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.
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 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.
As of 2014, the biggest New Year celebration in the world is held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. On New Year's Eve, about 2 million residents gather on Copacabana Beach to celebrate.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Common American New Year's dishes include black-eyed peas, pork, fish, sauerkraut, long noodles and cornbread. The traditional dishes that Americans enjoy each New Year's Day are as multicultural as the country's citizenry, reports FoodTimeline.org.
On Chinese New Year, many Chinese eat foods such as spring rolls, longevity noodles, fish and dumplings. Each of these foods is thought to bring luck to the person who eats them.
Some popular New Year's Eve events are the Times Square New Year's Eve celebration, Nashville's Bash on Broadway and Atlanta's Peach Drop. The ball drop in Times Square is by far the biggest of these events and features a 12-foot crystal ball lowered to the roof of One Times Square.
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.
Children can celebrate the Chinese New Year by making crafts such as red candles, Chinese paper cuts and Chinese firecrackers. Firecrackers were traditionally set off at the Chinese New Year to warn away the man-eating monster Nian. Lanterns can be made for the fifteenth and final day of the New Year, the Lantern Festival.
Several websites offer New Year's coloring pages, including Coloring.ws and Holiday Crafts and Creations. The website for Crayola crayons also offers several New Year's coloring pages.
A traditional Irish blessing for the New Year is, "In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship but never in want." This is a roundabout way of wishing friends a prosperous coming year that is free of trouble.
One activity for New Year's Eve is a game where guests anonymously write down resolutions on paper and mix them into a basket. Resolutions are read aloud, and guests write down the name of the person they believe wrote it. The guest with the most correct guesses wins a prize.