In the Gregorian calendar, New Year’s Eve, the last day of the year, is on December 31. Let’s see some amazing facts and traditions all over the world!
1.Each major city in Australia holds New Year’s Eve celebrations, usually accompanied by a fireworks display and other events. Gloucester Park, a racecourse in central Perth, is the largest and most recognized display in the Western Australian city.
2. In Brisbane events are held at Southbank.
3. At night, 50,000 people gather at sites around the Brisbane River to watch a fireworks display.
4. The largest celebration in Australia is held in its largest city: Sydney. Each year, the celebrations in Sydney are accompanied by a theme with two pyrotechnic shows: the 9:00 pm Family Fireworks and the Midnight Fireworks.
5. Centering on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the fireworks are synchronized to a blend of popular music and a lighting display called the “Bridge Effect”, which displays various symbols and other images related to the current year’s theme, located on the bridge itself. The “Midnight Fireworks” are regularly watched by approximately 1.5–2 million people at Sydney Harbour.
6. As one of the first major New Year’s celebrations globally each year, Sydney’s Midnight Fireworks are often broadcast throughout the world during the day of 31 December.
7. In Melbourne, the city follows suit with Sydney having a 9:30 Family Fireworks followed by the midnight fireworks. Celebrations are mostly centered on the Yarra River and Federation Square, as well as Docklands.
8. Most of the firework shows in Melbourne are launched from boats along the river and from atop the city’s various skyscrapers.
9. In China, although the celebrations of the Lunar New Year are not until a few weeks after the Gregorian New Year, celebrations of the Gregorian New Year are held in some areas, particularly in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xiamen.
10. Celebrations with fireworks and rock concerts have taken place in Beijing’s Solana Blue Harbor Shopping Park, while cultural shows and other events are held at the city’s Millennium Monument, Temple of Heaven, Great Wall of China and the Summer Palace.
11. Since 2011, a light and sound show has been held at The Bund in Shanghai, a few minutes before midnight
12. New Year traditions and celebrations in Canada vary regionally. New Year’s Eve (also called New Year’s Eve Day or Veille du Jour de l’An in French) is generally a social holiday. In many cities, such as Toronto and Niagara Falls in Ontario, Edmonton and Calgary in Alberta, Vancouver, British Columbia and Montreal, Quebec, there are large celebrations which may feature concerts, late-night partying, sporting events, and fireworks, with free public transit service during peak party times in most major cities.
13. In some areas, such as in rural Quebec, people ice fish in the old days. Since 2000, the highlight of New Year’s Eve celebrations is in Montreal’s old port, which comes alive with concerts that take place and fireworks at midnigh
14. Similarly, the CBC’s French language network Ici Radio-Canada Télé airs its own yearly New Year’s Eve comedy special, Bye Bye. Unlike Year of the Farce, Bye Bye has been presented by various comedians; originally running from 1968 to 1998, it was revived in 2006 by the Québécois troupe Rock et Belles Oreilles.
15. Its 2008 edition, hosted and co-produced by Québécois television personality Véronique Cloutier, became infamous for several sketches that many viewers perceived as offensive, including sketches making fun of English Canadians and then American president-elect Barack Obama.
16. New Year’s Eve in Greece has many traditions. During the day, children sing the New Year’s carols to be given money or treat. Then, it is time to have family lunch or dinner. In the evening, people cook a pie named “King’s pie (Vassilopita locally)”, which is a cake flavored with almonds.
17. Following tradition, they put a coin wrapped in aluminium foil inside the pie.
18. During the family dinner, the hostess puts some of her jewelry in a plate and serves it in the side of the table, as a symbol of the coming year’s prosperity. After the dinner is over, the dish is not washed until the next day. The reason for that is that Saint Vassilis (Greek Santa Claus) is awaited during the New Year’s Eve and it is considered common courtesy to leave some food for the traveler who visits the house to bring the presents during the night.
19. When midnight arrives, the families count down and then they turn off all the lights and reopen their eyes to “enter the year with a new light”. After the fireworks show, they cut the “Vassilopita” and serve it. The person that gets the wrapped coin is the lucky person of the day and he is also blessed for the rest of the year. Gifts exchanges may follow.
