New Years Eve

In the Gregorian calendar, New Year’s Eve (also known as Old Year’s Day or Saint Sylvester’s Day in many countries), the last day of the year, is on December 31 which is six days after Christmas. Samoa, Tonga and Kiritimati (Christmas Island), part of Kiribati, are the first places to welcome the New Year while American Samoa and Baker Island in the United States of America are among the last.

Different countries celebrate New Year in Many different ways. For instance In Albania preparations for New Years Eve start with the Christmas tree which in Albania is known as “New Year’s Tree” or “New Year’s Pine”. On this day, parents, children and relatives are gathered together to spend some remarkable moments all together. Having an abundant dinner with different kinds of delicious dishes is also a tradition. Part of the tradition is also watching a lot of comedy shows on that night, as the New Year should find people smiling and full of joy.The most amazing moment of the night is the last minute of The Old Year and the minute to come of the New Year. At 00:00 everyone toasts and greets each other and a lot of fireworks brighten up the sky of the city. They wish each other a prosperous new year, full of happiness, joy, good health and lots of fortune. It is a tradition that at 00:00 people call each other on the phone to greet one another or send SMS to all their friends. 31 December is the busiest day of an Albanian.

In Austria, New Year’s Eve is usually celebrated with friends and family. At exactly midnight, all radio and television programmes operated by ORF broadcast the sound of the Pummerin, the bell of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, followed by the Donauwalzer (“The Blue Danube”) by Johann Strauss II. Many people dance to this at parties or in the street. Large crowds gather in the streets of Vienna, where the municipal government organises a series of stages where bands and orchestras play. Fireworks are set off by both municipal governments and individuals.

In Belgium, New Year’s Eve (Sint Sylvester Vooravond (“Saint Sylvester’s Eve”) or Oudjaar (“old year”)) is celebrated with family parties, called réveillons in the French speaking areas. On television, a stand-up comedian reviews the past year after which a musical or variety show signals midnight, when everyone kisses, exchanges good luck greetings, and toasts the New Year and absent relatives and friends with champagne. Many people light fireworks or go into the street to watch them. Most cities have their own fireworks display: the most famous is at Mont des Arts in Brussels. Cities, cafés and restaurants are crowded. Free bus services and special New Year’s Eve taxis (the Responsible Young Drivers) bring everyone home afterwards. On January 1 (Nieuwjaarsdag in Dutch) children read their “New Year’s letter” and give holiday greeting cards of decorated paper featuring golden cherubs and angels, colored roses and ribbon-tied garlands to parents and godparents, on decorated paper. In Bosnia and Herzegovina. Streets are decorated for New Year’s Eve and there is a fireworks show and concerts in all the larger cities. Restaurants, clubs, cafes and hotels are usually full of guests and they organize New Year’s Eve parties. In Sarajevo, people gather in the Square of children of Sarajevo where a local rock band entertains them. Several trumpet and rock groups play until the early morning hours. At midnight there is a big fireworks show.

New Year’s Eve (Silvestr/Silvester) celebrations and traditions in Czech Republic and Slovakia are very similar. New Year’s Eve is the noisiest day of the year. People generally gather with friends at parties, in pubs, clubs, in the streets, or city squares to eat, drink, and celebrate the new year. Fireworks are a popular tradition; in large cities such as Bratislava, or Prague, the fireworks start before noon and steadily increase until midnight. In the first minutes after midnight, people toast with champagne, wish each other a happy new year, fortune and health, and go outside for the fireworks. In both countries all major TV stations air entertainment shows before and after the midnight countdown, which is followed by the National anthem of each country. The Presidents of the republics gave their New Year speech in the morning – the new Czech President Miloš Zeman renewed the tradition of Christmas speeches. In recent years however the Czechoslovak national anthem is played at midnight, in honor of the shared history of both nations. People in Denmark may go to parties or entertain guests at home. There is a special evening meal that concludes with Kransekage, a special dessert, along with champagne. Other traditional dishes are boiled cod, stewed kale and cured saddle of pork. However, beef as well as sushi have become increasingly popular.

