks event is a display of the effects produced by firework devices...

 to mark the incoming year. The observance of New Year's Eve generally extends through midnight of January 1 (New Year's Day
New Year's Day
New Year's Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome...



In Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, New Year's traditions and celebrations vary from region to region. Generally, New Year's Eve ('New Year's Eve Day' or Veille du Jour de l'An in French) in Canada is a social holiday. In major metropolitan and tourist destinations such as Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls
The Niagara Falls, located on the Niagara River draining Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, is the collective name for the Horseshoe Falls and the adjacent American Falls along with the comparatively small Bridal Veil Falls, which combined form the highest flow rate of any waterfalls in the world and has...

, and Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, the holiday is celebrated with major celebrations including concerts and fireworks. Other New Year's Eve celebrations such as late-night partying, sporting events and concerts are major events in these cities and other places around Canada. In some areas, such as in rural Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, people ice fish
Ice fishing
Ice fishing is the practice of catching fish with lines and fish hooks or spears through an opening in the ice on a frozen body of water. Ice anglers may sit on the stool in the open on a frozen lake, or in a heated cabin on the ice, some with bunks and amenities.-Locations:It is a popular pastime...

 and drink with their friends until the early hours of January 1.

The sketch comedy
Sketch comedy
A sketch comedy consists of a series of short comedy scenes or vignettes, called "sketches," commonly between one and ten minutes long. Such sketches are performed by a group of comic actors or comedians, either on stage or through an audio and/or visual medium such as broadcasting...

 troupe Royal Canadian Air Farce
Royal Canadian Air Farce
Air Farce Live, also credited as Air Farce, previously Royal Canadian Air Farce, and Air Farce—Final Flight! for the final season, was a Canadian comedy series starring the comedy troupe The Royal Canadian Air Farce that previously starred in an eponymous radio show on CBC radio from 1973 to 1997...

 is known for their annual New Year's Eve specials on CBC Television
CBC Television
CBC Television is a Canadian television network owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the national public broadcaster.Although the CBC is supported by public funding, the television network supplements this funding with commercial advertising revenue, in contrast to CBC Radio which are...

, featuring sketches celebrating and lampooning major events and news stories of the year. Debuting as a one-off special in 1992, 1992: Year of the Farce, it proved successful enough to spawn the creation of a weekly Air Farce television series
Air Farce Live
Air Farce Live is a comedy album, performed by the Royal Canadian Air Farce comedy troupe. It was released in 1983. The sketches were performed live during the "Air Farce Live at the Bayview" performance in 1983, at the Bayview Theatre in Toronto....

 after years as a fixture on CBC Radio
CBC Radio
CBC Radio generally refers to the English-language radio operations of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The CBC operates a number of radio networks serving different audiences and programming niches, all of which are outlined below.-English:CBC Radio operates three English language...

. Consequentially, the Year of the Farce episodes continued to be a recurring part of the Air Farce television series, and its 2008 New Year's Eve special served as its series finale after 16 seasons. However, members of the original cast returned for reunion specials in 2009 and 2010.

Similarly in Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, Télévision de Radio-Canada
Télévision de Radio-Canada
Télévision de Radio-Canada is a Canadian French language television network. It is owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, known in French as Société Radio-Canada. Headquarters are at Maison Radio-Canada in Montreal, which is also home to the network's flagship station, CBFT-DT...

 also airs a yearly New Year's Eve comedy special, Bye Bye
Bye Bye (TV series)
Bye Bye is a Quebecois New Year's Eve sketch comedy special broadcast by Radio-Canada. The yearly program features sketches satirizing the past year's events, followed by a countdown to the next year itself...

, which has been produced by various comedians since its original run from 1968-1998, and its revival by Québécois troupe Rock et Belles Oreilles
Rock et Belles Oreilles
Rock et Belles Oreilles, often referred to as R.B.O., was a Québécois radio and television comedy group that was very popular in the essentially French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec during the 1980s. Its name was a pun on the name of the famous Hanna-Barbera blue dog character Huckleberry...

 in 2006. Its 2008 edition, hosted and co-produced by Québécois television personality Véronique Cloutier
Véronique Cloutier
Véronique Cloutier is a popular French Canadian TV and Radio personality. She is the daughter of producer Guy Cloutier and the sister of Stéphanie Cloutier. She has hosted various programs on Radio-Canada, including La Fureur, Véro and Paquet Voleur...

, however became infamous for several sketches that many viewers perceived as offensive, including sketches making fun of English Canadians and then American president-elect
An -elect is a political candidate who has been elected to an office but who has not yet been sworn in or officially taken office. These may include an incoming president, senator, representative, governor and mayor.Analogously, the term "designate" An -elect is a political candidate who has been...

 Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...



Mexicans celebrate New Year's Eve, Año Viejo in Spanish, by downing a grape with each of the twelve chimes of the bell during the midnight countdown, while making a wish with each one. Mexican families decorate homes and parties, during New Year's, with colors such as red, to encourage an overall improvement of lifestyle and love, yellow to encourage blessings of improved employment conditions, green to improve financial circumstances and white to improved health. Mexican sweet bread is baked with a coin or charm hidden in the dough. When the bread is served, the recipient whose slice contains the coin or charm is believed to be blessed with good luck in the new year. Another tradition is making a list of all the bad or unhappy events from the current year; before midnight, this list is thrown into a fire, symbolizing the removal of negative energy from the new year. At the same time, thanks is expressed for all the good things had during the year that is coming to its end so that they will continue to be had in the new year.

Mexicans celebrate by having a late-night dinner with their families, the traditional meal being turkey and mole, a tradition which has now spanned worldwide. Those who want to party generally go out afterwards, to local parties or night clubs. If you're in Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, you can still enjoy festivities in the street. In Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

 there is a huge street festival on New Year's Eve; celebrations center around the Zocalo, the city's main square.
You can expect a lot of firecrackers, fireworks and sparklers. At midnight there is a lot of noise and everyone shouts: "¡Feliz año nuevo!" People embrace and make noise and set off firecracker
A firecracker is a small explosive device primarily designed to produce a large amount of noise, especially in the form of a loud bang; any visual effect is incidental to this goal. They have fuses, and are wrapped in a heavy paper casing to contain the explosive compound...

s.They celebrate January 1 December 31st

United States

New Year's Eve is an occasion celebrated with elegant formal parties and family-oriented activities; New Year's Day is a public holiday in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Celebrations include an American tradition of dropping or raising an item of worth.

Since 1907 the "ball dropping
Times Square Ball
The Times Square Ball is a time ball dropped each year during the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square, Manhattan, New York City. The ball is made by Waterford Crystal and electric lights is raised to the top of a pole on the One Times Square building at 6:00 pm and then lowered to mark the...

" on top of One Times Square
One Times Square
One Times Square is a 25 story, 395 foot high skyscraper at 42nd Street and Broadway in Times Square....

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 is a major component of the New Year celebration. The 11875 pounds (5,386.4 kg), 12 feet (3.7 m) diameter Waterford crystal
Waterford Crystal
Waterford Crystal is a trademark brand of crystal glassware, previously produced in Waterford, Ireland, though the factory there was shut down after the receivership of Waterford Wedgwood plc in early 2009...

 ball located high above Times Square is lowered, starting at 11:59 pm and reaching the bottom of its tower 60 seconds later, at the stroke of midnight. (After 50 seconds has passed, the crowd will count down the final ten seconds. Toshiba's Times Square advertising screen will also tell the viewers when the sixty seconds are up, which debuted in the 2009-10 edition.) From 1981 to 1988, the city dropped a large apple in recognition of its nickname as "the Big Apple
Big Apple
"The Big Apple" is a nickname for New York City. It was first popularized in the 1920s by John J. Fitz Gerald, a sports writer for the New York Morning Telegraph...

". Similar ball drops are performed in many towns and cities across the United States. The custom derives from the time signal
Time ball
A time ball is a large painted wooden or metal ball that drops at a predetermined time, principally to enable sailors to check their marine chronometers from their boats offshore...

 that used to be given at noon in harbors.

From 1972 onward (except 2005), Dick Clark has hosted televised coverage of the event called Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve
Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve
Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest is a television program that airs every New Year's Eve on ABC. It has been hosted by Dick Clark since its first airing on Sunday, December 31, 1972. Ryan Seacrest has been the program's co-host since the December 31, 2005 telecast...

, shown on ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

, and now renamed Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest for the arrival of 2009 with Ryan Seacrest
Ryan Seacrest
Ryan John Seacrest is an American radio personality, television host, network producer and voice actor. He is the host of On Air with Ryan Seacrest, a nationally syndicated Top 40 radio show that airs on KIIS-FM in Los Angeles and throughout the United States and Canada on Premiere Radio Networks,...

 handling hosting duties. On December 31, 1999, the show was integrated into ABC 2000 Today
ABC 2000 Today
ABC 2000 Today was ABC News's coverage of the turn of the millennium from December 31, 1999 into January 1, 2000. Part of the 2000 Today programming in the United States, Peter Jennings anchored the 23 hours and 10 minutes of broadcast in Times Square Studios in Manhattan, New York...

, with Dick Clark reporting during the "ABC 2000" broadcast and an introduction from Peter Jennings, saying some would not consider it the New Year if Dick Clark did not count it down. Between 1951 and 1976, Ben Grauer
Ben Grauer
Benjamin Franklin Grauer was an US radio and TV personality, following a career during the 1920s as a child actor in films and on Broadway. He began his career as a child in David Warfield's production of The Return of Peter Grimm. Among his early credits were roles in films directed by D.W....

 was known for his live television coverage of New Year's Eve at Times Square in New York. From 1956 to 1976 on CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

, Guy Lombardo
Guy Lombardo
Gaetano Alberto "Guy" Lombardo was a Canadian-American bandleader and violinist.Forming "The Royal Canadians" in 1924 with his brothers Carmen, Lebert, and Victor and other musicians from his hometown, Lombardo led the group to international success, billing themselves as creating "The Sweetest...

 and his Royal Canadians serenaded the United States from the ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
The Waldorf-Astoria is a luxury hotel in New York. It has been housed in two historic landmark buildings in New York City. The first, designed by architect Henry J. Hardenbergh, was on the Fifth Avenue site of the Empire State Building. The present building at 301 Park Avenue in Manhattan is a...

 on Park Avenue
Park Avenue (Manhattan)
Park Avenue is a wide boulevard that carries north and southbound traffic in New York City borough of Manhattan. Through most of its length, it runs parallel to Madison Avenue to the west and Lexington Avenue to the east....

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. After Lombardo's death in 1977, the Royal Canadians continued on CBS until 1978, and Happy New Year, America
Happy New Year, America
Happy New Year, America was an American television special that aired on the CBS television network to celebrate the New Year. It first aired on December 31, 1979 and last aired December 31, 1995 ....

replaced it in 1979, continuing until 1995. The song Auld Lang Syne
Auld Lang Syne
"Auld Lang Syne" is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song . It is well known in many countries, especially in the English-speaking world; its traditional use being to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight...

 has become a popular song to sing at midnight on New Year's Eve, with the Lombardo version being the standard. NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 also has hosted New Year's coverage; traditionally, the networks' late night hosts have hosted special editions of their regular shows (including a special Central Time Zone-specific countdown on Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Late Night with Conan O'Brien is an American late-night talk show hosted by Conan O'Brien that aired 2,725 episodes on NBC between 1993 and 2009. The show featured varied comedic material, celebrity interviews, and musical and comedy performances. Late Night aired weeknights at 12:37 am...

