Planning a New Year's Eve party can involve preparing the setting, the food, the drinks and possibly a game or two for guests, depending on the type of party and how many people will be attending. It is important to send invitations out to guests as early as possible to ensure that they won't RSVP to another party.
Unlike the Easter ham or Thanksgiving turkey, there is no one meal that has strong ties with New Year's Day. There are a number of foods, many with roots in other cultures, that are consumed on or around New Year's Day that are said to bring good luck to the person who eats them.
In many Southern states, consuming black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is supposed to bring prosperity and good luck. The black-eyed peas are usually part of a meal that includes pork, cornbread and often collard greens.
The first ball drop in New York's Times Square on New Year's Eve took place in 1907. The tradition of celebrating New Year's Eve in Times Square actually began a few years earlier in 1904.
The first baby born on New Year's Day gets a lot of media attention. The hospital or city where the baby is born may also give the parents a prize, ranging from a gift basket to a college scholarship.
The island nations of Kiribati and Samoa are the first countries to celebrate the new year. This is due to their position immediately west of the International Date Line, which determines the start and end of the time zone cycle. Hawaii is among the last to celebrate the new year.
The Chinese New Year begins at the end of the last month of the Chinese calendar, a date that varies every year according to the lunar calendar. The date is typically between mid-January and mid-February on the Gregorian calendar.
The oldest known New Year's resolutions date back to the Babylonian festival of Akitu, which occurred around 2000 B.C. Since then, individuals and groups from various cultures have resolved to renew allegiances or set new goals each New Year, according to Purch.
The festivities celebrating the Chinese New Year, which marks the beginning of the Chinese calendar, can last for approximately 15 days. The Chinese New Year celebration is also known as the "Spring Festival" or the "Lunar New Year" and is the most important festival within the Chinese culture.
The Times Square New Year's Eve Ball begins to drop at 11:59 p.m. on December 31 and completes its course exactly at 12 a.m. on January 1. If viewing the event on television, a person might see the drop at another time, depending on what time zone the program is based off of.
Some family celebration ideas for New Year's Eve include staying home to celebrate, preparing an extra-special meal or attending a family-oriented neighborhood celebration. Since babysitters are scarce, involve small children in the festivities by dressing them up and celebrating early instead of at midnight with sparkling cider and noisemakers.
While there are many Chinese New Year traditions, the most common and well known are the fireworks displays that are kicked off the evening before New Year's Day. These firework displays are said to be an homage to the noise, bright red colors and lights used to drive away the mythical beast Nien.
New Year's Eve in Greece is celebrated with fireworks and much evening entertainment, as nightspots and the streets become extremely crowded. Many hotels and other venues offer New Year's Eve parties much like they do in the United States.
New Years Eve in Luxembourg is celebrated with food, drinks, friends and fireworks. New Years Eve in Luxembourg is celebrated very similar to the way it is celebrated in the United States.
Celebrate New Year's Eve with your family by playing New Year's Bingo, making an end-of-the-year scavenger hunt, playing hide-and-seek with a ticking clock and guessing each others' resolutions. Make a New Year's Eve word scramble or crossword puzzle to solve as a family or have a silly-face competition.
Traditional ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year include setting off firecrackers, telling the legend of a mythical beast called Nian, making sacrificial offerings to ancestors on an altar, and performing lion and dragon dances. Other activities, such as decorating with red lanterns, are traditional in preparation of the holiday.
Some ways of celebrating the Chinese New Year include having a festive family dinner, fireworks displays and the gifting of red envelopes filled with money from adults to children. Red decorations like lanterns and door gods are commonly found adorning peoples' houses during the holiday.
In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar created leap years in the Julian calendar to accommodate his astronomer's estimate that one year was 365.25 days. By adding one day to the calendar every four years, the calendar would align with the seasons.
The most popular place to celebrate New Year's Eve in New York City is Times Square, where attendees can watch the world-famous Times Square Ball drop. Tourists around the city can attend a concert, go to a bar or restaurant, or take a cruise in the New York Harbor.
Thanksgiving Eve, also known as "Black Wednesday," is considered the biggest drinking night of the year in the United States of America. Bar owners and drink traders admit to the night before Thanksgiving as being one of the most favorable for business. Law enforcement officials are also on high alert during this time in order to avert drunk driving cases that are frequently reported during the time.
View Rose Parade floats at the post-parade showcase along Sierra Madre and Washington boulevards in Pasadena, California. TournamentofRoses.com also offers links to several social media accounts that display pictures of the Rose Parade floats, the parade itself and of the Rose Bowl.