Two significant traditional events are also broadcast on television and radio on December 31: the monarch’s New Year message from Amalienborg Palace at 6pm and the Town Hall Clock in Copenhagen striking midnight. To celebrate New Year’s Eve in Estonia, people decorate villages, visit friends and prepare lavish meals.Some believe that people should eat seven, nine, or twelve times on New Year’s Eve. These are lucky numbers in Estonia; it is believed that for each meal consumed, the person gains the strength of that many men the following year. Meals should not be completely finished—some food should be left for ancestors and spirits who visit the house on New Year’s Eve. Traditional New Year food includes pork with sauerkraut or Estonian sauerkraut (mulgikapsad), baked potatoes and swedes with hog’s head, and white and blood sausage. Vegetarians can eat potato salad with navy beet[clarification needed] and pâté. Gingerbread and marzipan are very popular for dessert. Traditional New Year drinks include beer and mead, but mulled wine and champagne have become modern favourites. People in Denmark may go to parties or entertain guests at home. There is a special evening meal that concludes with Kransekage, a special dessert, along with champagne.  Two significant traditional events are broadcast on television and radio on December 31: the monarch’s New Year message from Amalienborg Palace at 6pm and the Town Hall Clock in Copenhagen striking midnight.  The Royal Guard parade in their red gala uniforms. The climax of the celebration is fireworks launched as the Town Hall Tower bells chime on the stroke of midnight.

To celebrate New Year’s Eve in Estonia, people decorate villages, visit friends and prepare lavish meals. Some believe that people should eat seven, nine, or twelve times on New Year’s Eve. These are lucky numbers in Estonia; it is believed that for each meal consumed, the person gains the strength of that many men the following year. Meals should not be completely finished—some food should be left for ancestors and spirits who visit the house on New Year’s Eve. Traditional New Year food includes pork with sauerkraut or Estonian sauerkraut (mulgikapsad), baked potatoes and swedes with hog’s head, and white and blood sausage. Vegetarians can eat potato salad with navy beet[clarification needed] and pâté. Gingerbread and marzipan are very popular for dessert. Traditional New Year drinks include beer and mead, but mulled wine and champagne have become modern favourites.

In Finland, New Year’s Eve is usually celebrated with family or friends. Late supper is served, often featuring wieners, Janssons frestelse, and potato salad. Some municipalities organize fireworks at midnight. Consumer fireworks are also very popular. A Finnish tradition is molybdomancy – to tell the fortunes of the New Year by melting “tin” (actually lead) in a tiny pan on the stove and throwing it quickly in a bucket of cold water. The resulting blob of metal is analyzed, for example by interpreting shadows it casts by candlelight. These predictions are however never taken seriously. The Finnish Broadcasting Company broadcasts the reception of the New Year at Helsinki Senate Square. Countdown to New Year is with the Helsinki Cathedral clock. In the afternoon programme, the German comedy sketch Dinner for One is shown every year. On the radio, just before midnight, the poem Hymyilevä Apollo (Smiling Apollo) by Eino Leino is read. In France, New Year’s Eve (la Saint-Sylvestre) is usually celebrated with a feast, le Réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre (Cap d’Any in Northern Catalonia). This feast customarily includes special dishes including foie gras, seafood such as oysters, and champagne. The celebration can be a simple, intimate dinner with friends and family or, une soirée dansante, a much fancier ball. On New Year’s Day (le Jour de l’An) friends and family exchange New Year’s resolutions, kisses, and wishes. Some people eat ice cream. The holiday period ends on January 6 with the celebration of Epiphany (Jour des Rois). A traditional type of flat pastry cake, la galette des rois, made of two sheets of puff pastry, filled with frangipane (almond paste) is eaten. The cake contains a fève, a small china doll; whomever finds it becomes king or queen and gets to wear a gold paper crown and choose his or her partner. This tradition can last up to two weeks.

In Germany, parties are common on New Year’s Eve (Silvester). Fireworks are very popular, both with individuals and at large municipal displays. December 31 and the three days leading up to it are the only four days of the year on which fireworks may be sold in Germany. Every year Berlin hosts one of the largest New Year’s Eve celebrations in all of Europe, attended by over a million people. The focal point is the Brandenburg Gate, where midnight fireworks are centered. Germans toast the New Year with a glass of Sekt (German sparkling wine) or champagne. On New Year’s Eve, several German television stations broadcast a short comedy play in English (recorded by West German television in 1963) entitled Dinner for One. A line from the comedy sketch, “the same procedure as every year”, has become a catch phrase in Germany. Molybdomancy (Bleigießen) is another German New Year’s Eve tradition, which involves telling fortunes by the shapes made by molten lead dropped into cold water. Other auspicious actions are to touch a chimney sweep or have him rub some ash on your forehead for good luck and health. Jam-filled doughnuts (called Berliners) with and without liquor fillings are eaten. Finally a tiny marzipan pig is consumed for more good luck. In some northern regions of Germany (e.g. East Frisia) the making of Speckdicken is another tradition – people go door to door visiting their neighbors and partaking in this dish. It looks similar to a pancake, but the recipe calls for either dark molasses or dark syrup, with summer sausage and bacon in the center.