), but since 2005, the network has opted for a special entitled New Year's Eve with Carson Daly
New Year's Eve with Carson Daly
NBC's New Year's Eve with Carson Daly is a yearly show on NBC. Its first broadcast aired on December 31, 2003 live from Times Square in New York City. It airs live on the East Coast....

. Fox, CNN
New Year's Eve Live (CNN program)
New Year's Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin is an annual program broadcast on CNN and CNN International. It originates live from Times Square in New York City...

, and Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel , often called Fox News, is a cable and satellite television news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation...

 also have their own New Year's specials along with the Spanish-language networks Telemundo
Telemundo is an American television network that broadcasts in Spanish. The network is the second-largest Spanish-language content producer in the world, and the second-largest Spanish-language network in the United States, behind Univision....

 and Univision
Univision is a Spanish-language television network in the United States. It has the largest audience of Spanish language television viewers according to Nielsen ratings. Randy Falco, COO, has been in charge of the company since the departure of Univision Communications president and CEO Joe Uva...


New Year's Eve is traditionally the busiest day of the year at Walt Disney World Resort
Walt Disney World Resort
Walt Disney World Resort , is the world's most-visited entertaimental resort. Located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida ; approximately southwest of Orlando, Florida, United States, the resort covers an area of and includes four theme parks, two water parks, 23 on-site themed resort hotels Walt...

 in Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 and Disneyland in Anaheim, California
Anaheim, California
Anaheim is a city in Orange County, California. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city population was about 365,463, making it the most populated city in Orange County, the 10th most-populated city in California, and ranked 54th in the United States...

, where the parks stay open late and the usual nightly fireworks are supplemented by an additional New Year's Eve-specific show at midnight.

Over 60 cities nationwide celebrate First Night
First Night
First Night is an artistic and cultural celebration on New Year's Eve, taking place from afternoon until midnight. Some cities have all their events during the celebration outside, but some cities have events that are hosted indoors by organizations in the city, such as churches and theaters...

, a non-alcohol family-friendly New Year's Celebration, generally featuring performing artists, community events, parades, and fireworks displays to celebrate the New Year.
Religious observances

Many Protestant Christian congregations have New Year's Eve worship services. Some, especially Lutherans and Methodists and those in the African American community, have a tradition known as "Watch Night", in which the faithful congregate in services continuing past midnight, giving thanks for the blessings of the outgoing year and praying for divine favor during the upcoming year. Watch Night can be traced back to John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, who learned the custom from the Moravian Brethren who came to England in the 1730s. Moravian congregations still observe the Watch Night service on New Year's Eve. Watch Night took on special significance to African Americans on New Year's Eve 1862, as slaves anticipated the arrival of January 1, 1863, when Lincoln had announced he would sign the Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation is an executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War using his war powers. It proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them, with nearly...



In Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, New Year's Eve is usually celebrated with friends and family. At exactly midnight, all radio and television programmes operated by ORF
ORF may refer to:* ORF , the Austrian public service broadcaster.* Open reading frame, a portion of the genome.* The IATA airport code for Norfolk International Airport in Norfolk, Virginia.* ORF format , Olympus raw image file format....

 broadcast the sound of the Pummerin
Pummerin is the name of the two largest bells in the history of the Stephansdom in Vienna.- Old Pummerin : was originally cast in 1705 from 208 of the 300 cannon captured from the Muslim invaders in the Second Turkish Siege of Vienna....

 (bell of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna), and right after that the "Donauwalzer" ("The Blue Danube
The Blue Danube
The Blue Danube is the common English title of An der schönen blauen Donau, Op. 314 , a waltz by the Austrian composer Johann Strauss II, composed in 1866...

") by Johann Strauss II
Johann Strauss II
Johann Strauss II , also known as Johann Baptist Strauss or Johann Strauss, Jr., the Younger, or the Son , was an Austrian composer of light music, particularly dance music and operettas. He composed over 500 waltzes, polkas, quadrilles, and other types of dance music, as well as several operettas...

 is played, which many people dance to at parties or on the street. Large crowds gather on the streets of Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, where the municipal government organises a series of stages from which bands and orchestras play music. Fireworks are set off both by ordinary people and the municipal governments.


In Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, New Year's Eve is called Sint Sylvester Vooravond ("Saint Sylvester Eve") or simply Oudjaar ("old year"). Cosy family parties, called réveillon in the French speaking part of Belgium, are thrown. On television, a stand-up comedian reviews the past year after which a musical or variety show indicates midnight, when everyone kisses, exchanges good luck greetings, and toasts Champagne to the new year and to absent relatives and friends. Many people fire off their own fireworks, and those who don't go into the street to watch them. Most cities have their own fireworks display, the most famous being at Mont des Arts in Brussels. Cities, cafés and restaurants are crowded. Free bus services and special new year's eve taxis (the Responsible Young Drivers) bring everyone home afterwards.

January 1 is called Nieuwjaarsdag and children read their 'new year's letter' and give holiday greeting cards featuring golden cherubs and angels, colored roses and ribbon-tied garlands to parents and godparents, on decorated paper which they saved money to buy.

Belgian farmers also wish their animals a happy New Year for blessings.

Czech Republic

For the Czechs
Czech people
Czechs, or Czech people are a western Slavic people of Central Europe, living predominantly in the Czech Republic. Small populations of Czechs also live in Slovakia, Austria, the United States, the United Kingdom, Chile, Argentina, Canada, Germany, Russia and other countries...

, Silvestr is without doubt the noisiest day of the year. People generally equip themselves with fireworks and champagne for the midnight toast and gather with friends to eat, drink and celebrate at parties, in pubs, clubs, in the streets or city squares. In larger cities and especially in Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

, the first detonations of pyrotechics can be heard in full daylight, even before noon, the frequency steadily rising until midnight. In the first minutes after midnight, people toast, wish each other a happy new year and go outside to light their fireworks or watch others'.

All major TV stations air entertaining shows before and after the midnight countdown which is followed by the national anthem. The president
President of the Czech Republic
The President of the Czech Republic is the head of state of the Czech Republic. Unlike his counterparts in Austria and Hungary, who are generally considered figureheads, the Czech President has a considerable role in political affairs...

 gives his New Year's speech in the morning.


Many Danish people go to parties or entertain guests at home. The evening meal is more exclusive than usual, with desserts including the marzipan ring cake Kransekage along with champagne, and mains including boiled cod, or stewed kale and cured saddle of pork.

The New Year is celebrated with merrymaking and fun. It is usually well-intentioned fun and only playful, not malicious. It can, however, become mischievous. Unusually, in Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 it is considered a good sign to find your door heaped with a pile of broken dishes at New Year's. Old dishes are saved throughout the year to throw at the front doors of friends' homes on New Year's Eve. Many broken dishes show that you have many friends.

Two significant traditional events are broadcast on television and radio on December 31: the monarch's New Year message from Amalienborg Palace
Amalienborg Palace
Amalienborg Palace is the winter home of the Danish royal family, and is located in Copenhagen, Denmark. It consists of four identical classicizing palace façades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard ; in the centre of the square is a monumental equestrian statue of Amalienborg's...

 at 6pm and the Town Hall Clock in Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

striking midnight. Thousands of people gather together in Rådhuspladsen
The City Hall Square is a public square in the centre of Copenhagen, Denmark, located in front of the Copenhagen City Hall. Due to its large size, its central location and its affiliation with the city hall, it is a popular venue for a variety of events, celebrations and demonstrations...

 and cheer. The climax is when New Year is celebrated with fireworks as the sound of the Town Hall Tower Bells chime over Copenhagen on the strike of midnight. It is an excellent opportunity to see the parade of the Royal Guard in red gala uniforms.


Clocks symbolize the transition that occurs at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, with the celebration in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

focusing on the clock housed in the clock tower at the Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace, is the meeting place of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom—the House of Lords and the House of Commons...

, recognised worldwide as "Big Ben". The celebrations are televised from London by the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 in England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

. Parties are held up and down the country, in pubs, clubs and private houses. At the stroke of midnight people gather in a ring with hands joined as they sing Auld Lang Syne.

On New Year's Eve 2010, an estimated 250,000 people gathered to view an eight-minute fireworks display around and above the London Eye
London Eye
The London Eye is a tall giant Ferris wheel situated on the banks of the River Thames, in London, England.It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over 3.5 million people annually...

 which, on that occasion, was set for the first time to a musical soundtrack, including some of the greatest songs by British artists such as Blur
Blur (band)
Blur is an English alternative rock band. Formed in London in 1989 as Seymour, the group consists of singer Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree. Blur's debut album Leisure incorporated the sounds of Madchester and shoegazing...

, The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

 and Queen
Queen (band)
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1971, originally consisting of Freddie Mercury , Brian May , John Deacon , and Roger Taylor...

. The celebrations in London continued into January 1, with the New Year's Day Parade
New Year's Day Parade
The New Year's Day Parade is a parade through the streets of the West End of London, which takes place annually on 1 January. The first year the parade took place was 1987, as the Lord Mayor of Westminster's Big Parade...

, which has been held annually since 1987 and in 2011 marked its 25th year, involving more than 10,000 musicians, cheerleaders and performers.

Other major New Year events are held in the cities of Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

, Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

, Leeds
Leeds is a city and metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England. In 2001 Leeds' main urban subdivision had a population of 443,247, while the entire city has a population of 798,800 , making it the 30th-most populous city in the European Union.Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial...

 and Newcastle
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. Historically a part of Northumberland, it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne...


Bideford is a small port town on the estuary of the River Torridge in north Devon, south-west England. It is also the main town of the Torridge local government district.-History:...

 in north Devon
Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...

 is also renowned for its New Year's Eve celebrations, featuring a carnival and fancy dress. The celebration centers on Bideford's quayside and around its Old Bridge, with a lone piper playing Auld Lang Syne
Auld Lang Syne
"Auld Lang Syne" is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song . It is well known in many countries, especially in the English-speaking world; its traditional use being to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight...

 at midnight, followed by a fireworks display.


For New Year in Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

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

Some believe that people should eat seven, nine or even 12 times on New Year's Eve, those being three lucky numbers in Estonia, and for each meal consumed the person gains the strength of that many men the following year. Meals should not be eaten entirely; some 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, white and blood sausage. Potato salad with navy beet and pate form the delectable vegetarian item. Gingerbread and marzipan are very popular for the dessert. Traditional New Year drinks includes beer or mead, but mulled wine and champagne have become modern favourites.


The French call New Year's Eve "la Saint-Sylvestre". It is usually celebrated with a feast called le Réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre (also called Cap d'Any in Northern Catalonia
Northern Catalonia
Northern Catalonia is a term that is sometimes used, particularly in Catalan writings, to refer to the territory ceded to France by Spain through the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659...

This feast customarily includes special dishes like foie gras
Foie gras
Foie gras ; French for "fat liver") is a food product made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened. This fattening is typically achieved through gavage corn, according to French law, though outside of France it is occasionally produced using natural feeding...

, seafood such as oysters and drinks like champagne. The celebration can be a simple, intimate dinner with friends and family or a much fancier ball (une soirée dansante).

On le Jour de l'An (New Year's Day), friends and family exchange New Year's resolutions kisses and wishes, the main ones being "Bonne Année", Bonheur, Sante, Amour, Argent ("Good Year", Happiness, Health, Love and Money). Some people eat desserts made of ice cream
Ice cream
Ice cream is a frozen dessert usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream, and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavours. Most varieties contain sugar, although some are made with other sweeteners...

