Fun Facts: New Year's Eve Celebrations Around the World
New Year's Eve has come and gone again, and we wanted to take a look at the different ways that it's celebrated all around the world. A few years ago we looked at some worldwide New Year's Eve celebrations, and we've found some even more interesting ones this year!
Here in London we had an awesome fireworks display over the River Thames, the London Eye was lit up, and everyone got to ride the London Underground for free all night. Here's how it looked close up:
The next day we had the traditional New Year's Day Parade, which was great fun for anyone who could rouse themselves out of bed in time to go and see it!
In other places around the world, people do things a little bit differently. Here's a few of the ways people celebrate New Year's Eve:
In Mexico, people celebrate by eating a grape with each of the twelve chimes of a clock's bell during the countdown, and they make a wish at each chime. They also decorate their homes with different colors, depending on their wishes for the new year. Lastly, they bake a sweet bread with a coin in it, and whomever gets the coin is supposed to have good luck for the year.
New Year's Eve is a big deal in America, and they have some well known traditions. The most famous is gathering in Times Square in New York City, and watching a television show that was hosted by Dick Clark for 33 years. The show includes the traditional performance of the song "Auld Lang Syne", and at midnight a large mirror ball is dropped from a tower, hitting the ground at midnight.
In Estonia, people believe that you should eat seven, nine or twelve times, on New Year's Eve, as these are lucky numbers.
Berlin is home to one of the largest New Year's Eve celebrations in Europe - over a million people normally show up! The festival is called Silvester, and usually involves lots of parties, fireworks, and a glass of Sekt (German sparkling wine) or champagne.
In Italy people enjoy celebrating a few ancient traditions, like wearing red underwear. Revellers enjoy a dinner usually made with pig trotters and lentils, and a spoonful is eaten with every chime of the bell at midnight.
New Year's Eve in Russia became a very big celebration in the 20th century, because religious holidays like Christmas were banned under the Soviet Union. Because of this, everyone put all of their party energy into New Year's Eve, and it's become a much loved tradition.
In Scotland, New Year's Eve is called Hogmanay and is usually celebrated by visiting friends and family with gifts of whisky or a lump of coal (which was traditionally used as fuel, and quite useful in the middle of winter). Edinburgh hosts one of the world's most famous New Year's Eve celebrations.
New Year's Eve is one of Brazil's main holidays, and officially starts the summer holidays, which last until Carnival.
In Ecuador, men dress up as women to represent the "widow" of the year that has been and gone. Life-size dolls that represent last year's bad luck are burnt in the streets.
The tiny island of Kiribati is the first place in the world to celebrate New Year's Eve, being closest to the International Date Line!
Hong Kong has its own Times Square shopping mall, where they hold their own version of the ball drop that has become famous in New York City.
In Japan, New Year's Eve is used to welcome Toshigami, the New Year's god. People decorate their houses specially to welcome the god. Buddhist temples ring their bells 108 times, to represent the 108 elements of bonō (negative mental states).
Have we missed any interesting New Year's Eve celebrations? If you know of any, let us know in the comments!
rouse - to wake up
chime - the sound of a bell
revellers - people celebrating an event