NEW YEAR’S EVE
Every year on December 31st, people around the world celebrate New Year’s Eve, the last day of the year. It’s a day to say “goodbye” to the old and “hello” to the new.
Also known as Old Year’s Day or Saint Sylvester’s Day, New Year’s Eve is one of the most exciting holidays of the year. Some countries, such as the Philippines and Latvia, celebrate New Year’s Eve as a public holiday. In Japan, it’s a government holiday. In other countries, many businesses let their employees off of work early so that they can partake in the many festivities.
There are many reasons this day is one of the biggest nights of the year. Not just because it’s a time of big parties and celebrations all around the world. New Year’s Eve can be a significant turning point in your life. It’s a time to reflect on the past year and all of the lessons you have learned. It can be a time you decide to start making better choices. If you have had a rough year, New Year’s Eve offers a feeling of relief. You can be thankful that the year is finally over
New Year’s is also a time to forgive past mistakes and form new habits. Many people make New Year’s resolutions. Although, only 8% of people actually accomplish them. Instead of making resolutions that you’re not going to keep anyway, it’s better to set three or four goals. Breaking down goals into actionable steps, and reviewing your progress daily helps to keep them. It’s also a good idea to find a friend or mentor that can hold you accountable.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NewYearsEve
As we count down the last hours and seconds of the old year, it is an excellent time to look back at the year and reminisce with friends and family.
Many cities throughout the world go all-out to celebrate this exciting night. Fireworks, concerts, countdowns, and ball drops are usually among the many festivities. Some of the best cities to celebrate include New York City, Sydney, Bangkok, Dubai, Cape Town, London, and Las Vegas.
In Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries, it is a tradition to eat 12 grapes during the countdown to midnight, symbolizing hopes for the new year. Around the world, eating anything in the form of a circle or ring symbolizes coming full circle and is considered good luck.
As a Christian observance, it is traditional to hold an evening Mass the night before a Holy Day. New Year’s Day in the Roman Catholic Church honors the Virgin Mary. In some countries, St. Sylvester, Pope of the Catholic Church from 314 to 335, is celebrated on New Year’s Eve.
Other ways to participate:
- Host a party to ring in the New Year
- Set some achievable goals
- If you can’t be at a celebration, watch one live on television
- Have a game night with your family and see who lasts until midnight
- Go for a midnight run
- Attend a concert that goes past midnight
- Go ice-skating at a nearby park or indoor rink
- Kiss your spouse or significant other at midnight
- Enjoy a quiet evening at home journaling
- Think about what you can do to make next year the best one of your life
No matter what you decide to do to ring in the New Year, share it on social media with a picture and #NewYearsEve.
NEW YEAR’S EVE HISTORY
The first New Year’s celebrations were thought to be held in ancient Mesopotamia. Because of the calendar at the time, these celebrations took place in March. Ringing in the New Year consisted of an 11-day festival. When the calendar switched from the lunar year to the solar year, the New Year began in January. This occurred in 46. B.C., when an astronomer convinced Julius Caesar to follow the solar year. It seems that since way back then, the coming New Year has been cause for celebration. Through the years, many New Year’s traditions have formed. Some of which include fireworks, parties, and singing “Auld Lang Syne.”
New Year’s Eve FAQ
Q. When did Time’s Square drop the first ball on New Year’s Eve?
A. Time’s Square dropped the first New Year’s Eve ball in 1907.
Q. Was Time’s Square the first place to drop a ball to denote time?
A. No. Before that, many other countries dropped balls to signify the passage of time most specifically for maritime use. The time-ball was first suggested by Royal Navy captain Robert Wauchope. The idea was to have the ball placed high atop a building and near the harbor so that passing vessels could look through a spyglass and note the time. The balls were designed to drop at precisely 1 PM every day. Wauchope erected the first time-ball at Portsmouth, England. The one at Greenwich, England is the same one installed there in 1833 atop England’s Royal Observatory.
Q. How many people fall asleep before midnight on New Year’s Eve?
A. According to WalletHub, 12 percent of people fall asleep before the clock strikes midnight, but we suspect that number is higher.