20. Fireworks are very popular in Iceland, particularly on New Year’s Eve. Bonfires are also very common, often accompanied by shows, musical events and food tables.
21. Iceland’s biggest New Year’s Eve events are usually in and around the capital, Reykjavík. Most Icelanders listen to the evening radio broadcast of the mass at Reykjavík’s cathedral. This is followed by dinner.
22. Nightclubs in the city are very crowded and tend to stay open until at least 5 am.
23. Áramótaskaupið (“The New Year’s comedy”) is an annual Icelandic television comedy special, which is an important part of the New Year for most. It focuses satirically on the past year, and shows little mercy for its victims, especially politicians, artists, prominent business people and activists. Neighbours then meet at their nearest large bonfire, while watching the midnight firework
24. In Italy, New Year’s Eve (Vigilia di Capodanno or Notte di San Silvestro) is celebrated by the observation of traditional rituals, such as wearing red underwear. An ancient tradition in southern regions (rarely followed today) was disposing of old or unused items by dropping them from the window.
25. Dinner is traditionally eaten with relatives and friends. It often includes zampone or cotechino (a meal made with pig’s trotters or entrails), and lentils. At 8:30 pm, the President reads a television message of greetings to Italians.
26. At midnight, fireworks are displayed all across the country. Rarely followed today is the tradition that consist in eating lentil stew when bell tolls midnight, one spoonful per bell.
27. This is supposed to bring good fortune; the round lentils represent coins.
28. In Norway New Year’s Eve (Nyttårsaften) is the second biggest celebration of the year, after Christmas Eve. While Christmas Eve is a family celebration, New Year’s Eve is an opportunity to celebrate with friends.
29. Traditionally, there is first a feast, commonly consisting of stuffed, roast turkey with potatoes, sprouts, gravy and Waldorf salad. The accompanying beverage is traditionally beer (commonly either Christmas beer or lager beer). Dessert will often be vanilla pudding or rice cream, and there will be cakes and coffee later in the evening – commonly accompanied by a glass of cognac.
30. Then, at close to 12 am on New Year’s Day, people will go outside to send up fireworks. Fireworks are only permitted to be sold to the general public on the days leading up to New Year’s Eve, and only to be launched that night.
31. Due to the general use of fireworks, more fires occur on New Year’s Eve than on any other day if the year in Norway. Accordingly, most Norwegian cities, and many towns, host a large, public fireworks display in order to discourage private use of fireworks in built-up areas. People will then congregate in a central square or similar to watch and celebrate.
32. In Portugal the New Year celebration is taken very seriously. The tradition is to drink champagne and eat twelve raisins – one for each month of the year, making a wish for each.
33. Another Portuguese tradition is a special cake called Bolo-Rei (literally: King Cake). Bolo-Rei is a round cake with a large hole in the centre, resembling a crown covered with crystallised and dried fruit. It is baked from a soft, white dough, with raisins, various nuts and crystallised fruit. Inside is hidden the characteristic fava (broad bean)
34. Tradition dictates that whoever finds the fava has to pay for the Bolo-Rei next year. Initially, a small prize (usually a small metal toy) was also included within the cake.
35. However, the inclusion of the prize was forbidden by the European Union for safety reasons. The Portuguese brought the recipe of the Gateau des Rois from France in the second half of the 19th century. To this day, this recipe is a very well kept secret.
36. In Lisbon the New Year is celebrated with a grand concert. The New Year’s Concert is held at the CCB (Centro Cultural de Belém) on the evening of 1 January, featuring the prestigious Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra.
37. Most Russians celebrate New Year’s Eve with their families and close friends. The origin of this holiday in Russia derives from Christmas. Christmas was also a major holiday in Russia until it was banned, with all other religious holidays, by the Communist Party. To compensate for the absence of Christmas, New Year’s was celebrated as much as Christmas was, but without the religious aspect of the holiday.
38. Even after the fall of the Soviet Union, New Year’s is celebrated in Russia and has become a Russian tradition. 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
39. Spanish New Year’s Eve (Nochevieja or Fin de Año) celebrations usually begin with a family dinner, traditionally including shrimp or prawns, and lamb or capon. The actual countdown is primarily followed from the clock on top of the Casa de Correos building in Puerta del Sol Square in Madrid.