New Year’s Eve in Greece has many traditions. During the day, children sing the New Year’s carols to be given money or treats. Then, it is time to have family lunch or dinner. In the evening, people cook a pie named “King’s pie (Vassilopita locally)”, which is a cake flavored with almonds. Following tradition, they put a coin wrapped in aluminium foil inside the pie. During the family dinner, the hostess puts some of her jewelry in a plate and serves it in the side of the table, as a symbol of the coming year’s prosperity. After the dinner is over, the dishes are not washed until the next day. The reason for that is that Saint Vassilis (Greek Santa Claus) is awaited during the New Year’s Eve and it is considered common courtesy to leave some food for the traveler who visits the house to bring the presents during the night. When midnight arrives, the families count down and then they turn off all the lights and reopen their eyes to “enter the year with a new light”. After the fireworks show, they cut the “Vassilopita” and serve it. The person that gets the wrapped coin is the lucky person of the day and he is also blessed for the rest of the year. Gifts exchanges may follow.

New Year’s Eve (Szilveszter) in Hungary is celebrated with home parties and street parties, including a gathering in downtown Budapest. Fireworks and firecrackers are popular. Champagne, wine and traditional Hungarian New Year dishes—frankfurter sausages with horseradish, lentil soup, fish, and roast pig—are consumed. The national anthem is commonly sung at midnight. In Budapest, the Timewheel runs out on New Year’s Eve, and is mechanically rotated so that the sand runs through it for another year. In past centuries, some Hungarians believed that animals were able to speak on New Year’s Eve, and that onion skins sprinkled with salt could indicate a rainy month. Hungarian Christian communities focus on celebrating Mass on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.Fireworks are very popular in Iceland, particularly on New Year’s Eve. Iceland’s biggest New Year’s Eve events are usually in and around the capital, Reykjavík. Áramótaskaupið (“The New Year’s comedy”) is also an annual Icelandic television comedy special, which is an important part of the New Year for most. New Year’s Eve (Oíche Chinn Bliana, Oíche na Coda Móire, or Oíche Chaille) celebrations in major cities are modest, with most people favouring small parties in the home for family and friends.

In Italy, New Year’s Eve (Vigilia di Capodanno or Notte di San Silvestro) is celebrated by the observation of traditional rituals, such as wearing red underwear. Dinner is traditionally eaten with relatives and friends. It often includes zampone or cotechino (a meal made with pig’s trotters or entrails), and lentils. At 8:30 pm, the President reads a television message of greetings to Italians. At midnight, fireworks are displayed all across the country. Rarely followed today is the tradition that consist in eating lentil stew when bell tolls midnight, one spoonful per bell. This is supposed to bring good fortune; the round lentils represent coins. New Year’s Eve is celebrated across Macedonia. New Year’s Day is celebrated by day-long fireworks shows. The day is celebrated together with family or friends at home or in restaurants, clubs, cafés and hotels. Evening celebrations include food, music, and dancing to both traditional Macedonian folk music, and modern music. New Year’s Eve is celebrated on December 31 and also on January 14 according to the Macedonian Orthodox Calendar.MMalta holds New Year’s street party with national celebrations taking place in St. George’s Square, Valletta while In Montenegro, New Year’s Eve celebrations are held in all large cities, usually accompanied by fireworks. It is usually celebrated with family or friends, at home or outside. Restaurants, clubs, cafés and hotels organize celebrations with food and music.

In the Netherlands New Year’s Eve (Oud en Nieuw or Oudejaarsavond)  is usually celebrated as a cozy evening with family or friends. Traditional snack foods are oliebollen (oil dumplings) and appelbeignets (apple slice fritters). There is a TV Broadcast of the oudejaarsconference, a performance by one of the major Dutch cabaretiers. Historically, in Reformed Protestant families, Psalm 90 is read, although this tradition is now fading away.At midnight, Glühwein (bishops wine) or champagne is drunk. Many people light their own fireworks.