The holiday period ends on January 6 (The Twelfth Night) for the Epiphany
Epiphany (Christian)
Epiphany, or Theophany, meaning "vision of God",...

, or Jour des Rois. On this day, they celebrate the Wise Men, eating a traditional type of flat pastry cake, la galette des rois, most often two sheets of puff pastry, filled with frangipane (almond paste). The cake contains a fève, small china character, that whoever finds becomes king or queen and get to wear a gold paper crown, then chose their partner. This tradition can last up to two weeks.


Germans call New Year's Eve Silvester
Silvester is used in some countries as a name for New Year's Eve, including Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland and Slovenia.The origin of the name is Saint Sylvester's Day in the Roman Catholic Church, named...

 because 31 December is the feast day of St. Sylvester. Since 1972, each New Year's Eve, several German television stations broadcast a short comedy play in English (recorded by West German television in 1963) entitled Dinner for One
Dinner for One
Dinner for One, also known as The 90th Birthday, or by its corresponding German title, Der 90. Geburtstag, is a comedy sketch written by British author Lauri Wylie for the theatre in the 1920s....

. A line from the comedy sketch, "the same procedure as every year", has become a catch phrase in Germany. Every year Berlin hosts one of the largest New Year's Eve celebrations in all of Europe which is attended by over a million people. The focal point is the Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate
The Brandenburg Gate is a former city gate and one of the most well-known landmarks of Berlin and Germany. It is located west of the city centre at the junction of Unter den Linden and Ebertstraße, immediately west of the Pariser Platz. It is the only remaining gate of a series through which...

 and the fireworks at midnight are centered on that location. Germans have a reputation for spending large amounts of money on firecrackers and fireworks, and so fireworks are to be seen all over the country on this night. When the clock strikes midnight on Silvester, Germans toast the New Year with a glass of Sekt (German sparkling wine) or champagne. 'Bleigießen' is another German New Year's Eve custom, which involves telling fortunes by the shapes made by molten lead dropped into cold water. Other luck bringing things are touching a chimney sweeper or have him rub some ash onto your forehead for good luck and health. Traditionally jelly filled doughnuts with and with out liquor fillings are eaten. Finally a tiny marzipan pig is consumed for more good luck.


Gleðilegt nýtt ár is "Happy New Year" in Icelandic
Icelandic language
Icelandic is a North Germanic language, the main language of Iceland. Its closest relative is Faroese.Icelandic is an Indo-European language belonging to the North Germanic or Nordic branch of the Germanic languages. Historically, it was the westernmost of the Indo-European languages prior to the...

. Fireworks are very popular in Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

, particularly at New Year. Bonfires are also very common, often accompanied by shows, musical events and foodtables.

Iceland's biggest New Year events are usually in and around the capital, Reykjavík. On the evening of December 31, the mass at Reykjavik's cathedral is listened to on the radio by most Icelanders. This is followed by dinner. Nightclubs in the city are very crowded and tend to stay open until at least 5am.

Áramótaskaupið , is an annual Icelandic television comedy special, broadcast on public television network Sjónvarpið which has been shown annually since Sjónvarpið started broadcasting in 1966. The show is an important part of Icelandic New Year's celebration for most Icelandic families...

("The New Year's comedy" in English) is an annual Icelandic television comedy special, and is an important part of the New Year for most. It focuses upon the recent year from a satirical standpoint, and shows little mercy towards its victims, especially politicians, artists, prominent businesspeople and activists. Neighbours then meet at their nearest large bonfire, while watching the midnight fireworks.


The Irish call New Year's Eve by its English language name or in Irish
Irish language
Irish , also known as Irish Gaelic, is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family, originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is now spoken as a first language by a minority of Irish people, as well as being a second language of a larger proportion of...

 by Oíche Chinn Bliana, Oíche na Coda Móire or Oíche Chaille. Celebrations in major cities are modest. The beginning of 2009 was heralded only by the ringing of church bells. Fireworks ring in the new year along with celebrations around the Country. Many Irish people tend to go to the smaller towns and villages around Ireland to celebrate the new year. Some popular destinations include Kerry, Limerick and Galway for festivities.


Italians call New Year's Eve Capodanno (the "head of the year") or Notte di San Silvestro (the night of St. Silvestro). Traditionally there are a set of rituals for the new year, such as wearing red underwear and getting rid of old or unused items by dropping them from the window, but this is an old tradition, followed by quite nobody today.

Dinner is traditionally eaten with parents and friends. It often includes zampone or cotechino (a kind of spiced Italian sausage) and lentils. At 8:30 pm, the President reads a television message of greetings to Italians.

At midnight, fireworks are displayed across Italy. A lentil stew is eaten when bell tolls midnight - one spoon per bell. This is supposed to bring good fortune; the lentils represent coins, being round in shape.


Macedonian New Year's Eve celebrations are celebrated in all families across Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

. New Year's Day is usually the day where the children are getting gifts and the celebration is accompanied by fireworks all day long. The day is celebrated together with family or friends in house or usually in restaurants, clubs, cafe's and hotels with evening celebration encompassing good food, music, and dancing to both traditional Macedonian folk music but also modern music. New Year's Eve is celebrated on December 31 as well as on January 14 according to the Macedonian Orthodox Calendar.


Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

 organized its first street party in 2009 in Floriana, Malta, parallel to what other major countries in the world organize. The event was not highly advertised and controversial, due to the closing of an arterial street on the day. In 2010 then organised the first national celebrations in St. George's Square, Valletta
Valletta is the capital of Malta, colloquially known as Il-Belt in Maltese. It is located in the central-eastern portion of the island of Malta, and the historical city has a population of 6,098. The name "Valletta" is traditionally reserved for the historic walled citadel that serves as Malta's...

In spite of fireworks being very popular in Malta, where they are mostly constructed by amateur volunteers, their shooting is almost totally absent from Malta on New Year's Eve.


Montenegrin New Year's Eve celebrations are held in all large cities, usually accompanied by fireworks. It is usually celebrated together with family or friends at home or outside. Restaurants, clubs, cafes and hotels organize celebrations with food and music.


New Year's Eve is called Oud en Nieuw ("Old and New") or simply Oudejaarsavond ("old year's evening") in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, and is usually celebrated as a cosy evening with family or friends. Traditional snack foods are oliebol
An oliebol An oliebol An oliebol (plural oliebollen is a traditional Dutch food. Oliebollen (literally oil balls) are traditionally eaten on New Year's Eve and at funfairs...

(oil dumplings) and appelflappen (apple turnovers) or appelbeignets (apple slice fritter
A fritter is any kind of food coated in batter and deep fried. Although very similar to a doughnut it differs in the fact that it requires some base ingredient beyond the dough it is cooked with.-Anglo-American fritters:...

s). On television, the main feature is the oudejaarsconference, a performance by one of the major Dutch cabaretiers (comparable to stand-up comedy
Stand-up comedy
Stand-up comedy is a comedic art form. Usually, a comedian performs in front of a live audience, speaking directly to them. Their performances are sometimes filmed for later release via DVD, the internet, and television...

, but more serious; generally including a satirical review of the year's politics). In Reformed
Reformed churches
The Reformed churches are a group of Protestant denominations characterized by Calvinist doctrines. They are descended from the Swiss Reformation inaugurated by Huldrych Zwingli but developed more coherently by Martin Bucer, Heinrich Bullinger and especially John Calvin...

 Protestant families, Psalm 90
Psalm 90
Psalm 90 is the 90th psalm from the Book of Psalms. According to its title, it is attributed to Moses.-Judaism:*Is recited during the Pesukei Dezimra during Shabbat, Yom Tov, and Hoshana Rabbah....

 is read, although this tradition is now fading away. At midnight, Glühwein
Mulled wine
Mulled wine, variations of which are popular in Europe, is wine, usually red, combined with spices and typically served warm. It is a traditional drink during winter, especially around Christmas and Halloween.-Glühwein:...

 (bishops wine) or Champagne is drunk. Many people fire off their own fireworks, which are on sale from a few days before. Towns do not organise a central fireworks display, except for Rotterdam
Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre...

where the national fireworks display can be seen near the Erasmus Bridge. Public transport shuts down completely (the only scheduled time during the year) between approximately 8pm and 1am.

On television a clock is broadcast several minutes before midnight.


The celebrations of New Year's Eve in Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 are full of much vibrance. Traditionally, Christian Poles have devoted each day on the calendar to a particular saint for adoration and devotion to that saint. December 31 is named after St. Sylvester, and thus the day is commonly referred to as Sylwester. Celebrations partake both indoor and out, with the most notable open-air concert being held in the Main Square
Main Market Square, Kraków
The Main Market Square in Kraków is the most important market square of the Old Town in Kraków, Poland and a principal urban space located at the center of the city...

 in Krakow
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

. Here 150,000 to 200,000 revelers celebrate the New Year with live music and a fireworks display over St. Mary's Basilica
St. Mary's Basilica, Kraków
St. Mary's Basilica , is a Brick Gothic church re-built in the 14th century , adjacent to the Main Market Square in Kraków, Poland...

. Similar festivities are held in other cities around Poland including Wrocław.

For those who do not wish to spend the New Year in the city, the mountains are a popular destination. Zakopane
Zakopane , is a town in southern Poland. It lies in the southern part of the Podhale region at the foot of the Tatra Mountains. From 1975 to 1998 it was in of Nowy Sącz Province, but since 1999 it has been in Lesser Poland Province. It had a population of about 28,000 as of 2004. Zakopane is a...

, located in the Carpathian Mountains
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

, is the most popular Polish mountain resort in winter.


The celebration of the New Year's Eve in Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 has a totally traditional flavor. Romanians welcome the New Year with the customs, rituals and conventions that have been around for centuries. The children as well as the adults, take part in the joyous celebrations with great enthusiasm. On New Year's Eve in Romania, small school going children sing Plugusorul and Sorcova. The songs wish good luck, happiness and success.


Most Russians celebrate New Year's Eve with their families and close friends. The origin of this holiday in Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 derives from the Christian holiday of Christmas. Christmas was also a major holiday in Russia up until it was banned along other religious holidays by the Communist Party. To compensate for the absence of Christmas, New Year's was now celebrated similarly to Christmas, just without the religious aspect of the holiday. Even after the fall of the Soviet Union, New Year's is celebrated in Russia and has became a Russian tradition
Russian traditions and superstitions
Russian traditions, superstitions and beliefs include superstitions and customs of Russians. Many of them are now inseparable parts of every day life, or simply common social etiquette, though they often have their origins in superstition. The awareness of them, and their perceived importance,...


The celebration usually starts one or two hours before midnight and the common tradition is to "say farewell to the old year" by remembering most important events of the last twelve months. At five minutes to twelve most of the people watch the president's speech on TV or watch popular New Year TV shows ("Goluboy Ogonek"). There is a tradition to listen to the Kremlin
A kremlin , same root as in kremen is a major fortified central complex found in historic Russian cities. This word is often used to refer to the best-known one, the Moscow Kremlin, or metonymically to the government that is based there...

 clock bell (Kuranty) ringing twelve times on the radio or on TV. During these last 12 seconds of the year people keep silence and make their secret wishes for the next year. After that they drink champagne and have rich dinner, watching TV concerts and having fun. Some people like starting fireworks outside and visiting their friends and neighbors. As December 30 and 31 are working days, a lot of people also have small parties at work, though December 31 is mostly spent at home or with friends.
There is an old superstition that if the first visitor (especially an unexpected one) on January 1 is a man, the year will be good. People also try to start the new year without debts.


Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 celebrates New Year as Hogmanay
Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year in the Scottish manner...

, and with several different customs, such as First-Foot
In Scottish and Northern English folklore, the first-foot, also known in Manx Gaelic as quaaltagh or qualtagh, is the first person to cross the threshold of a home on New Year's Day and a bringer of good fortune for the coming year....

ing, which involves friends or family members going to each others houses with a gift of whisky and sometimes a lump of coal.

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

, the Scottish capital, hosts one of the world's most famous New Year celebrations with the focus being a major street party along Princes Street
Princes Street
Princes Street is one of the major thoroughfares in central Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, and its main shopping street. It is the southernmost street of Edinburgh's New Town, stretching around 1 mile from Lothian Road in the west to Leith Street in the east. The street is mostly closed to private...

. The cannon is fired at Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle is a fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, from its position atop the volcanic Castle Rock. Human habitation of the site is dated back as far as the 9th century BC, although the nature of early settlement is unclear...

 at the stroke of midnight and is 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 January 2, which is also a bank holiday
Bank Holiday
A bank holiday is a public holiday in the United Kingdom or a colloquialism for public holiday in Ireland. There is no automatic right to time off on these days, although the majority of the population is granted time off work or extra pay for working on these days, depending on their contract...

 in Scotland. Other cities across Scotland, such as Aberdeen
Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 25th most populous city, with an official population estimate of ....

, Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

 and Stirling
Stirling is a city and former ancient burgh in Scotland, and is at the heart of the wider Stirling council area. The city is clustered around a large fortress and medieval old-town beside the River Forth...

 have large organised celebrations too, including fireworks at midnight.

BBC Scotland
BBC Scotland
BBC Scotland is a constituent part of the British Broadcasting Corporation, the publicly-funded broadcaster of the United Kingdom. It is, in effect, the national broadcaster for Scotland, having a considerable amount of autonomy from the BBC's London headquarters, and is run by the BBC Trust, who...

 broadcast the celebrations
Hogmanay Live
Hogmanay Live is BBC Scotland's annual live event programme broadcast from either Edinburgh Castle's Great Hall or BBC Pacific Quay on Hogmanay . Regardless of location, the programme rings in the New Year with the firing of Edinburgh Castle's One O'Clock Gun and the subsequent fireworks and...

 in Edinburgh to a Scottish audience, with the celebrations also screened across the world. STV covers both worldwide New Year celebrations, and details of events happening around Scotland.


New Year in Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

 is traditionally celebrated extensively. Indoors, families celebrate New Year's Eve with an abundance of food. Decorated "Christmas"-trees are predominantly related to New Year, hence called "novogodišnja jelka" (new years tree). Around or after midnight, Deda Mraz (Santa Claus) visits houses and leaves presents under the tree, to be unpacked then or, if the family is asleep, only to be discovered in the morning.

Restaurants, clubs, cafes and hotels are usually fully booked and organize New Year's celebrations with food and live music.

However, Serbian New Year's celebrations are most known for the outdoors festivities in Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

, and several other major cities such as Novi Sad
Novi Sad
Novi Sad is the capital of the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina, and the administrative centre of the South Bačka District. The city is located in the southern part of Pannonian Plain on the Danube river....

and Niš
Niš is the largest city of southern Serbia and third-largest city in Serbia . According to the data from 2011, the city of Niš has a population of 177,972 inhabitants, while the city municipality has a population of 257,867. The city covers an area of about 597 km2, including the urban area,...

. As of mid-December, cities are extensively decorated and lit. The decorations remain until way into January due to the persistent influence of the old, Julian calendar
Julian calendar
The Julian calendar began in 45 BC as a reform of the Roman calendar by Julius Caesar. It was chosen after consultation with the astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria and was probably designed to approximate the tropical year .The Julian calendar has a regular year of 365 days divided into 12 months...

. Throughout the region, especially amongst former Yugoslav
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

 republics, Belgrade is known as the place to be for major parties, concerts and happenings. It has become common for large groups of Slovenes to visit their former capital and celebrate the beginning of a new year. Especially since the mid-nineties, street celebrations grew into mass gatherings with hundreds of thousands of people, celebrating New Year on one of several locations throughout Belgrade. During former President Milošević's mandate, the gatherings had a strong political connotation as well. As of 2000, every year the City of Belgrade organizes several concerts with major national and international performers on Belgrade's major squares; the Republic Square, Terazije Square and in front of the Serbian (formerly Federal) Parliament building. The concerts commence early in the evening and last well into the morning. Usually, there are separate celebrations and concerts organized for small children (Slavija Square) and for elderly (Kalemegdan park). Midnight is marked by major fireworks fired from suitable buildings within the city.

On January 1, the central Svetogorska street is closed for traffic and used to hold the "street of open heart" festival; food and warm drinks are served and open air theater plays are performed, while families with children as well as politicians (often including the President) walk down the street. The evening of the first of January is reserved for the so-called "repriza", a repetition of the previous night; people often go to the club, friends or square where they were last night to celebrate once more. Slightly down-scaled festivities are organized.

On January 13, a large part of the population celebrates "Serbian New Year
Old New Year
The Old New Year Нова година) or the Orthodox New Year is an informal traditional Slavic Orthodox holiday, celebrated as the start of the New Year by the Julian calendar...

", according to the Julian calendar. This time, usually one concert is organized in front of either City Hall or the National Parliament (in Belgrade), while fireworks are prepared by the Serbian Orthodox Church and fired from the Cathedral of Saint Sava, where people also gather. Other cities also organize such celebrations.


Spanish New Year's Eve (Nochevieja or Fin de Año in Spanish, Cap d'Any in Catalan, Nit de Fi d'Any in Valencian, Cabo d'Anyo in Aragonese) celebrations usually begin with a family dinner, traditionally including shrimp
Shrimp are swimming, decapod crustaceans classified in the infraorder Caridea, found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water. Adult shrimp are filter feeding benthic animals living close to the bottom. They can live in schools and can swim rapidly backwards. Shrimp are an important...

 and lamb or capon
A capon is a rooster that has been castrated to improve the quality of its flesh for food.-History:The Romans are credited with inventing the capon. The Lex Faunia of 162 BC forbade fattening hens in order to conserve grain rations. In order to get around this the Romans castrated roosters, which...

. Spanish tradition says that wearing new, red underwear on New Year's Eve brings good luck. The actual countdown is primarily followed from the clock on top of the Casa de Correos building in Puerta del Sol
Puerta del Sol
The Puerta del Sol is one of the best known and busiest places in Madrid. This is the centre of the radial network of Spanish roads. The square also contains the famous clock whose bells mark the traditional eating of the Twelve Grapes and the beginning of a new year...

 Square in Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

. It is traditional to eat twelve grapes, one on each chime of the clock. This tradition has its origins in 1909, when grape growers in Alicante
Alicante or Alacant is a city in Spain, the capital of the province of Alicante and of the comarca of Alacantí, in the south of the Valencian Community. It is also a historic Mediterranean port. The population of the city of Alicante proper was 334,418, estimated , ranking as the second-largest...

 thought of it as a way to cut down on the large production surplus they had had that year. Nowadays, the tradition is followed by almost every Spaniard, and the twelve grapes have become synonymous with the New Year. After the clock has finished striking twelve, people greet each other and toast with sparkling wine such as cava or champagne, or alternatively with cider.

After the family dinner and the grapes, many young people attend New Year parties at pubs, discothèques and similar places (these parties are called cotillones de nochevieja, after the Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 word cotillón, which refers to party supplies like confetti, party blowers, party hats, etc.). Parties usually last until the next morning and range from small, personal celebrations at local bars to huge parties with guests numbering the thousands at hotel convention rooms. Early next morning, party attendees usually gather to have the traditional winter breakfast of chocolate con churro
A churro, sometimes referred to as a Spanish doughnut, is a fried-dough pastry-based snack that has disputed origins. Churros are also popular in Latin America, France, Portugal, Morocco, the United States, Australia, and Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands. There are two types of churros in Spain....

(xurros amb xocolata in Catalan, xurros en xocolate in Valencian), hot chocolate and fried pastry.


In Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, New Year's Eve is typically celebrated at a residence with friends (Christmas usually having been celebrated with family). There are no particular main dishes associated with the event, although sweets and desserts are usual. Each commune
Municipalities of Switzerland
Communes , also known as municipalities, are the smallest government division in Switzerland, numbering 2,596 . While many have a population of a few hundred citizens, the largest cities such as Zürich or Geneva also have the legal status of municipalities...

 has its own government-arranged countdown in a public space, accompanied with formal fireworks shows in larger cities.


In Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, New Year's Eve is usually celebrated with families or with friends. A few hours before and after midnight, people usually party and eat a special dinner, often three courses. New Year's Eve is celebrated with large fireworks displays throughout the country, especially in the cities. People over the age of 18 are allowed to buy fireworks, which are sold by local stores or by private persons. While watching or lighting up fireworks at midnight, people usually drink champagne.


In the former Soviet Union, New Year has the same cultural significance as Christmas has in the United States, but without the religious connotations. Ukrainian and other families from former Soviet Union traditionally install spruce trees at home, the equivalent of a Christmas tree. In Eastern Europe, there is the Ded Moroz
Ded Moroz
Ded Moroz is a fictional character who in some Slavic cultures plays a role similar to that of Santa Claus. The literal translation of the name would be Grandfather Frost, although the name is often translated as Father Frost....

, who looks similar to Santa Claus, except he wears robes, and instead of reindeer, he is pulled by a troika
Troika (driving)
A troika is a traditional Russian harness driving combination, using three horses abreast, usually pulling a sleigh. It differs from most other three-horse combinations in that the horses are harnessed abreast. The middle horse is usually harnessed in a horse collar and shaft bow; the side horses...

 (i.e. a three-horse drawn sled
A sled, sledge, or sleigh is a land vehicle with a smooth underside or possessing a separate body supported by two or more smooth, relatively narrow, longitudinal runners that travels by sliding across a surface. Most sleds are used on surfaces with low friction, such as snow or ice. In some cases,...

). Families gather to eat a large feast and reflect on the past year. They have a large celebration, make toasts, and make wishes for a happy New Year. Families give presents to their friends as well as informal acquaintances. This is due to Russians being a closely knit community, and it is seen as a taboo to not give presents to those the family associates with. Children stay up until midnight, waiting for the New Year. Also, during these celebrations many Ukrainians tune to special New Year shows, which have become a long-standing tradition for the Ukrainian TV.

New Year is often considered a "pre-celebration" for the Eastern Orthodox living in Eastern Europe, primarily in Ukraine, since Christmas is celebrated on January 7 according to the Eastern Orthodox tradition.


Numerous decorations and customs traditionally associated with Christmas and Bayrams
Bayram (Turkey)
Bayram is the Turkic word for a nationally celebrated festival or holiday, applicable to both national or religious celebrations...

 find a secular translation in Turkish
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 New Year's Eve celebrations, where homes and streets are lit up in glittering lights as well as various traditional Turkish aesthetic practices. Small gifts are exchanged, and large family dinners are organized with family and friends, featuring a special Zante currant
Zante currant
The Zante currant , or currant are dried berries of small, sweet, seedless grape variety Black Corinth . The name comes from the Anglo-French phrase "raisins de Corinthe" and the Ionian island of Zakynthos , which was once the major producer and exporter...

