New Years Eve

In the Gregorian calendar, New Year’s Eve, the last day of the year, is on December 31. In many countries, New Year’s Eve is celebrated at evening social gatherings, where many people dance, eat, drink alcoholic beverages, and watch or light fireworks to mark the new year. Some people attend Church services. The celebrations generally go on past midnight into January 1 (New Year’s Day). Island nations of Kiribati and Samoa are the first to welcome the New Year while Honolulu, Hawaii is among the last places to welcome the New Year.The United Kingdom’s celebrations are noticeably divided among the three nations that compose it: England, Scotland and Wales (each has its section below). In England, clocks symbolize the transition that occurs at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. The celebration in London focuses on Big Ben, the bell and by association, the clock housed in the clock tower at the Palace of Westminster. The celebrations are televised from London by the BBC in the English regions, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Parties are held across the country, in pubs, clubs, and private houses.

At the stroke of midnight, people join hands in a ring and sing Auld Lang Syne. On New Year’s Eve 2010, an estimated 250,000 people gathered to view an eight-minute fireworks display around and above the London Eye which was, for the first time, set to a musical soundtrack. The soundtrack included songs by British artists such as Blur, The Beatles, and Queen. The celebrations in London continued into January 1, with the New Year’s Day Parade, held annually since 1987. The 2011 parade involved more than 10,000 musicians, cheerleaders and performers. For the arrival of 2012, there were a few small changes. In addition to the fireworks going off at the London Eye, more fireworks went off from the Big Ben with every chime.Other major New Year events are held in the cities of Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, and Newcastle. Bideford, in north Devon, is also known for its New Year’s Eve celebrations, featuring a carnival and fancy dress. The celebration centers on Bideford’s quayside and around its Old Bridge, with a lone piper playing Auld Lang Syne at midnight, followed by a fireworks display.

The Welsh tradition of giving gifts and money on New Year’s Day (Calennig) is an ancient custom that survives in modern-day Wales, though nowadays it is now customary to give bread and cheese. Thousands of people descend every year on Cardiff to enjoy live music, catering, ice-skating, funfairs and fireworks. Many of the celebrations take place at Cardiff Castle and Cardiff City Hall. Every New Year’s Eve, the Nos Galan road race (Rasys Nos Galan), a 5-kilometre (3.1 mi) running race, is held in Mountain Ash in the Cynon Valley, Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales. The race celebrates the life and achievements of Welsh runner Guto Nyth Brân. Founded in 1958 by local runner Bernard Baldwin, it is run over the 5 kilometre route of Guto’s first competitive race. The main race starts with a church service at Llanwynno, and then a wreath is laid on Guto’s grave in Llanwynno graveyard. After lighting a torch, it is carried to the nearby town of Mountain Ash, where the main race takes place. The race consists of a double circuit of the town centre, starting in Henry Street and ending in Oxford Street, by the commemorative statue of Guto. Traditionally, the race was timed to end at midnight, but in recent times it was rescheduled for the convenience of family entertainment, now concluding at around 9pm. This has resulted in a growth in size and scale, and the proceedings now start with an afternoon of street entertainment, and fun run races for children, concluding with the church service, elite runners’ race and presentations.

Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year (Gregorian calendar) in the Scottish manner. It is, however, normally only the start of a celebration which lasts through the night until the morning of New Year’s Day (1 January) or, in some cases, 2 January which is a Scottish Bank Holiday. It is celebrated with several different customs, such as First-Footing, which involves friends or family members going to each other’s houses with a gift of whisky and sometimes a lump of coal. Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, hosts one of the world’s most famous New Year celebrations. The celebration is focused on a major street party along Princes Street. The cannon is fired at Edinburgh Castle at the stroke of midnight, followed by a large fireworks display. Edinburgh hosts a festival of four or five days, beginning on 28 December, and lasting until New Year’s Day or January 2, which is also a bank holiday in Scotland. Other cities across Scotland, such as Aberdeen, Glasgow and Stirling have large organised celebrations too, including fireworks at midnight. BBC Scotland broadcast the celebrations in Edinburgh to a Scottish audience, with the celebrations also screened across the world. STV covers both worldwide New Year celebrations & details of events happening around Scotland.

Auld Lang Syne

  • Should old acquaintance be forgot,
  • and never brought to mind ?
  • Should old acquaintance be forgot,
  • and old lang syne ?

( CHORUS: For auld lang syne, my dear,  for auld lang syne,  we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,  for auld lang syne.)

  • And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
  • and surely I’ll buy mine !
  • And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
  • for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

  • We two have run about the slopes,
  • and picked the daisies fine ;
  • But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
  • since auld lang syne.

CHORUS

  • We two have paddled in the stream,
  • from morning sun till dine† ;
  • But seas between us broad have roared
  • since auld lang syne.

CHORUS

  • And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
  • And give me a hand o’ thine !
  • And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
  • for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

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