In Norway New Year’s Eve (Nyttårsaften) is the second biggest celebration of the year, after Christmas Eve. While Christmas Eve is a family celebration, New Year’s Eve is an opportunity to celebrate with friends.Traditionally, there is first a feast, commonly consisting of stuffed, roast turkey with potatoes, sprouts, gravy and Waldorf salad. The accompanying beverage is traditionally beer (commonly either Christmas beer or lager beer). Dessert will often be vanilla pudding or rice cream, and there will be cakes and coffee later in the evening – commonly accompanied by a glass of cognac. Then, at close to 12 am on New Year’s Day, people will go outside to send up fireworks.

In Poland New Year’s Eve (Sylwester) celebrations include both indoor and outdoor festivities. A large open-air concert is held in the Main Square in Kraków. 150,000 to 200,000 revelers celebrate the New Year with live music and a fireworks display over St. Mary’s Basilica. Similar festivities are held in other cities around Poland. For those who do not wish to spend the New Year in the city, the mountains are a popular destination. Zakopane, located in the Carpathian Mountains, is the most popular Polish mountain resort in winter. In Portugal the New Year celebration is taken very seriously. The tradition is to drink champagne and eat twelve raisins – one for each month of the year, making a wish for each. Another Portuguese tradition is a special cake called Bolo-Rei (literally: King Cake). Bolo-Rei is a round cake with a large hole in the centre, resembling a crown covered with crystallised and dried fruit. It is baked from a soft, white dough, with raisins, various nuts and crystallised fruit. Inside is hidden the characteristic fava (broad bean). Tradition dictates that whoever finds the fava has to pay for the Bolo-Rei next year. In Lisbon the New Year is celebrated with a grand concert. The New Year’s Concert is held at the CCB (Centro Cultural de Belém) on the evening of 1 January, featuring the prestigious Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra.

In Romania Traditional celebrations of New Year’s Eve (Revelion) take place. Romanians follow centuries-old customs, rituals, and conventions. Children sing “Plugușorul” and “Sorcova”, traditional carols that wish goodwill, happiness and success. Parties are common in the evening. Since the Romanian Revolution of 1989, Romanians have gathered in the University Square in Bucharest. Other significant parties occur in Piața Constituției.

Most Russians celebrate New Year’s Eve with their families and close friends. The origin of this holiday in Russia derives from Christmas. Christmas was also a major holiday in Russia until it was banned, with all other religious holidays, by the Communist Party. To compensate for the absence of Christmas, New Year’s was celebrated as much as Christmas was, but without the religious aspect of the holiday. The Kremlin Clock chimes and the singing of the Russian national anthem bring in the New Year.Celebration usually starts one or two hours before midnight. A common tradition is to “say farewell to the old year” by remembering the most important events of the last twelve months. At five minutes to twelve most people watch the president’s speech on TV. It is traditional to listen to the Kremlin clock bell ringing twelve times on the radio or on TV, which is followed by the national anthem. During the last seconds of the year people make secret wishes for the next year. After the clock strikes, they drink champagne and have rich dinner, watching TV concerts and having fun.Some people light fireworks outside and visit their friends and neighbors. As December 30 and 31 are working days, a lot of people also have small parties at work, though December 31 is mostly spent at home or with friends. Grandfather Frost and his granddaughter Snowmaiden bring presents on New Year’s Eve. New Year’s Eve in Serbia is celebrated With families eating an abundance of food. Serbs decorate trees, Novogodišnja jelka, at New Year’s Eve, rather than at Christmas Eve. Near, or after midnight, Santa Claus (Deda Mraz) visits houses and leaves presents under the tree, Serbia New Year’s celebrations take place in Belgrade, and several other major cities such as Novi Sad and Niš. As of mid-December, cities are extensively decorated and lit. The decorations remain until way into January due to the influence of the Julian calendar. Throughout the region, especially amongst former Yugoslav republics, Belgrade is the most popular destination for major parties. On January 13, people celebrate “Serbian New Year”, according to the Julian calendar. Usually one concert is organized in front of either City Hall or the National Parliament in Belgrade, while fireworks are prepared by the Serbian Orthodox Church and fired from the Cathedral of Saint Sava,

In Slovenia, New Year’s Eve is known as a Saint Sylvester’s Day (Silvestrovo). Streets are decorated for the whole December. In larger cities like Ljubljana, Maribor, Celje or Koper there are concerts, culture programm and countdown followed by fireworks. There is also special programme on the national TV. Tradition is, that family comes together and have a dinner. At midnight, people toast with champagne, wish each other a happy new year, fortune and health. People have already decoreted the christmas tree before christmas and children are waiting for the third “Good man of December – Dedek Mraz.”

