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New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour.jpg
Sydney, Australia is one of the first major cities to ring in the New Year and its televised fireworks displays are watched by millions.
Also called
  • Hogmanay (Scotland)
  • Calennig (Wales)
  • Ambang/Malam Tahun Baharu/Baru (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore)
  • Silvester (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland)
  • Réveillon (Algeria, Brazil, France, Portugal, Romania, Wallonia, and French-speaking locations in North America)
  • Kanun Novogo Goda (Russia)
Observed by People around the world
Type International
Significance The final day of the Gregorianyear
Celebrations Reflection; late-night partying; family gatherings; feasting; gift exchanges; fireworks; countdowns; watchnight services; social gatherings, during which participants may danceeat, consume alcoholic beverages, and watch or light fireworks
Date December 31
Next time 31 December 2017
Frequency Annual
Related to New Year's Day




HKN's Davido entertaining the crowd at the Lagos Countdown 2012 in Nigeria

In Nigeria, the New Year's Eve is often celebrated by going to Church; others go to nightclubs, and parties organised by individuals, communities or State government like the Lagos Countdown. The Lagos Countdown is an event in Nigeria, created to increase tourism and making Lagos a premium destination for business and leisure. The event kicks off in December and lasts till 1 January. It is attended by an average of 100,000 people. The event takes place at the Eko Atlanticcity, beside the Barbeach attracting thousands of domestic and foreign tourists who are entertained every evening by different artists...


In Ghana, many people celebrate New Year's Eve by going to Church; others go to nightclubs, pubs, or take to the street to celebrate. At midnight, fireworks are displayed across various cities of Ghana, especially in Accra and Tema.



The burning of dolls is a local tradition in the city of La Plata.

Traditional celebrations in Argentina include a family dinner of traditional dishes, including vitel tonnéasadosandwiches de migapiononos. Like dessert: turrónmantecol and pan dulce.[2]

Just before midnight, people flock to the streets to enjoy fireworks and light firecrackers. The fireworks can be seen in any terrace. The first day of the New Year is celebrated at midnight with cider or champagne. People wish each other a happy New Year, and sometimes share a toast with neighbours. Parties often continue until dawn.

The celebration is during the summer, like in many South American countries, so it's normal to see many families in the New Year at tourist centers of the Argentine Atlantic coast (Mar del PlataNecocheaVilla GesellMiramar, etc.).[3]


The beach at Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro hosts millions of revelers.

The New Year (PortugueseAno Novo), is one of Brazil's main holidays. It officially marks the beginning of the summer holidays, which last until Carnival. Brazilians traditionally have a copious meal with family or friends at home, in restaurants or private clubs, and consume alcoholic beverages. Champagne is traditionally drunk. Those spending New Year's Eve at the beach usually dress in white, to bring good luck into the new year. Fireworks and eating grapes or lentils are customs associated with the holiday.

The beach at Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro is ranked among the top 10 New Year Fireworks display. The combination of live concerts, a spectacular fireworks display and millions of revelers combine to make the Copacabana's New Year's party one of the best in the world. In addition, the celebrations are broadcast on Rede Globo during Show da Virada.

The city of São Paulo hosts the Saint Silvester Marathon (Corrida de São Silvestre) which traverses streets between Paulista Avenue and the downtown area.[4]

In other regions, different events also take place. At FortalezaCeará, there is a party in the Praia de Iracema area. The party attracts more than one million people. It features fireworks and live music shows.[5][6][7]


New Year traditions and celebrations in Canada vary regionally. New Year's Eve (also called New Year's Eve Day or Veille du Jour de l'An in French) is generally a social holiday. In many cities, such as TorontoOttawa and Niagara Falls in OntarioEdmonton and Calgary in AlbertaVancouverBritish Columbia and MontrealQuebec, there are large celebrations which may feature concerts, late-night partying, sporting events, and fireworks, with free public transit service during peak party times in most major cities. In some areas, such as in rural Quebec, people ice fish in the old days. Since 2000, the highlight of New Year's Eve celebrations is in Montreal's old port, which comes alive with concerts that take place and fireworks at midnight.[8]

From 1956 to 1976, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians serenaded Canada on the CBC, via a feed from CBS, from the ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Park Avenue in New York City. After Lombardo's death in 1977, the Royal Canadians continued on CBC and CBS until 1978.

