New Year’s Eve
Just about everyone in the world is familiar with the concept of New Year’s Eve. It is something that happens in every country in the world and is known for being the day before a brand new year. A time of the year when people get together and celebrate the trials and tribulations of the past year, and set their gaze towards the coming of the next year. A time when anything and everything seems possible.
For most countries using the Gregorian calendar, this time of the year occurs on December 31st. It is a time when friends and family get together to enjoy each others company, good food, music, dancing and probably too much alcohol. It is also the time of the year when people start thinking about their resolutions – or what they want to accomplish – for the coming year.
How the people in each country celebrate this holiday is as diverse as the countries themselves. In fact, some times holiday traditions vary from region to region inside the same country. While we can’t cover every single tradition of this holiday that is celebrated in every single country, what we can do is get a flavor of the holiday by looking at a few of them to see how people in that country celebrate this day.
The United States
One of the biggest and most prominent tradition in the U.S is the dropping of the ball in Times Square, New York. It is an event that is watched by people from around the world. It features a gigantic ball (weighing almost 12,000 lbs and measuring 12 feet in diameter) made out of Waterford Crystal dropping from the top of a seventy foot pole in the last minute before New Years. When it reaches the ground, it is exactly 12 Midnight Eastern Time. At this time, everyone grabs their significant other and plants a big wet kiss on them.
Known as St.Sylvester Day in Germany, one of the biggest celebrations in that country is in the city of Berlin. A huge outdoor party, one of the biggest ones in Europe, occurs on this night. It covers the 2 km stretch between Brandenburg Gate and Victory Column, and features live music acts, disc jockeys, fireworks, light shows and a lot of fun.
After sunset, many people in Iceland go to mass and enjoy time with their families around neighborhood bonfires. It may sound tame, but when the clock strikes midnight the whole country explodes – literally. Over 500 tons of fireworks light the skies in this country. A way to blast in the new year.
As you can see, New Year’s Eve is a day enjoyed by people around the world. It is also a chance to think about the new start that one can have with the beginning of another year.