In Spain New Year’s Eve (Nochevieja or Fin de Año) celebrations usually begin with a family dinner, traditionally including shrimp or prawns, and lamb or capon. The actual countdown is primarily followed from the clock on top of the Casa de Correos building in Puerta del Sol Square in Madrid. It is traditional to eat Twelve Grapes, one on each chime of the clock. This tradition has its origins in 1909, when grape growers in Alicante thought of it as a way to cut down on the large production surplus they had had that year. Nowadays, the tradition is followed by almost every Spaniard, and the twelve grapes have become synonymous with the New Year. After the clock has finished striking twelve, people greet each other and toast with sparkling wine such as cava or champagne, or with cider. The song “Un año más,” by the Spanish group Mecano, is frequently played. Earlier in the evening there is a 10k run called Carrera de San Silvestre which starts on the street called La Castellana and ends at the stadium of Vallecas. After the family dinner and the grapes, many young people attend cotillones de nochevieja parties  at pubs, clubs, and similar places. Parties usually last until the next morning and range from small, personal celebrations at local bars to huge parties Early the next morning, party attendees usually gather to have the traditional winter breakfast of hot chocolate and fried pastry (chocolate con churros).

In Sweden, New Year’s Eve is usually celebrated with families or with friends. A few hours before and after midnight, people usually party and eat a special dinner, often three courses. New Year’s Eve is celebrated with large fireworks displays throughout the country, especially in the cities. People over the age of 18 are allowed to buy fireworks, which are sold by local stores or by private persons. While watching or lighting fireworks at midnight, people usually drink champagne.In Switzerland, New Year’s Eve is typically celebrated at a residence with friends. There are no particular main dishes associated with the event, although sweets and desserts are usual.

In Turkey Numerous decorations and customs traditionally associated with Christmas and Bayrams are part of secular New Year’s Eve celebrations. Homes and streets are lit in glittering lights. Small gifts are exchanged, and large family dinners are organized with family and friends, featuring a special turkey dish stuffed with a zante currant, pine nuts, pimiento and dill iç pilav, dolma, hot börek, baklava, and various other Turkish dishes, accompanied with rakı, Turkish wine, or boza, şerbet, salep, and Turkish tea or coffee.  decorating Christmas trees is a very popular tradition on New Year’s Eve in Turkey, and the Turks associate Santa Claus with New Year’s Eve. Public and private parties with large public attendances are organised in a number of cities and towns, particularly in the largest metropolitan areas such as Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Adana, Bursa and Antalya, with the biggest celebrations taking place in Istanbul’s Taksim, Beyoğlu, Nişantaşı and Kadıköy districts and Ankara’s Kızılay Square, which generally feature dancing, concerts, laser and lightshows as well as the traditional countdown and fireworks display.

In former Soviet Union countries, New Year’s has the same cultural significance as Christmas has in the United States, but without the religious connotations. Ukrainian families traditionally install spruce trees at home, the equivalent of a Christmas tree. Families gather to eat a large feast and reflect on the past year. They have a large celebration, make toasts, and make wishes for a happy New Year. Families give presents to their friends as well as informal acquaintances. As Ukrainians are traditionally a closely knit community, it is seen as a taboo to not give presents to those the family associates with. Children stay up until midnight, waiting for the New Year. During these celebrations many Ukrainians tune to special New Year shows, which have become a long-standing tradition for the Ukrainian TV. And just before midnight the President of Ukraine gives his New Year’s message to the nation, and when the clock strikes 12 midnight the National Anthem Shche ne vmerla Ukraina is played in all TV and radio stations as well as in Independence Square in Kiev and other cities where holiday celebrations are held. New Year is often considered a “pre-celebration” for Greek Catholics and Eastern Orthodox living in Eastern Europe, primarily in Ukraine, since Christmas is celebrated on January 7.