40. 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 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 with cider.
41. The song “Un año más,” by the Spanish group Mecano, is frequently played.
42. Earlier in the evening at around 8:00, there is a 10k run called Carrera de San Silvestre which starts on the street called La Castellana and ends at the stadium of Vallejas. Professional runners come to Madrid for this 10k.
43. After the family dinner and the grapes, many young people attend cotillones de nochevieja parties (named for the Spanish word cotillón, which refers to party supplies like confetti, party blowers, and party hats) at pubs, clubs, and similar places. 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.
44. Early the next morning, party attendees usually gather to have the traditional winter breakfast of hot chocolate and fried pastry (chocolate con churros).
45. In England, clocks symbolize the transition that occurs at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.
46. The celebration in London focuses on Big Ben (Westminster Clock Tower) the bell and by association the clock housed in the clock tower at the Palace of Westminster. These celebrations are aired by the BBC and other networks. Parties are held across the country, in pubs, clubs, and private houses.
47. 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 which was, for the first time, set to a musical soundtrack
48. The celebrations in London continued into January 1, with the New Year’s Day Parade, held annually since 1987. The 2011 parade involved more than 10,000 musicians, cheerleaders and performers.
49. Other major New Year events are held in the cities of Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, and Newcastle.
50. Mexicans celebrate New Year’s Eve, (Spanish: Vispera de Año Nuevo) by eating a grape with each of the twelve chimes of a clock’s bell during the midnight countdown, while making a wish with each one. Mexican families decorate homes and parties in colors that represent wishes for the upcoming year: red encourages an overall improvement of lifestyle and love, yellow encourages blessings of improved employment conditions, green for improved financial circumstances, and white for improved health. Mexican sweet bread is baked with a coin or charm hidden in the dough.
51. When the bread is served, the recipient of the slice with the coin or charm is said to be blessed with good luck in the New Year. Another tradition is to make a list of all the bad or unhappy events over the past 12 months; before midnight, this list is thrown into a fire, symbolizing the removal of negative energy from the new year.
52. At the same time, they are expressed for all the good things during the year that is ending so that they will continue in the new year.
53. Mexicans celebrate with a late-night dinner with their families, the traditional meal being turkey or pork loin. Afterwards many people attend parties outside the home, for example, in night clubs. In Mexico City there is a street festival on New Year’s Eve centered on the Zocalo, the city’s main square.
54. Celebrations include firecrackers, fireworks and sparklers and shouts of “¡Feliz Año Nuevo!
55. In Puerto Rico, New Year’s Eve is celebrated with friends and family. The Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan is the main attraction for Puerto Ricans during the celebration.
56. It has Latin music, fireworks at midnight along with the signature song “Auld Lang Syne” in Spanish.
57. In the United States, New Year’s Eve is celebrated with formal parties, family-oriented activities, and other large public events.One of the most prominent celebrations in the country is the “ball drop” held in New York City’s Times Square. Inspired by the time balls that were formally used as a time signal, at 11:59 p.m. ET, an 11,875-pound (5,386 kg), 12-foot (3.7 m) diameter Waterford crystal ball located on the roof of One Times Square is lowered down a pole that is 70 feet high, reaching the roof of the building 60 seconds later to signal the start of the New Year.
58. The Ball Drop has been held since 1907, and in recent years has averaged around a million spectators annually. The popularity of the spectacle also inspired similar “drop” events outside of New York City, which often use objects that represent a region’s culture, geography, or history—such as Atlanta’s “Peach Drop”, representing Georgia’s identity as the “Peach State”.
59. Alongside the festivities in Times Square, New York’s Central Park hosts a “Midnight Run” event organized by the New York Road Runners, which culminates in a fireworks show and a race around the park that begins at midnight.
60. Radio and television broadcasts from festivities in New York helped to ingrain aspects of them in American pop culture; beginning on the radio in 1928, and on CBS television from 1956 to 1976 with ball drop coverage, Guy Lombardo and his band, The Royal Canadians, presented an annual New Year’s Eve broadcast from the ballroom of New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The broadcasts were best known for the Royal Canadians’ signature performance of “Auld Lang Syne” at midnight, which made the standard synonymous with New Year’s in the United States.
