Word of the moment: New Year

People around the world celebrate the New Year, no matter who or where they are. In most western countries, it is celebrated on the last day of December.

However, the Chinese New Year falls in the end of January, and the Islamic New Year is celebrated in November. No matter when it is celebrated, welcoming in a new year often goes hand in hand with a wonderful celebration, full of fun and people getting together.

In the United States, we love to party and have huge celebrations. For us, the largest spectacle is in Time Square in New York City. Every year on New Year’s Eve, thousands of people gather in Time Square and millions more turn on their TV to watch the huge Time Square Ball descend. This famous ball has been helping us ring in the New Year since December 31st, 1907.

The countdown to the New Year starts early in the day, but the real excitement level increases as midnight approaches. Finally, when there are only ten seconds left before midnight, everyone counts down together as they watch the ball fall, and then screams: “HAPPY NEW YEAR!”

There will be people laughing, yelling, cheering, drinking, kissing, and using noisemakers beyond the stroke of midnight. There are fireworks, champagne, and a whole night of festivities. The next day, January 1st, is generally a public holiday, which means most places of work are closed to allow for recovery and some more time with family and friends following the big celebration.

On this day, many people will make a ‘New Year’s Resolution’. A ‘New Year’s Resolution’ is a promise to do or accomplish something in the next year. For most people, this involves a vow to be healthier, find a new job, learn something new, or in some way make the upcoming year better than the last. Two years ago, I told myself I should read more books, and since then I have kept this resolution. We like to say ‘out with old and in with the new’ for New Year’s.

What does your country do for New Year? Do you have any of the same traditions as we do? When do you celebrate your New Year’s Day? It’s always interesting to hear about other people and their celebrations and practices. Do you have plans for this New Year?