A pimento or cherry pepper is a variety of large, red, heart-shaped chili pepper that measures 3 to 4 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide . The flesh of the pimento is sweet, succulent and more aromatic than that of the red bell pepper...

Dill is a perennial herb. It is the sole species of the genus Anethum, though classified by some botanists in a related genus as Peucedanum graveolens C.B.Clarke.-Growth:...

 iç pilav
Pilaf is a dish in which rice is cooked in a seasoned broth . In some cases, the rice may also attain its brown color by being stirred with bits of cooked onion, as well as a large mix of spices...

 dish, dolma
Dolma is a family of stuffed vegetable dishes in the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire and surrounding regions such as Russia, Middle East and the Caucasus and Central and South Asia. Perhaps the best-known is the grape-leaf dolma. Common vegetables to stuff include onion, zucchini, eggplant,...

, hot börek
Börek is a family of baked or fried filled pastries made of a thin flaky dough known as yufka . It can be filled with cheese, often feta, sirene or kaşar; minced meat, or vegetables...

, baklava
Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey. It is characteristic of the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire and much of central and southwest Asia....

 and various other eggplant dishes
Turkish cuisine
Turkish cuisine is largely the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, which can be described as a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. Turkish cuisine has in turn influenced those and other neighbouring cuisines, including that of western Europe...

, topped with warm pide
Pide may refer to:*Pita, a type of flatbread typical of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines*PIDE , the political secret police during the authoritarian Portuguese regime of the Estado Novo*Pakistan Institute...

, salep
Salep is a flour made from grinding the dried tubers of the orchid genus Orchis . These tubers contain a nutritious starch-like polysaccharide called glucomannan. Salep flour is consumed today in beverages and desserts, primarily in Turkey and in places that were formerly part of the Ottoman...

 and boza
Boza, also bosa , is a popular fermented beverage in Kazakhstan, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, parts of Romania, Serbia, Ukraine and also Poland and Lithuania...


Television and radio channels are known to continuously broadcast a variety of special New Year's Eve programs, while municipalities
A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...

 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
Shadow Theatre
The Shadow Theatre is an Edmonton-based theatre company born of the Edmonton International Fringe Festival in 1990.-History:Shadow Theatre was incorporated in 1992, operating under the governance of a volunteer Board of Directors...

 and even performances by the Mehter - the Janissary
The Janissaries were infantry units that formed the Ottoman sultan's household troops and bodyguards...

 Band that was founded during the days of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...


Public and private parties with large public attendances are organised in a number of cities and towns, particularly in the largest metropolitan areas such as Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

, Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

, Izmir
Izmir is a large metropolis in the western extremity of Anatolia. The metropolitan area in the entire Izmir Province had a population of 3.35 million as of 2010, making the city third most populous in Turkey...

, Adana
Adana is a city in southern Turkey and a major agricultural and commercial center. The city is situated on the Seyhan River, 30 kilometres inland from the Mediterranean, in south-central Anatolia...

and Antalya
Antalya is a city on the Mediterranean coast of southwestern Turkey. With a population 1,001,318 as of 2010. It is the eighth most populous city in Turkey and country's biggest international sea resort.- History :...

, with the biggest celebrations taking place in Istanbul's Taksim
Taksim was the objective of Turkish Cypriots who supported a partition of the island of Cyprus into Turkish and Greek portions, a concept declared as early as 1957 by Dr. Fazil Küçük...

, Beyoğlu
Beyoğlu is a district located on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city by the Golden Horn...

, Nişantaşı
Nişantaşı is a quarter of Istanbul, Turkey, comprising neighbourhoods like Teşvikiye, Osmanbey, Maçka and Pangaltı. It includes the stores of world famous brands and has many popular cafés, pubs, restaurants and night clubs. It is a part of the Şişli district...

 and Kadıköy
Kadıköy is a large, populous, and cosmopolitan district of İstanbul, Turkey on the Asian side of the Sea of Marmara, facing the historic city centre on the European side of the Bosporus...

 districts and Ankara's Kızılay Square, which generally feature dancing, concerts, laser and lightshows as well as the traditional countdown and fireworks display.


Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

 celebrations on New Year's Eve are known as Calennig
Calennig is a Welsh word meaning "New Year celebration/gift," though literally translates to "the first day of the month," deriving from the Latin word kalends. The English word "Calendar" also has its root in this word.-Celebrations in Cardiff:...

. The tradition of giving gifts and money on New Year's Day is an ancient custom that survives even in modern-day Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, though nowadays it is now customary to give bread and cheese.

Thousands of people descend every year on Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county of Wales and the 10th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for...

to enjoy live music, catering, ice-skating, funfairs and fireworks. Many of the celebrations take place at Cardiff Castle
Cardiff Castle
Cardiff Castle is a medieval castle and Victorian architecture Gothic revival mansion, transformed from a Norman keep erected over a Roman fort in the Castle Quarter of Cardiff, the capital of Wales. The Castle is a Grade I Listed Building.-The Roman fort:...

 and Cardiff City Hall
City Hall, Cardiff
City Hall is a civic building in Cathays Park, Cardiff, Wales. Built of Portland stone, it became the fifth building to serve as Cardiff's centre of local government when it opened in October 1906. The competition to design a town hall and adjacent law courts for Cardiff was won in 1897 by the firm...

Nos Galan road race

Every New Years Eve there is a 5 kilometre (3.1 mi) running race called the Nos Galan road race
Nos Galan road race
Nos Galan , is an annual running road race, run on New Years Eve in Mountain Ash, in the Cynon Valley of South Wales.-History:Nos Galan celebrates the life and achievements of Welsh runner Guto Nyth Brân...

 (Welsh: Rasys Nos Galan) in Mountain Ash
Mountain Ash, Wales
Mountain Ash is a town and community in Rhondda Cynon Taf, deep in the South Wales Valleys of Wales. Mountain Ash is situated in the Cynon Valley and has a population of 7,039...

 in the Cynon Valley
Cynon Valley
The Cynon Valley , is a famous former coal mining valley within the South Wales Valleys of Wales. The Cynon Valley lies between the other mining Valley of Rhondda and the iron industrial Valley of the Merthyr Valley. Its main towns are Aberdare located North of the Valley and Mountain Ash located...

, Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales
South Wales
South Wales is an area of Wales bordered by England and the Bristol Channel to the east and south, and Mid Wales and West Wales to the north and west. The most densely populated region in the south-west of the United Kingdom, it is home to around 2.1 million people and includes the capital city of...


The race celebrates the life and achievements of Welsh runner Guto Nyth Brân
Guto Nyth Brân
Griffith Morgan , who was known better by his Welsh name, Guto Nyth Brân was an athlete. Many of Guto's running feats have since become merged with legend, and were disseminated by poets and authors such as I.D...

. Founded in 1958 by local runner Bernard Baldwin, it is run over the 5 kilometre route of Guto's first competitive race. The main race starts with a church service at Llanwynno
Llanwynno is a hamlet high up in the mountains between the historic mining valleys of the Rhondda and Cynon Valleys in Rhondda Cynon Taf deep in the heart of the South Wales Valleys ....

, and then a wreath is laid on Guto's grave in Llanwynno
Llanwynno is a hamlet high up in the mountains between the historic mining valleys of the Rhondda and Cynon Valleys in Rhondda Cynon Taf deep in the heart of the South Wales Valleys ....

 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 21:00. This has resulted in a regrowth 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.


In Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, traditionally the entire family gathers together from around 11pm to partake in a dinner of traditional dishes, including vitel tonné
Vitello tonnato
Vitello tonnato is a well-known Italian dish of cold, sliced veal covered with a creamy, mayonnaise-like sauce that has been flavored with tuna...

, stuffed turkey, turron
Turrón , torró , or torrone , or nougat is a confection, typically made of honey, sugar, and egg white, with toasted almonds or other nuts, and usually shaped into either a rectangular tablet or a round cake. It is frequently consumed as a traditional Christmas dessert in Spain and Italy. There are...

 and pan dulce. Just before midnight, people flock to the streets to enjoy fireworks and light crackers. The first day of the New Year is celebrated at midnight with cider or champagne, wishing each other a happy New Year, and sometimes sharing a toast with neighbours. Parties often continue until dawn. Swimming is perhaps an unusual activity that Argentines partake in on New Year, at rivers and lakes or public pools.


The Ano Novo ('New Year' in Portuguese) celebration, also known in Brazilian Portuguese
Brazilian Portuguese
Brazilian Portuguese is a group of Portuguese dialects written and spoken by most of the 190 million inhabitants of Brazil and by a few million Brazilian emigrants, mainly in the United States, United Kingdom, Portugal, Canada, Japan and Paraguay....

 by the French word Reveillon
In France and some other French-speaking places, a réveillon is a long dinner, and possibly a party, held on the evenings preceding Christmas Day and New Year's Day. The name of this dinner is based on the word réveil , because participation involves staying awake until midnight and beyond...

, is one of Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

's main holidays, and officially marks the beginning of the summer holidays, that usually end by Carnival (analogous to Memorial Day
Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War...

 and Labor Day
Labor Day
Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers.-History:...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...


Brazilians traditionally have a copious meal with family or friends at home, in restaurants or private clubs, and consume alcoholic beverages. They usually dress in white, to bring good luck into the new year. Fireworks and eating grapes or lentils are some of the customs associated with the holiday.

The beach at Copacabana (in Portuguese: Praia de Copacabana) in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

is regarded as the location of one of the best fireworks displays in the world at New Year.

The city of São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

also holds a famous event: the Saint Silvester Marathon
Saint Silvester Marathon
The Saint Silvester Road Race is a long-distance running event, the oldest and most prestigious street race in Brazil.Regarded as the main international event in Latin American athletics, the Brazilian competition is held yearly in the city of São Paulo on December 31...

 (Corrida de São Silvestre), which traverses streets between Paulista Avenue and the downtown area.

In other regions, different events also take place. At Fortaleza
Fortaleza is the state capital of Ceará, located in Northeastern Brazil. With a population close to 2.5 million , Fortaleza is the 5th largest city in Brazil. It has an area of and one of the highest demographic densities in the country...

, Ceará
Ceará is one of the 27 states of Brazil, located in the northeastern part of the country, on the Atlantic coast. It is currently the 8th largest Brazilian State by population and the 17th by area. It is also one of the main touristic destinations in Brazil. The state capital is the city of...

, there is a big party with fireworks and live music shows by the Praia de Iracema area, which attracts more than one million people in recent years.


Special dishes, usually including lentils and twelve grapes to symbolise each month of the year, are prepared in every home and family celebrations usually last until midnight, then some may disperse to continue partying with friends until dawn. In Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

's capital Santiago
Santiago, Chile
Santiago , also known as Santiago de Chile, is the capital and largest city of Chile, and the center of its largest conurbation . It is located in the country's central valley, at an elevation of above mean sea level...

, thousands of people gather at the Entel Tower hours before to watch the countdown to midnight and a fireworks display.

There are several fireworks shows, most notably the "Año Nuevo en el Mar" in Valparaiso
Valparaíso is a city and commune of Chile, center of its third largest conurbation and one of the country's most important seaports and an increasing cultural center in the Southwest Pacific hemisphere. The city is the capital of the Valparaíso Province and the Valparaíso Region...

, Chile's second city, which is generally the most popular, with 1,000,000 viewers. However, from the year 2000, the sale of fireworks to individuals has been illegal, meaning fireworks can now only be observed at major displays.