61. Following Lombardo’s death in 1977, ABC’s competing program New Year’s Rockin’ Eve succeeded the Royal Canadians as the dominant New Year’s Eve special on U.S. television. Its creator and host Dick Clark intended the program to be a modern and youthful alterntive to Lombardo’s big band music. Including ABC’s special coverage of the year 2000, Clark would host New Year’s Eve coverage on ABC for 33 straight years. After suffering a stroke, Clark ceded hosting duties in 2005 to talk show host Regis Philbin, and retired as full-time host in 2006 in favor of Ryan Seacrest due to a speech impediment caused by the stroke.
62. Clark continued to make appearances from a studio on the program annually until his death in 2012.
63. Notable celebrations occur in other U.S. cities as well. On the Las Vegas Strip, the streets are closed to vehicle traffic on the evening of New Year’s Eve, and a large fireworks show is held at midnight which spans across multiple resort buildings. Major theme parks may also hold New Year’s celebrations; Disney theme parks, such as Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland in Anaheim, California, are traditionally the busiest during the days up to and including New Year’s Eve.
64. Los Angeles, a city long without a major public New Year celebration, held an inaugural gathering in Downtown’s newly completed Grand Park to celebrate the beginning of 2014. The event included food trucks, art installations, and light shows, culminating with a projection mapping show on the side of Los Angeles City Hall near midnight. The inaugural event drew over 25,000 spectators and participants.
65. In 2015, Chicago held Chi-Town Rising, the city’s first ever outdoor New Year’s Eve festival on the Magnificent Mile. The event was hosted by Mario Lopez with musical guests American Authors and Chicago. Nearly 100,000 people attended the inaugural event.
66. In Austria, New Year’s Eve is usually celebrated with friends and family. At exactly midnight, all radio and television programmes operated by ORF broadcast the sound of the Pummerin, the bell of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, followed by the Donauwalzer (“The Blue Danube”) by Johann Strauss II.
67. Many people dance to this at parties or in the street. Large crowds gather in the streets of Vienna, where the municipal government organises a series of stages where bands and orchestras play. Fireworks are set off by both municipal governments and individuals.
68. In Belgium, New Year’s Eve (Sint Sylvester Vooravond (“Saint Sylvester’s Eve”) or Oudjaar (“old year”)) is celebrated with family parties, called réveillons in the French speaking areas. On television, a stand-up comedian reviews the past year after which a musical or variety show signals midnight, when everyone kisses, exchanges good luck greetings, and toasts the New Year and absent relatives and friends with champagne. Many people light fireworks or go into the street to watch them.
69. Most cities have their own fireworks display: the most famous is 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.
70. On January 1 (Nieuwjaarsdag in Dutch) children read their “New Year’s letter” and give holiday greeting cards of decorated paper featuring golden cherubs and angels, colored roses and ribbon-tied garlands to parents and godparents, on decorated paper.
71. Belgian farmers also wish their animals a happy New Year
72. New Year’s Eve (Silvestr/Silvester) celebrations and traditions in Czech Republic and Slovakia are very similar. New Year’s Eve is the noisiest day of the year. People generally gather with friends at parties, in pubs, clubs, in the streets, or city squares to eat, drink, and celebrate the new year.
73. Fireworks are a popular tradition; in large cities such as Bratislava, or Prague, the fireworks start before noon and steadily increase until midnight. In the first minutes after midnight, people toast with champagne, wish each other a happy new year, fortune and health, and go outside for the fireworks.
74. In both countries all major TV stations air entertainment shows before and after the midnight countdown, which is followed by the National anthem of each country. The Presidents of the republics gave their New Year speech in the morning – the new Czech President Miloš Zeman renewed the tradition of Christmas speeches. In recent years however the Czechoslovak national anthem is played at midnight, in honor of the shared history of both nations.
75. In France, New Year’s Eve (la Saint-Sylvestre) is usually celebrated with a feast, le Réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre (Cap d’Any in Northern Catalonia). This feast customarily includes special dishes including foie gras, seafood such as oysters, and champagne. The celebration can be a simple, intimate dinner with friends and family or, une soirée dansante, a much fancier ball.
76. On New Year’s Day (le Jour de l’An) friends and family exchange New Year’s resolutions, kisses, and wishes. Some people eat ice cream.