In 1992, the sketch comedy troupe Royal Canadian Air Farce began airing its annual Year of the Farce special on CBC Television, which features sketches lampooning the major events and news stories of the year. While the original 1992 edition was a one-off special, Year of the Farce episodes continued as a regular feature of the Air Farce television series which ran from 1993 to 2008—airing its series finale on December 31, 2008. Following the finale of the television series, the original cast continued to participate in New Year's Eve specials in the years following.[9][10]

Similarly, the CBC's French language network Ici Radio-Canada Télé airs its own yearly New Year's Eve comedy special, Bye Bye. Unlike Year of the FarceBye Byehas been presented by various comedians; originally running from 1968 to 1998, it was revived in 2006 by the Québécois troupe Rock et Belles Oreilles. Its 2008 edition, hosted and co-produced by Québécois television personality Véronique Cloutier, became infamous for several sketches that many viewers perceived as offensive, including sketches making fun of English Canadians and then American president-elect Barack Obama.[11]


Over one million visitors crowd the streets and beaches of Valparaisoeach New Year's Eve.

New Year's Eve is celebrated in Chile by the observation of traditional rituals, such as wearing yellow underwear and yellow clothing. It is said to restore vitality to your life. People who want to travel walk the streets with a suitcase in hand, others hold money in their hand or place coins at their door for good fortune in the new year. Celebrations include a family dinner with special dishes, usually lentils for good luck, and twelve grapes to symbolize wishes for each month of the coming year.[12]Family celebrations usually last until midnight, then some continue partying with friends until dawn. In Chile's capital Santiago, thousands of people gather at the Entel Tower to watch the countdown to midnight and a fireworks display.

There are several fireworks shows across the country. Over one million spectators attend the most popular, the "Año Nuevo en el Mar", in Valparaiso.[13] Since 2000, the sale of fireworks to individuals has been illegal,[14] meaning fireworks can now only be observed at major displays.

Many people also travel to Easter Island, off Chile's coast, to welcome the New Year.


In Colombia it is a traditional celebration. There are many traditions across the country. Included among these traditions are: a family dinner with special dishes, fireworks, popular music, wearing special or new clothes, eating empanadas and different parties. With each stroke of the clock until midnight, the families eat grapes.

Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, families usually gather around 8 pm for parties that last until 1 or 2 am, the next day. There are several traditions among Costa Rican families, including eating 12 grapes representing 12 wishes for the new year, and running across the street with luggage to bring new trips and adventures in the upcoming year.

El Salvador

In El Salvador, New Year's Eve is spent with families. Family parties start around 5:00 pm, and last until 1:00 to 3:00 am, the following day. Families eat dinner together and sing traditional New Year's Eve songs, such as "Cinco para las Doce". After the dinner, individuals light fireworks and continue partying outside. A radio station broadcasts a countdown to midnight. When the clock strikes midnight, fireworks are lit across the country. People start exchanging hugs and wishes for the new year.


A New Year's Eve tradition in Ecuador is for men to dress haphazardly in drag (clowny looking make-up, cheap colorful wigs, very hairy legs in miniskirts) for New Year's Eve representing the "widow" of the year that has passed. The "widows" then go to the streets and stop each car that passes on that particular street in order to parody some form of sexy dancing. Large crowds would gather around to watch and laugh at the entertainment and the drivers are forced to give the "widows" some coins in order to obtain passage through the street.

There are also traditional family events and meals and modern celebrations such as hosting parties and going to nightclubs. People usually eat grapes and drink Champagne with close family members and friends.

The main event takes place at midnight where fireworks are lit along with thousands of life-size effigies called "Año Viejo". Most every local family creates the effigy from paper scraps, old clothes or purchases it altogether. They place just outside the front of their home. The effigy represents things you disliked from the previous year and are made to look like famous celebrities, politicians, public servants, cartoons, etc. They are burnt right at midnight to shed the old year and represent a new beginning. Some of the braver Ecuadorians jump through these burning effigies 12 times to represent a wish for every month.


In Guatemala, banks close on New Year's Eve, and businesses close at noon.[15] In the town of Antigua, people usually gather at the Santa Catalina Clock Arch to celebrate New Year's Eve (SpanishFin del Año). In Guatemala City the celebrations are centered on Plaza Mayor. Firecrackers are lit starting at sundown, continuing without interruption into the night. Guatemalans wear new clothes for good fortune and eat a grape with each of the twelve chimes of the bell during the New Year countdown, while making a wish with each one.