Many people also travel to Easter Island
Easter Island
Easter Island is a Polynesian island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian triangle. A special territory of Chile that was annexed in 1888, Easter Island is famous for its 887 extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapanui people...

, off Chile's coast, to welcome the New Year.

Costa Rica

In Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

, families usually gather around 9 pm to party until 1 or 2 am of 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 asking for new trips and adventures in the upcoming year.


As well as traditional family events and meals, modern celebrations such as hosting parties and going to nightclubs are a prominent feature of New Year's Eve across Ecuador, but the main event takes place at midnight where fireworks are lit and thousands of dummies are burned in the streets representing the year that just finished.


In the town of Antigua Guatemala
Antigua Guatemala
Antigua Guatemala is a city in the central highlands of Guatemala famous for its well-preserved Spanish Mudéjar-influenced Baroque architecture as well as a number of spectacular ruins of colonial churches...

, people usually get together at the Santa Catalina Clock Arch to celebrate Fin del Año (New Year's Eve). In Guatemala City
Guatemala City
Guatemala City , is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Guatemala and Central America...

the celebrations are centered around Plaza Mayor. Banks close on New Year’s Eve, and businesses close at noon. Starting at sundown, firecrackers are lit, continuing without interruption into the night.

Guatemalans wear new clothes for good fortune and eat a grape with each of the twelve chimes of the bell during the New Year countdown, while making a wish with each one.

The celebrations include religious themes which may be either Mayan
Maya mythology
Mayan mythology is part of Mesoamerican mythology and comprises all of the Mayan tales in which personified forces of nature, deities, and the heroes interacting with these play the main roles...

 or Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

. Catholic celebrations are similar to those at Christmas. Gifts are left under the tree on Christmas morning by the Christ Child for the children. Parents and adults do not exchange gifts until New Year's Day.


Pagara (red-firecracker-ribbons) New Year's Eve in Suriname
Suriname , officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as...

 is called Oud jaar which means old year. It is during this period that the Surinamese population goes into cities' commercial districts to watch demonstrational fireworks. This is however, a spectacle based on the famous red-firecracker-ribbons. The bigger stores invest in these firecrackers and display them out 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 in the morning 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 there 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.


In Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

, many of the traditions are very similar to the ones from Spain, with an over-emphasis in traditions that supposedly will bring good luck in the year forthcoming. Those who want to find love in the New Year are supposed to wear red underwear on New Year's Eve; those who want money must have a bill of high value when toast, those who want to travel must go out home while carrying some luggage, and so on. Yellow underwear is worn to bring happiness in the New Year.

Usually, people listen to radio specials, which give a countdown and announce the New Year according to the legal hour in Venezuela, and, in Caracas
Caracas , officially Santiago de León de Caracas, is the capital and largest city of Venezuela; natives or residents are known as Caraquenians in English . It is located in the northern part of the country, following the contours of the narrow Caracas Valley on the Venezuelan coastal mountain range...

', following the twelve bells from the Cathedral of Caracas. During these special programs is a tradition to broadcast songs about the sadness on the end of the year, being popular favorites "Viejo año" ("Old year") by Gaita
Gaita may refer to:Musical instruments*Various types of bagpipes common to Spain and Portugal such as:** Gaita asturiana, a bagpipe used in the Spanish provinces of Asturias, northern León and western Cantabria...

 group Maracaibo 15
Maracaibo 15
Maracaibo 15 is a Venezuelan gaita group. Founded in 1974 by singer Betulio Medina in Caracas, the name of this group reflects that it was formed by 15 people. Maracaibo 15 combines gaita with other folkloric music, such as parrandas and eastern music and international music such as cumbias, porros...

 and "Cinco pa' las 12" ("Five minutes before twelve") who was versioned by several popular singers like Nestor Zavarce, Nancy Ramos and José Luis Rodríguez El Puma, and 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.


Each major city around Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 holds New Year's Eve celebrations, usually accompanied by a fireworks display amongst other events. Gloucester Park
Gloucester Park
Gloucester Park is a harness racing course in Perth, Western Australia. In the suburb of East Perth, the oval course is adjacent to the WACA Ground...

, a racecourse in central Perth
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000....

, is the largest and most recognised display in the Western Australian city. In Brisbane, 50,000 people annually gather at sites around the Brisbane River
Brisbane River
The Brisbane River is the longest river in south east Queensland, Australia, and flows through the city of Brisbane, before emptying into Moreton Bay. John Oxley was the first European to explore the river who named it after the Governor of New South Wales, Thomas Brisbane in 1823...

 in the city to watch a fireworks display while events are held in the city and at Southbank
South Bank, Queensland
South Bank is a cultural, educational and recreational precinct in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The precinct is located in the suburb of South Brisbane, on the southern bank of the Brisbane River.-South Bank Parklands:...


The two largest celebrations in Australia are held in its two largest cities; Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

and Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

. Each year, the celebrations in Sydney are accompanied by a theme with two pyrotechnic shows; the 9pm Family Fireworks and the Midnight Fireworks. Centring on the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries rail, vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district and the North Shore. The dramatic view of the bridge, the harbour, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is an iconic...

, the fireworks are synchronized to a blend of popular music with a lighting display called the "Bridge Effect", shown on the bridge itself displaying various symbols and other images related to the current year's theme. The Midnight Fireworks are regularly watched by more than one million people at Sydney Harbour
Port Jackson
Port Jackson, containing Sydney Harbour, is the natural harbour of Sydney, Australia. It is known for its beauty, and in particular, as the location of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge...

 and are often regarded as the best in the world.

As one of the first major New Year's celebrations each year (due to time zone
Time zone
A time zone is a region on Earth that has a uniform standard time for legal, commercial, and social purposes. In order for the same clock time to always correspond to the same portion of the day as the Earth rotates , different places on the Earth need to have different clock times...

s), the Midnight Fireworks are often broadcast throughout the world during the day of 31 December and are regularly watched by one billion people.


Kiritimati or Christmas Island is a Pacific Ocean raised coral atoll in the northern Line Islands, and part of the Republic of Kiribati....

UTC+14 is an identifier for a +14 hour time offset from UTC. This is the highest time zone, meaning that areas in this zone are the first to see a new day, and therefore the first to celebrate a new year....

), part of Kiribati
Kiribati , officially the Republic of Kiribati, is an island nation located in the central tropical Pacific Ocean. The permanent population exceeds just over 100,000 , and is composed of 32 atolls and one raised coral island, dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometres, straddling the...

, is the first location in the world to welcome the New Year.

New Zealand

Gisborne, New Zealand
-Economy:The harbour was host to many ships in the past and had developed as a river port to provide a more secure location for shipping compared with the open roadstead of Poverty Bay which can be exposed to southerly swells. A meat works was sited beside the harbour and meat and wool was shipped...

is 496.3 kilometres (308.4 mi) west of the International Date Line
International Date Line
The International Date Line is a generally north-south imaginary line on the surface of the Earth, passing through the middle of the Pacific Ocean, that designates the place where each calendar day begins...

 and thus is the first major city to see the beginning of the new year. In New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, cities celebrate this with large street parties and fireworks displays. Elsewhere in New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, local councils usually organise parties and street carnivals and fireworks displays. In recent years however, liquor bans have been imposed on many of the more popular areas due to disorder, vandalism and other anti-social behaviour.
During the day of New Year's Eve, in recent years, the Black Caps have played a One Day International cricket game in Queenstown
Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown is a resort town in Otago in the south-west of New Zealand's South Island. It is built around an inlet called Queenstown Bay on Lake Wakatipu, a long thin Z-shaped lake formed by glacial processes, and has spectacular views of nearby mountains....

. The tallest freestanding structure tower in the Southern Hemisphere, the Sky Tower
Sky Tower
The Sky Tower is an observation and telecommunications tower located on the corner of Victoria and Federal Streets in the Auckland CBD, Auckland City, New Zealand. It is tall, as measured from ground level to the top of the mast, making it the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern...

, celebrates the new year by lighting up Auckland
The Auckland metropolitan area , in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country with residents, percent of the country's population. Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world...

's sky with fireworks from the top of the tower.


Moroccans call New Year's Eve Rass l'aam or (رأس العام) which means the "head of the year".

In Casablanca
Casablanca is a city in western Morocco, located on the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Grand Casablanca region.Casablanca is Morocco's largest city as well as its chief port. It is also the biggest city in the Maghreb. The 2004 census recorded a population of 2,949,805 in the prefecture...

, New Year's Eve is celebrated in the company of family and friends. People get together to eat cake, dance, laugh. Traditionally, people celebrate it at home, but some of them prefer to go to nightclubs.

At midnight, fireworks are displayed across Ain Diab
Ain Diab
Ain Diab is a commune located at the Corniche of Casablanca, Morocco. The commune is famous for its hotels and for hosting a round of the Formula One world championship in 1958. Amongst the notable residents is the famous British-born writer Tahir Shah....

, in the corniche
The word corniche typically refers to a road on the side of a cliff or mountain, with the ground rising on one side of the road and falling away on the other...

 of Casablanca.


In China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, although the celebrations of the Lunar New Year
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year – often called Chinese Lunar New Year although it actually is lunisolar – is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is an all East and South-East-Asia celebration...

 are not until a few weeks into the new year, celebrations of the Gregorian New Year are still held in some areas. Celebrations with fireworks and rock concerts have taken place in Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

's Solana Blue Harbor Shopping Park.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

, the people usually get together in Central, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui to celebrate and to look at the night lights along the harbor. The Times Square
Times Square (Hong Kong)
Times Square is a major shopping centre and office tower complex in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong.The complex, owned by Wharf Properties Limited, part of The Wharf Limited group, was opened in April 1994.-History:...

 shopping mall also holds their own send-off to the ball drop held at Times Square
Times Square
Times Square is a major commercial intersection in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. The celebration had been extended to other districts such as Tsuen Wan
Tsuen Wan
Tsuen Wan is a bay in the Kowloon area of Hong Kong, opposite to Tsing Yi Island across Rambler Channel. The market town of Tsuen Wan emerged for the surrounding villages and fleets of fishing boats in the area. The town is around the present-day Tsuen Wan Station of the MTR...

, Sha Tin
Sha Tin
Sha Tin, also spelled Shatin, is an area around the Shing Mun River in the New Territories of Hong Kong. Administratively, it is part of the Sha Tin District.-Geography:...

, Mong Kok
Mong Kok
Mong Kok , less often known as Argyle , is an area in the Yau Tsim Mong District on Kowloon Peninsula, Hong Kong...

 and Kwun Tong
Kwun Tong
Kwun Tong is an area in Kwun Tong District, situated at the eastern part of the Kowloon Peninsula, and its boundary stretches from Lion Rock in the north to Lei Yue Mun in the south, and from the winding paths of Kowloon Peak in the east to the north coast of the former Kai Tak Airport runway in...

 by district-wide celebration activities.

From 2008, for the last 60 seconds before entering the next year (23:59:00), a 60-second numerical countdown by LED
LEd is a TeX/LaTeX editing software working under Microsoft Windows. It is a freeware product....

 lights with pyrotechnic display effects on the facade of Two International Finance Centre
International Finance Centre
The International Finance Centre is an integrated commercial development on the waterfront of Hong Kong's Central District....

 was launched, followed by a firework display of A Symphony of Lights
A Symphony of Lights
A Symphony of Lights is a synchronised building exterior decorative light and laser multimedia display, featuring 44 buildings on both sides of the Victoria Harbour of Hong Kong accompanied by music. The technology was developed by Australian firm Laservision and cost approximately 44 million HK...



