Ringing in the New Year Holiday-American Style
New Year Reflections
There is something magical about the New Year approach in America. It’s a time that we can reflect on everything that we accomplished or did not accomplish for the year we are completing and it’s a time to look forward to our plans for the future.
For many, a new year brings about a feeling of wiping the slate clean…of starting over and hoping for something better. For others, it is simply a fun celebration. Whatever your reason for the season, there are likely some very common traditions that you celebrate as we move from this year to the next.
New Year Celebrations
Party the Night Away
If there is one thing that we know how to do right in the United States, it’s celebrating and New Year’s is the time to come together and celebrate like never before. Most people participate in some sort of celebratory party on New Year’s Eve, whether it is a simple get together at home or a full blown Hollywood style extravaganza.
These parties will go well into the night and will only be paused at midnight where everyone will count down to the New Year. These parties can vary drastically from one to the next, but they all have one central theme; watching the clock for midnight. However, at these parties, Cinderella doesn’t have to leave when the clock strikes midnight and the celebration is likely to continue well into the night.
New Year Confetti
The Traditional Kiss
It’s tradition (and considered bad luck if you miss out) to receive a kiss at midnight on New Year’s. In the past, this was reserved for the person you were married to or dating, but the tradition has now advanced to include anyone in your nearby vicinity. As long as there is someone nearby to smooch, you should be expected to pucker up; even if it’s only once.
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Champagne is also a popular tradition at New Year’s and it is common to toast a tall glass of it after midnight (after the kiss of course). Even the little ones get in on this tradition, but it is common to switch out the alcoholic version for a sparkling grape juice instead.
The New Year Toast
Bring on the Fireworks
If you have been saving some of those fireworks that have been left over from Independence Day, you can now bring them back out for one last hoorah for the year. At midnight, there are firework displays all around the country; some put on by major establishments, like The White House and others going off in neighborhood backyards all around the country.
One of the most popular items that you will commonly find at parties is a champagne bottle that will blow out streamers when the string is pulled. These are often used for indoor purposes and are a fun way to have fireworks when you are not at a location where the outdoor version would be practical. It is likely that you will find many different versions of these ‘poppers’ on display in a variety of sizes before the big day arrives.
This song about reflection will be heard at many parties as a final welcoming act after the clock strikes midnight. Although it was traditionally a Scottish song, this has been adapted to fit the holiday and is now belted out by many tipsy people all around the country. Don’t worry about getting all the lyrics right because it’s really the melody that everyone knows and loves.
Reflect on the Year Passed
Being the holiday that it is, New Year’s doesn’t come without its share of national events and parties. For example, one of the biggest celebrations in the nation happens in Time’s Square, New York City, when the famous ‘Ball Drops’ at midnight.
If you aren’t in attendance, that’s ok, because it is likely to be playing on a television screen nearby. The major icon at this celebration is Dick Clark, who hosted it for many years and the celebration still holds his name even after his passing.
When the sun finally does rise, the celebration continues with the annual Rose Bowl Parade takes place in Pasadena, California, which is followed by the Rose Bowl football game. This parade is famous for the beautiful rose covered floats and the bands that participate there as well.
Another tradition that takes place across the country is certain foods that you are typically supposed to eat in order to have luck with you for the following year. While there may be some variation between different areas of the country, there are some standards that are followed. Below are seven of the most common foods that are consumed and the reason that they are popular:
- Greens – They resemble money in color and we all need more of that!
- Black Eyed Peas – Once again…they kind of look like coins, but this could also symbolize fertility and humility as well.
- Noodles – Symbolizes a long life
- Fruit – There are a number of different reasons for this one, depending on the area that you live
- Pork – Represent that life will move forward
- Cake – Since they are round, they represent coming full circle
- Fish – Represents abundance
Planning the New Year
New Year’s is a time for celebration and a time to decide what you plan to do for the coming year. While most people don’t stick to their ‘resolutions’ for very long, it is always fun to begin the year with a vigor to be better in the future and the hope that life will only improve from the year before.
© 2014 starme77
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