A new year is right around the corner. This year is flying by quickly with no time to spare for Christmas shopping or gift wrapping. In a blink of an eye, school will be out, winter will begin, and Christmas will soon be over. But what comes after Christmas?
New Year's Eve is a major social holiday for many people in the United States as the start of the new year. Many people hold parties at home or attend special celebrations to welcome the upcoming year. In many cities, large scale public events are held, such as the annual ball drop in Times Square. The ball is dropped at 11:59 and hits the ground at exactly midnight, which is a tradition that started in 1907. Although much of this celebration occurs the night before, the merrymaking typically continues into New Year's Day. Football is a common fixture on New Year's Day in America, especially the Rose Bowl game.
According to Patricia Weatherly, junior at New Haven High School, “What I enjoy most about New Year's is the chance to take the past year's failures and turn them into next year's successes.”
The celebration of New Years can be different to everyone. At a gathering of loved ones, you might find feasting, confetti, noise makers, resolutions, and other methods of merriment such as fireworks, parades, and concerts. Many English speaking countries play "Auld Lang Syne," a song celebrating the past year's happy moments at the stroke of twelve. “New Years plans usually involve a nice dinner and spending it with family friends and their kids,” Laura adds.
It is believed that the Babylonians were the first to make New Year's resolutions, and people all over the world have been breaking them ever since. Common resolutions concern diet, exercise, bad habits, and other issues concerning personal wellness. A common goal is to use the first day of the year as a clean slate to improve one's life.
However, not everyone agrees with this philosophy. Taylor Gillespie comments, “I have no resolutions because it's still the same life I was living before. Just because 4 numbers change on a calendar does NOT mean that it's a new me.” Although some people look for a resolution, others just want the new year to surprise them.
American citizens often celebrate with a party featuring toasting and fireworks late into the night before the New Year, where the gathering counts down the final seconds to January 1st. Some foods considered "lucky" to eat during the festivities of New Year’s include circular shaped foods, black-eyed peas, cabbage, and pork.
The tradition of fireworks on New Year's eve is believed to have originated in ancient times, when noise and fire were thought to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck. The Chinese are credited with inventing fireworks and use them to spectacular effect in their New Year's celebrations.
Throughout America, and even the world, everyone looks forward to the new year, whether they plan on setting goals or just letting life take them wherever they may go.