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New Years in America

Updated on November 28, 2012

How Amercians Celebrate New Years

New Years Eve

On December 31st people will be gathering with friends and family to bring in the new year at midnight. Those that live on the East Coast will be the first in America to countdown to midnight. The big event happens in New York City where thousands of people from all over gather to watch the New Year Ball drop in Time Square. For those who don't want to be caught in the crowd and the cold, millions of people will be watching it on TV.

The tradition of the ball dropping began in 1907. The ball has changed over the years, it originally was made of iron and wood, now it's made of Waterford Crystal. At one time the ball was changed to a shape of an apple, depicting New York as the "big apple". But that didn't last very long, because people wanted the ball back. The Waterford Crystal ball is about six feet in diameter and weighs 1,070 pounds.

In America, when the ball drops, everyone shouts "Happy New Year!" and kiss and hug the people they are celebrating with, while the song "Auld Lang Syne " is playing in the background. There is horn blowing, champagne toasting, eating certain foods to bring good luck. Some people shoot off cannons, bang pots & pans and party in the streets. Some states shoot off fireworks. States in different time zones are watching the New York or Washington DC countdown on TV.

Most people have New Year's Eve parties in their homes or they go out to a restaurant or banquet hall where there is dancing and a live band, along with dinner and a champagne toast Sometimes parties don't end until 4 a.m. Most stores and businesses are closed New Year's Day. Americans also make New Year's resolutions such as; losing weight, giving up smoking etc., but bad habits are hard to break.

New Years Day

January 1st the beginning of the year is usually a family dinner day in America. The food served is usually a ham, roast beef, or lasgna depending on ones heritage. Black-eyed peas with ham is a southern tradition, believing that eating the peas will bring good luck the whole year.

We also have the Rose Bowl Parade from Pasadena, California on New Year's Day with all their lovely floral elaborate floats. And of course, we have the anticipated football games that follow the Rose Bowl Parade.

The truth about Auld Lang Syne

The song "Auld Lang Syne" originated in Scotland after a poet named Robert Burns heard an old man singing it in his hometown. Burns made some revisions to it and published it in his book titled Scots Musical Museum in 1796.

But it was band leader Guy Lombardo who made the song popular in America who heard it sung by Scottish immigrants in London where he lived. He first played the song at a New Year's Eve party at the Rosevelt Hotel in New York in 1929 and from there a tradition was born.Later, the song was played every New Year's Eve from the 1930s until 1976 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. It was first played on radio and then later on television.

Today the song is always played on the air waves on New Year's Eve. It wouldn't feel like New Years Eve without it. The song is bitter sweet because it means; the good old times, lets not forget the special people in our lives, living or dead. The song always brings tears to my eyes as one year closes and another one begins.

In Memory of Dick Clark 4/18/2012 R.I.P.

A Young Dick Clark
A Young Dick Clark | Source

New Year's Eve TV Hosts

Americans usually bring in the New Year by watching the ball drop on television. It was a tradition to watch band leader, Guy Lombardo and his orchestra dance party prior to the 1970s. This was very popular to the 40+ crowd. For the younger crowd, there wasn't any New Years Eve party to watch until 1972 when Dick Clark hosted and produced the Rock N' New Years Eve live from Time Square. Dick Clark presented the popular rock bands and pop stars for 40 years. In the year 2004, Dick Clark was unable to host the show do to a stroke that effected his speech. Regis Philbin filled in for Clark in December 2004. But after that year, he came back on the air for New Years Eve with some help with guest hosts. His last appearance was December 2011. Sad to say that Dick Clark passed away April 18, 2012 from a massive heart attack. He will be greatly missed!

Dick Clark's Last Appearance 12/31/2011

A Tribute to Dick Clark Rockn' Eve By Regis

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