The celebrations include religious themes which may be either Mayan or Catholic.[16] Catholic celebrations are similar to those at Christmas. Gifts are left under the tree on Christmas morning by the Christ Child for the children, but parents and adults do not exchange gifts until New Year's Day.[17]


Mexicans celebrate New Year's Eve, (Spanish: Vispera de Año Nuevo) by eating a grape with each of the twelve chimes of a clock's bell during the midnight countdown, while making a wish with each one. Mexican families decorate homes and parties in colors that represent wishes for the upcoming year: red encourages an overall improvement of lifestyle and love, yellow encourages blessings of improved employment conditions, green for improved financial circumstances, and white for improved health. Mexican sweet bread is baked with a coin or charm hidden in the dough. When the bread is served, the recipient of the slice with the coin or charm is said to be blessed with good luck in the New Year. Another tradition is to make a list of all the bad or unhappy events over the past 12 months; before midnight, this list is thrown into a fire, symbolizing the removal of negative energy from the new year.[18] At the same time, they are expressed for all the good things during the year that is ending so that they will continue in the new year.[19]

Mexicans celebrate with a late-night dinner with their families, the traditional meal being turkey or pork loin. Afterwards many people attend parties outside the home, for example, in night clubs. In Mexico City there is a street festival on New Year's Eve centered on the Zocalo, the city's main square.[20] Celebrations include firecrackers, fireworks and sparklers and shouts of "¡Feliz Año Nuevo!"

Puerto Rico

In Puerto Rico, New Year's Eve is celebrated with friends and family. The Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan is the main attraction for Puerto Ricans during the celebration. It has Latin music and fireworks at midnight along with the signature song "Auld Lang Syne" in Spanish.


During New Year's Eve in Suriname, the Surinamese population goes into cities' commercial districts to watch fireworks shows. This is a spectacle based on the famous red-firecracker-ribbons. The bigger stores invest in these firecrackers and display them in the streets. Every year the length of them is compared, and high praises are held for the company that has managed to import the largest ribbon. These celebrations start at 10 am and finish the next day. The day is usually filled with laughter, dance, music, and drinking. When the night starts, the big street parties are already at full capacity. The most popular fiesta is the one that is held at café 't Vat in the main tourist district. The parties there stop between 10 and 11 pm after which the people go home to light their pagaras (red-firecracker-ribbons) at midnight. After midnight, the parties continue and the streets fill again until daybreak.


In Port of Spain the tradition is to celebrate in one's yard with friends, family and neighbors, and eat and drink till sunrise. At midnight the city becomes festive with fireworks in every direction. The celebration only starts at midnight. Music is heard from all the houses and bars, nightclubs, street parties, Soca raves. The people are celebrating not only the new year but the beginning of the carnival season as well.

United States

The ball drop in New York City's Times Square attracts an average of 90,000 spectators yearly.

In the United States, New Year's Eve is celebrated with formal parties, family-oriented activities, and other large public events

The most prominent celebration in the country is the "ball drop" held in New York City's Times Square. Inspired by the time ballsthat were formerly used as a time signal, at 11:59 p.m. ET, an 11,875-pound (5,386 kg), 12-foot (3.7 m) diameter Waterford crystal ball located on the roof of One Times Square is lowered down a pole that is 70 feet high, reaching the roof of the building sixty seconds later to signal the start of the New Year. The event has been held since 1907, and has seen an average attendance of 90,000 yearly.[21] The popularity of the spectacle has inspired similar events outside of New York City, which often use objects that represent a region's culture, geography, or history—such as Atlanta's "Peach Drop", representing Georgia's identity as the "Peach State", and Brasstown, North Carolina's controversial lowering of a live opossum in a glass enclosure.[22][23]

Radio and television broadcasts of festivities from New York City helped to ingrain them in American pop culture; beginning on the radio in 1928, and on CBS television from 1956 to 1976 with ball drop coverage, Guy Lombardo and his band, The Royal Canadians, presented an annual New Year's Eve broadcast from the ballroom of New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The specialswere best known for the Royal Canadians' signature performance of "Auld Lang Syne" at midnight, which made the standardsynonymous with the holiday.[24][25] Following Lombardo's death in 1977, the competing program New Year's Rockin' Eve (which premiered for 1973 on NBC before moving to its current home, ABC, for 1975), succeeded the Royal Canadians as the dominant New Year's Eve special on U.S. television. Its creator and host, Dick Clark, intended the program to be a modern and youthful alternative to Lombardo's big band music. Including ABC's special coverage of the year 2000, Clark would host New Year's Eve coverage on ABC for 33 straight years. After suffering a stroke in December 2004 (resulting in Regis Philbin guest hosting for 2005), Clark retired as full-time host of the special for the 2006 edition, and was succeeded by Ryan Seacrest. Clark continued to make limited appearances on the special until his death in 2012.[26][27]