In India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, most celebrations take place in the major metropolitan cities like Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

, Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

, Pune
Pune , is the eighth largest metropolis in India, the second largest in the state of Maharashtra after Mumbai, and the largest city in the Western Ghats. Once the centre of power of the Maratha Empire, it is situated 560 metres above sea level on the Deccan plateau at the confluence of the Mula ...

, Bangalore
Bengaluru , formerly called Bengaluru is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. Bangalore is nicknamed the Garden City and was once called a pensioner's paradise. Located on the Deccan Plateau in the south-eastern part of Karnataka, Bangalore is India's third most populous city and...

, Chennai
Chennai , formerly known as Madras or Madarasapatinam , is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the sixth most populous city in India...

, Hyderabad, Kolkata
Kolkata , formerly known as Calcutta, is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River, it was the commercial capital of East India...

, Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad also known as Karnavati is the largest city in Gujarat, India. It is the former capital of Gujarat and is also the judicial capital of Gujarat as the Gujarat High Court has its seat in Ahmedabad...

, Guwahati
Guwahati, Pragjyotishpura in ancient Assam formerly known as Gauhati is a metropolis,the largest city of Assam in India and ancient urban area in North East India, with a population of 963,429. It is also the largest metropolitan area in north-eastern India...

 and since 2009-10, in Chandigarh
Chandigarh is a union territory of India that serves as the capital of two states, Haryana and Punjab. The name Chandigarh translates as "The Fort of Chandi". The name is from an ancient temple called Chandi Mandir, devoted to the Hindu goddess Chandi, in the city...

. In Hyderabad, fireworks, street racings and brawls are very common. Goa
Goa , a former Portuguese colony, is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Located in South West India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its...

 is one of the most visited spot during new year celebration both by Indian and foreign tourists. Events such as live concerts and dances by Bollywood
Bollywood is the informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai , Maharashtra, India. The term is often incorrectly used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema; it is only a part of the total Indian film industry, which includes other production centers producing...

 stars are organised and attended mostly by youngsters. Large crowds also gather at popular spots along the coastline such as the Gateway of India
Gateway of India
Its design is a combination of both Hindu and Muslim architectural styles, the arch is in Muslim style while the decorations are in Hindu style. The Gateway is built from yellow basalt and reinforced concrete. The stone was locally obtained, and the perforated screens were brought from Gwalior.The...

, Girgaum Chowpatty, Bandra Bandstand, Juhu Beach etc. More often people like to celebrate new year eve with family.
Hotels and resorts are all decked up in anticipation of the tourist influx and feverish competition ensures to entice the vacationers with exciting New Year offers.
As old tradition at many places across the country several special Yagya and Puja are organized for the wish of fruitful year by Hindu people.


New Year's Eve is celebrated with some revelry in urban areas. Hotels, discos and major restaurants offer special meals, entertainment and dancing. People celebrate with their families, siblings, and/or friends. Trumpets and fireworks are the most important elements of New Year's Eve for Indonesians. However, the New Year is generally not as big a celebration as Eid ul-Fitr
Eid ul-Fitr
Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Fitr, Id-ul-Fitr, or Id al-Fitr , often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting . Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity," while Fiṭr means "breaking the fast"...

 in Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...


The local government of Jakarta
Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

often holds a music show, New Year countdown and fireworks party in New Year's Eve celebration. The events are often held at the Monumen Nasional, waterfront resort of Ancol Dreamland, and the recreational area Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah or "Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park" is a culture-based recreational area located in East Jakarta, Indonesia. It has an area of about...


Bali is an Indonesian island located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east...

is another popular destination for New Year's Eve, with many locals and toursits gathering at the beach at Kuta
Kuta is administratively a district and subdistrict/village in southern Bali, Indonesia. A former fishing village, it was one of the first towns on Bali to see substantial tourist development, and as a beach resort remains one of Indonesia's major tourist destinations...



New Year's Eve is known by Israelis as the Silvester, and is celebrated by parties, social get togethers, concerts and dining out in major cities such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...



The day is a preparation day to welcome toshigami (年神), new year's god.
Therefore, traditionally, people clean their home and prepare Kadomatsu
A is a traditional Japanese decoration of the New Year placed in pairs in front of homes to welcome ancestral spirits or kami of the harvest. They are placed after Christmas until January 7 and are considered temporary housing for kami...

 and/or Shimenawa
Shimenawa are lengths of braided rice straw rope used for ritual purification in the Shinto religion. They can vary in diameter from a few centimetres to several metres, and are often seen festooned with shide...

 to welcome the god before New Year's Eve.

Buddhist temples ring their bells 108 times at midnight.
This tradition is called joya no kane (除夜の鐘) which means "bell rings on new year eve's night."
The rings represent 108 elements of bonō (煩悩), defilements, or Kilesa
Kleshas , in Buddhism, are mental states that cloud the mind and manifest in unwholesome actions. Kleshas include states of mind such as anxiety, fear, anger, jealousy, desire, depression, etc...

 in Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

, which is said people have in their mind. The bells are rung to repent 108 of the bonnō.

A popular TV show on New Year's Eve in Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 is Red and White Year-end Song Festival
Kohaku Uta Gassen
, more commonly known as simply Kōhaku, is an annual music show on New Year's Eve produced by Japanese public broadcaster NHK and broadcast on both television and radio, nationally and internationally by NHK's networks and some overseas broadcasters which bought the program...

. Kōhaku Uta Gassen is a 60-year-old tradition involving a singing contest between male and female teams of celebrity singers.


In Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, people celebrate New Year's Eve by the use of fireworks, and by organizing tabouli, hummus and kibbi and other Lebanese foods for family and friend gatherings. These celebrations could also take place at some diners and clubs. Game shows are also organised where people can try their luck to win some money. The synchronised final countdown is broadcast through the leading TV channel and the celebrations usually continue until sunrise.


A government-held New Year countdown known as 'Ambang Tahun Baru' will be held at Merdeka Square
Dataran Merdeka
Merdeka Square is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is situated in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. It was here the Union Flag was lowered and the Malayan flag hoisted for the first time at midnight on August 31, 1957...

, the field opposite the Sultan Abdul Samad Building
Sultan Abdul Samad Building
The Sultan Abdul Samad Building is located in front of the Dataran Merdeka and the Royal Selangor Club, by Jalan Raja in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia...

 in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is the capital and the second largest city in Malaysia by population. The city proper, making up an area of , has a population of 1.4 million as of 2010. Greater Kuala Lumpur, also known as the Klang Valley, is an urban agglomeration of 7.2 million...

. The event will be broadcast live on government as well as private TV stations.

Besides the governmental event in Merdeka Square, private organizations too hold their own New Year countdown parties at major shopping malls and landmarks, most notably the fireworks display at the Petronas Towers.


Also known as "Last Day of the Year", the Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 is one of the few countries having New's Years Eve as an official non-working holiday (special holiday). Filipinos usually celebrate New Year's Eve with the company of family and close friends. Traditionally, most households stage a dinner party named Media Noche in their homes. Typical dishes include pancit
Pancit or pansit is the term for noodles in Filipino cuisine. Noodles were introduced into the Philippines by the Chinese and have since been adopted into local cuisine. The term pancit is derived from the Hokkien pian i sit which means "something conveniently cooked fast." Different kinds of...

, ham
Ham is a cut of meat from the thigh of the hind leg of certain animals, especiallypigs. Nearly all hams sold today are fully cooked or cured.-Etymology:...

on, lechon
Lechón is a pork dish in several regions of the world, most specifically Spain and its former colonial possessions throughout the world. The word lechón originated from the Spanish term leche ; thus lechón refers to a suckling pig that is roasted...

 (roasted pig), which is usually considered as the centerpiece of the dinner table. Barbecued food is also an integral part of the menu.

Most Filipinos follow a set of traditions that are typically observed during New Year's Eve. Included among these traditions is the customary habit of wearing clothes with circular patterns like polka dots, this signifies the belief that circles attract money and fortune or other colorful clothing to show enthusiasm for the coming year. Throwing coins at the stroke of midnight is said to increase wealth that year. Traditions also include the serving of circularly shaped fruits, shaking of coins inside a metal casserole while walking around the house, and jumping up high which is believed to cause an increase in physical height. People also make loud noises by blowing on cardboard or plastic horns, called "torotot", banging on pots and pans or by igniting firecracker
A firecracker is a small explosive device primarily designed to produce a large amount of noise, especially in the form of a loud bang; any visual effect is incidental to this goal. They have fuses, and are wrapped in a heavy paper casing to contain the explosive compound...

s and fireworks
Fireworks are a class of explosive pyrotechnic devices used for aesthetic and entertainment purposes. The most common use of a firework is as part of a fireworks display. A fireworks event is a display of the effects produced by firework devices...

 at the stroke of midnight, in the belief that it scares away malevolent spirits and forces.

Urban areas are usually hosts to many New Year's Eve parties and countdown celebrations which are usually hosted by the private sector with the help of the local government. These parties usually display their own fireworks spectacles and are often very well attended. The main celebration is focused on Manila Bay at Roxas Boulevard in Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...



New Year's Eve is usually celebrated in Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 with joy. In Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

, a mega metropolis city, people visit the beaches at night and use low intensity fire works to enjoy the new year; as Pakistan is an Islamic country they also celebrate New Year's Eve on the every first of Muharram
Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four sacred months of the year in which fighting is prohibited...

 (first Islamic month). It is celebrated as a religious occasion with Muslims offering special prayers on this day.


In Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, the biggest celebration and also the main focal point of all New Year's Eve celebrations in Singapore takes place at the Marina Bay area. It would be attended by some 250,000 or more people spanning around the bay area starting from the Marina Bay floating Stadium to the Esplanade promenade, the Esplanade Bridge
Esplanade Bridge
The Esplanade Bridge is a 260 metre-long road bridge that spans across the mouth of the Singapore River in Singapore with the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay on its northern abutment and the Merlion on the southern...

, Benjamin Sheares Bridge
Benjamin Sheares Bridge
Opened in 1981, the Benjamin Sheares Bridge is the longest bridge in Singapore, spanning 1.8 km, and the tallest, at 20 m. It is named after Dr Benjamin Henry Sheares, the 2nd president of the Republic. The bridge is part of the East Coast Parkway...

, Merlion Park
Merlion Park
Merlion Park is located near Marina Bay, Singapore. This park is a popular tourist attraction. Two structures of the Merlion are located here and it is a major tourist attraction and a landmark of Singapore.-External links:**...

, and the Padang
Padang, Singapore
The Padang is an open field located within the Downtown Core of the Central Area in Singapore, at the heart of Singapore's central business district. It was formerly known as the Padang Cricket Ground...

 at City Hall
City Hall, Singapore
The City Hall in Singapore is a national monument gazetted on 14 February 1992. Located in front of the historical Padang and next door to the Supreme Court of Singapore, it was designed and built by the architects of the municipal government, A. Gordans and F. D. Meadows from 1926 to 1929...

 facing the Marina Bay direction.

Other places where people has also soak in the celebration atmosphere in Marina Bay includes from nearby hotels such as The Fullerton Hotel
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore is a five-star luxury hotel located near the mouth of the Singapore River, in the Downtown Core of Central Area, Singapore. It was originally known as The Fullerton Building, and also as the General Post Office Building....