77. The holiday period ends on January 6 with the celebration of Epiphany (Jour des Rois). A traditional type of flat pastry cake, la galette des rois, made of two sheets of puff pastry, filled with frangipane (almond paste) is eaten. The cake contains a fève, a small china doll; whomever finds it becomes king or queen and gets to wear a gold paper crown and choose his or her partner. This tradition can last up to two weeks.
78. In Germany, parties are common on New Year’s Eve (Silvester). Fireworks are very popular, both with individuals and at large municipal displays. December 31 and the three days leading up to it are the only four days of the year on which fireworks may be sold in Germany.
79. Every year Berlin hosts one of the largest New Year’s Eve celebrations in all of Europe, attended by over a million people. The focal point is the Brandenburg Gate, where midnight fireworks are centered. Germans toast the New Year with a glass of Sekt (German sparkling wine) or champagne.
80. 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.A line from the comedy sketch, “the same procedure as every year”, has become a catch phrase in Germany.
81. Molybdomancy (Bleigießen) is another German New Year’s Eve tradition, which involves telling fortunes by the shapes made by molten lead dropped into cold water.
82. Other auspicious actions are to touch a chimney sweep or have him rub some ash on your forehead for good luck and health. Jam-filled doughnuts (called Berliners) with and without liquor fillings are eaten. Finally a tiny marzipan pig is consumed for more good luck.
83. In some northern regions of Germany (e.g. East Frisia) the making of Speckdicken is another tradition – people go door to door visiting their neighbors and partaking in this dish. It looks similar to a pancake, but the recipe calls for either dark molasses or dark syrup, with summer sausage and bacon in the center.
84. In South Sudan, people attend church services at many churches in Juba. The service begins at 9PM. At the stroke of midnight, people sing “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”. The service ends at 12:30AM.
85. In Hong Kong, people usually gather in Central, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui, to celebrate and to look at the night lights along the harbor. The Times Square shopping mall also holds their own celebration of the ball drop held at Times Square in New York City. District-wide celebrations also occur in Tsuen Wan, Sha Tin, Mong Kok, and Kwun Tong.
86. Beginning in 2008, a 60-second numerical countdown to New Year’s, consisting of LED lights and pyrotechnic display effects, on the facade of Two International Finance Centre was launched, followed by a firework display and an exhibition of the Symphony of Lights. For the arrival of 2013, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre initiated the countdown, while the fireworks display and A Symphony of Lights show were extended to eight minutes.
87. Most celebrations take place in the major metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune, Ahmedabad. New Year is also celebrated in other cities and towns around the country like Agra, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, etc., There are lots of shows, events, awards and parties organized all over India. Big and small celebrities and personalities perform as well as enjoy in these parties. Many Discos and Pubs organize big singers, DJs or local talent to liven up the night with their music and songs. Goa is the most visited destination during New Year’s celebration both by Indian and foreign tourists.
88. Major events like live concerts and dances by Bollywood stars are also organized and attended mostly by youngsters. More often people like to celebrate the New Year Eve with their family. Hotels and resorts are also decked up in anticipation of tourist arrival and intense competition makes them entice the tourists with exciting New Year offers. Many people across the country also follow old traditions. The Hindu community organize Pujas for a fruitful year ahead and the Christian community often go to church for a watch night service till midnight praying for blessing in the coming new year.
89. Mongolians began celebrating the Gregorian New Year in the Socialist period, with influence from the former Soviet Union. As a modern tradition, New Year’s Eve as well as New Year’s Day are public holidays, and are two of the biggest holidays of the year. They celebrate New Year’s Eve with their family. It is common, just like in the former Soviet Union, that the National Anthem of Mongolia is to be played at the midnight hour on television.
90. In Guatemala, banks close on New Year’s Eve, and businesses close at noon. In the town of Antigua, people usually gather at the Santa Catalina Clock Arch to celebrate New Year’s Eve (Spanish: Fin del Año). In Guatemala City the celebrations are centered on Plaza Mayor. Firecrackers are lit starting at sundown, 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 or Catholic.Catholic celebrations are similar to those at Christmas. Gifts are left under the tree on Christmas morning by the Christ Child for the children, but parents and adults do not exchange gifts until New Year’s Day