, Marina Madarin
Marina Mandarin Singapore
The Marina Mandarin Singapore is 575-room, five-star hotel located at 6 Raffles Boulevard in Marina Centre, Singapore. Built as part of the Marina Square commercial complex and opened in 1987, it was closed and underwent a major upgrading programme from 15 May 2005 to 31 August 2005 and at a cost...

, The Ritz-Carlton Millenia
The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore
The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore is a 32 floor luxury hotel located at Marina Bay, Singapore. The hotel is managed by the Ritz-Carlton group of hotels, and it has won many awards. The hotel was opened in 1996.-Facilities:...

, Marina Bay Sands, offices located at Raffles Place
Raffles Place
Raffles Place is a geographical location in Singapore, south of the mouth of the Singapore River. Located in the Downtown Core and the Central Area, it features some of the tallest buildings and landmarks of the country.-History:...

, Marina Bay Financial Centre
Marina Bay Financial Centre
The Marina Bay Financial Centre , located along Marina Boulevard at Marina Bay, Singapore stands on a 3.55 hectare site, consisting of three office towers, two residential towers and retail space at Marina Bay Link Mall....

, Residential Apartments at The Sail @ Marina Bay
The Sail @ Marina Bay
The Sail @ Marina Bay is a waterfront lifestyle condominium located in the Marina Bay area in Singapore. It was completed in 2008. The first tenants have moved into Central Park Tower in July 2008. Residents moved into Marina Bay Tower a few weeks later. The structure of The Sail is and 70...

, and from atop the world's tallest ferris wheel - The Singapore Flyer
Singapore Flyer
The Singapore Flyer is a giant Ferris wheel located in Singapore, constructed in 2005–2008. Described by its operators as an observation wheel, it reaches 42 stories high, with a total height of , making it the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, taller than the Star of Nanchang and taller than...

. All of whom are facing the Marina Bay direction and overlooking the waterfront also.

Out on the watersfronts of Marina Bay, 20,000 inflatable 'wishing spheres' - carrying 500,000 wishes penned down by Singaporeans would formed a visual arts display filled with brilliant colors beamed from the spotlights erected along the Esplanade promenade open area.

The audiences would also be entertained by a host of variety shows and concerts staged at the Marina Bay floating platform stage featuring local and overseas artistes viewable by all at the bay and telecast live on the republic's local TV channel.

10 seconds to the stroke of midnight, the concert emcees would be initiating the final countdown together with the audiences. And thereafter, spectacular and glittering fireworks would be fired off from the waters at Marina Bay and lighting up the whole bay against the backdrop of the Singapore skyline
Raffles Place
Raffles Place is a geographical location in Singapore, south of the mouth of the Singapore River. Located in the Downtown Core and the Central Area, it features some of the tallest buildings and landmarks of the country.-History:...


Republic of China

In Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

, the end of the year is celebrated with concerts held in cities including Taoyuan
Taoyuan City
Taoyuan City is the county seat of Taoyuan County in Taiwan, located in the northwestern part of the island. Taoyuan city is the gateway of Taiwan: with the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in vicinity, and is a 30-minute ride to the capital, Taipei....

, Taichung
-Demographics:Taichung’s population was an estimated 1,040,725 in August 2006. There are slightly more females in the city than males.24.32% of residents are children, while 16.63% are young people, 52.68% are middle-age, and 6.73% are elderly....

, Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

, and Kaoshiung. Recently, the nation has used higher technology to communicate among the cities via video, enabling the cities to count down together. The most crowded city is the capital, Taipei, where most people gather by Taipei 101
Taipei 101
Taipei 101 , formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center, is a landmark skyscraper located in Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan. The building ranked officially as the world's tallest from 2004 until the opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010...

 and shopping centres in its vicinity. The tower is located in the shopping and financial area of the Xinyi District. People gather around the streets of Taipei 101 as they count down. With each number they count, one of the layers of Taipei 101 (eight floors per layer) lights up until zero, when the fireworks shoot out from the top of each layer (eight layers excluding a layer under the antenna) in different directions, as shown in the picture at right.


In English-speaking countries, a few popular songs are associated with New Year's Eve and it is common to hear them on the radio these countries on, or shortly before, December 31.
  • "Auld Lang Syne
    Auld Lang Syne
    "Auld Lang Syne" is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song . It is well known in many countries, especially in the English-speaking world; its traditional use being to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight...

    " (a song with words by Robert Burns
    Robert Burns
    Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide...

    , the song most closely associated with the holiday)
  • "Happy New Year
    Happy New Year (song)
    "Happy New Year" is a popular song by Swedish pop group ABBA from their 1980 album Super Trouper. The song's working title was all the more festive and humorous; "Daddy Don't Get Drunk on Christmas Day"...

    " by ABBA
    ABBA was a Swedish pop group formed in Stockholm in 1970 which consisted of Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Agnetha Fältskog...

  • "Imagine
    Imagine (song)
    "Imagine" is a song written and performed by the English musician John Lennon. It is the opening track on his album Imagine, released in 1971...

    " by John Lennon
    John Lennon
    John Winston Lennon, MBE was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music...

  • "It Was a Very Good Year
    It Was a Very Good Year
    "It Was a Very Good Year" is a song composed by Ervin Drake in 1961 for and originally recorded by Bob Shane of The Kingston Trio and subsequently made famous by Frank Sinatra's version in D-minor, which won the Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance, Male in 1966. Gordon Jenkins was awarded...

    " by Frank Sinatra
    Frank Sinatra
    Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer and actor.Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedentedly successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the...

  • "It's Just Another New Year's Eve
    It's Just Another New Year's Eve
    "It's Just Another New Year's Eve" is a song by Barry Manilow. It is based on a melody from Johann Sebastian Bach's Goldberg Variations....

    " by Barry Manilow
    Barry Manilow
    Barry Manilow is an American singer-songwriter, musician, arranger, producer, conductor, and performer, best known for such recordings as "Could It Be Magic", "Mandy", "Can't Smile Without You", and "Copacabana ."...

  • "Let's Start the New Year Right" from Holiday Inn
    Holiday Inn (film)
    Holiday Inn is a 1942 American musical film starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, with music by Irving Berlin. The film has twelve songs written expressly for the film, the most notable being "White Christmas"...

    by Bing Crosby
    Bing Crosby
    Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby was an American singer and actor. Crosby's trademark bass-baritone voice made him one of the best-selling recording artists of the 20th century, with over half a billion records in circulation....

  • "New Year's Day
    New Year's Day (song)
    "New Year's Day" is a song by rock band U2. It is on their 1983 album War and it was released as the album's lead single in January 1983. Written about the Polish Solidarity movement, "New Year's Day" is driven by Adam Clayton's distinctive bassline and The Edge's keyboard playing...

    " by U2
    U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono , The Edge , Adam Clayton , and Larry Mullen, Jr. . U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music...

  • "Same Old Lang Syne
    Same Old Lang Syne
    "Same Old Lang Syne" is a song sung by Dan Fogelberg released as a single in 1980. It was also included on his 1981 album The Innocent Age. The song is a narrative ballad told in the first person and tells the story of two long-ago lovers meeting by chance in a supermarket on Christmas Eve...

    " by Dan Fogelberg
  • "What a Wonderful World
    What a Wonderful World
    "What a Wonderful World" is a song written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss. It was first recorded by Louis Armstrong and released as a single in 1968. Thiele and Weiss were both prominent in the music world . Armstrong's recording was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999...

    " by Louis Armstrong
    Louis Armstrong
    Louis Armstrong , nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana....

Millennium Eve related songs

During the festivities for the year 2000, Prince's
Prince (musician)
Prince Rogers Nelson , often known simply as Prince, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Prince has produced ten platinum albums and thirty Top 40 singles during his career. Prince founded his own recording studio and label; writing, self-producing and playing most, or all, of...

1999 (song)
"1999" is a song by Prince, the title track from his 1982 album of the same name. The song is one of Prince's best-known, and a defining moment in his rise to superstar status....

" was re-released and enjoyed increased popularity due to the song's namesake year. Will Smith
Will Smith
Willard Christopher "Will" Smith, Jr. , also known by his stage name The Fresh Prince, is an American actor, producer, and rapper. He has enjoyed success in television, film and music. In April 2007, Newsweek called him the most powerful actor in Hollywood...

 also released a song titled "Will 2K
Willennium is Will Smith's second solo studio album. It was released on the heels of Smith's unprecedented success, Big Willie Style.-Album information:...

", which also proved successful, owing to the lyrics' celebration of millennium
A millennium is a period of time equal to one thousand years —from the Latin phrase , thousand, and , year—often but not necessarily related numerically to a particular dating system....

 parties. Robbie Williams
Robbie Williams
Robert Peter "Robbie" Williams is an English singer-songwriter, vocal coach and occasional actor. He is a member of the pop group Take That. Williams rose to fame in the band's first run in the early- to mid-1990s. After many disagreements with the management and certain group members, Williams...

 enjoyed a similar success with his 1998 single "Millennium
Millennium (song)
"Millennium" is a song by Robbie Williams, released as the first single from his second album, I've Been Expecting You. The song was released in 1998....

", as did Pulp
Pulp (band)
Pulp are an English alternative rock band formed in Sheffield in 1978. Their lineup consists of Jarvis Cocker , Russell Senior , Candida Doyle , Mark Webber , Steve Mackey and Nick Banks ....

 for their 1995 song "Disco 2000
Disco 2000 (song)
"Disco 2000" is a hit single by British band Pulp, released in 1995. It reached #7 in the UK Singles Chart. It was the third single from the album Different Class, following "Common People" and the double A-side "Mis-Shapes"/"Sorted for E's & Wizz", both of which reached #2.The song tells the story...


See also

  • Áramótaskaupið
    Áramótaskaupið , is an annual Icelandic television comedy special, broadcast on public television network Sjónvarpið which has been shown annually since Sjónvarpið started broadcasting in 1966. The show is an important part of Icelandic New Year's celebration for most Icelandic families...

     in Iceland
  • Chinese New Year
    Chinese New Year
    Chinese New Year – often called Chinese Lunar New Year although it actually is lunisolar – is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is an all East and South-East-Asia celebration...

  • Hogmanay Live
    Hogmanay Live
    Hogmanay Live is BBC Scotland's annual live event programme broadcast from either Edinburgh Castle's Great Hall or BBC Pacific Quay on Hogmanay . Regardless of location, the programme rings in the New Year with the firing of Edinburgh Castle's One O'Clock Gun and the subsequent fireworks and...

  • List of objects dropped on New Year's Eve
  • New Year
    New Year
    The New Year is the day that marks the time of the beginning of a new calendar year, and is the day on which the year count of the specific calendar used is incremented. For many cultures, the event is celebrated in some manner....

  • New Year's Day
    New Year's Day
    New Year's Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome...

  • New Year's Resolution
    New Year's resolution
    A New Year resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to one or more personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit. This lifestyle change is generally interpreted as advantageous. A New Years Resolution is generally a goal someone sets out to accomplish in the coming year...

  • Malanka
    Malanka is a Ukrainian folk holiday celebrated on January 13, which is New Year's Eve in accordance with the Julian calendar .Malanka commemorates the feast day of Saint Melania the Younger...

    , a Ukrainian holiday
  • Nowruz
    Nowrūz is the name of the Iranian New Year in Iranian calendars and the corresponding traditional celebrations. Nowruz is also widely referred to as the Persian New Year....

    , the Persian New Year

External links

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