In England Thousands of people gather in central London for New Year celebrations, including fireworks at the London Eye at midnight. The celebration in London focuses on Big Ben (Westminster Clock Tower) the bell and by association the clock housed in the clock tower at the Palace of Westminster. These celebrations are aired by the BBC and other networks. Parties are held across the country, in pubs, clubs, and private houses. 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 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. Other major New Year events are held in the cities of Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, and Newcastle.

In Scotland, New Year’s (Hogmanay) 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, and details of events happening around Scotland.

In Wales it is an ancient traditional to give gifts and money on New Year’s Day (Welsh: Calennig). Thousands of people also 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, ro celebrate the life and achievements of Welsh runner Guto Nyth Brân. It was 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.

New Years Eve (part 2)

New Year Eve celebrations in United States feature The ball drop in New York City’s Times Square which attracts a million spectators annually.New Year’s Eve is also celebrated with formal parties, family-oriented activities, and other large public events. The “ball drop” held in New York City’s Times Square. Was Inspired by the time balls that were formally 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 60 seconds later to signal the start of the New Year. The Ball Drop has been held since 1907, and in recent years has averaged around a million spectators annually. The popularity of the spectacle also inspired similar “drop” 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”. Alongside the festivities in Times Square, New York’s Central Park hosts a “Midnight Run” event organized by the New York Road Runners, which culminates in a fireworks show and a race around the park that begins at midnight.

Radio and television broadcasts from festivities in New York helped to ingrain aspects of 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 broadcasts were best known for the Royal Canadians’ signature performance of “Auld Lang Syne” at midnight, which made the standard synonymous with New Year’s in the United States. Following Lombardo’s death in 1977, ABC’s competing program New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 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, Clark ceded hosting duties in 2005 to talk show host Regis Philbin, and retired as full-time host in 2006 in favor of Ryan Seacrest due to a speech impediment caused by the stroke. Clark continued to make appearances from a studio on the program annually until his death in 2012.

Notable celebrations occur in other U.S. cities as well. On the Las Vegas Strip, the streets are closed to vehicle traffic on the evening of New Year’s Eve, and a large fireworks show is held at midnight which spans across multiple resort buildings. Major theme parks may also hold New Year’s celebrations; Disney theme parks, such as Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland in Anaheim, California, are traditionally the busiest during the days up to and including New Year’s Eve. Los Angeles, a city long without a major public New Year celebration, held an inaugural gathering in Downtown’s newly completed Grand Park to celebrate the beginning of 2014. The event included food trucks, art installations, and light shows, culminating with a projection mapping show on the side of Los Angeles City Hall near midnight. The inaugural event drew over 25,000 spectators and participants. In 2015, Chicago held Chi-Town Rising, the city’s first ever outdoor New Year’s Eve festival on the Magnificent Mile. The event was hosted by Mario Lopez with musical guests American Authors and Chicago. Nearly 100,000 people attended the inaugural event.

In the Roman Catholic Church, January 1 is a solemnity honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus; it is a Holy Day of Obligation in most countries (Australia being a notable exception), thus the Church requires the attendance of all Catholics in such countries for Mass that day. However a vigil Mass may be held on the evening before a Holy Day; thus it has become customary to celebrate Mass on the evening of New Year’s Eve. (New Year’s Eve is a feast day honoring Pope Sylvester I in the Roman Catholic calendar, but it is not widely recognized in the United States.)

Many Christian congregations have New Year’s Eve watchnight services. Some, especially Lutherans and Methodists and those in the African American community, have a tradition known as “Watch Night”, in which the faithful congregate in services continuing past midnight, giving thanks for the blessings of the outgoing year and praying for divine favor during the upcoming year. In the English-speaking world, Watch Night can be traced back to John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, who learned the custom from the Moravian Brethren who came to England in the 1730s. Moravian congregations still observe the Watch Night service on New Year’s Eve. Watch Night took on special significance to African Americans on New Year’s Eve 1862, as slaves anticipated the arrival of January 1, 1863, when Lincoln had announced he would sign the Emancipation Proclamation.

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 Toronto and Niagara Falls in Ontario, Edmonton and Calgary in Alberta, Vancouver, British Columbia and Montreal, Quebec, 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. 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. 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 Farce, Bye Bye has 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,

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. 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. Celebrations include firecrackers, fireworks and sparklers and shouts of “¡Feliz Año Nuevo!” 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, fireworks at midnight along with the signature song “Auld Lang Syne” in Spanish.

440px-Matisse-Woman-with-a-HatFrench artist Henri Matisse Was Born 31 December 1869 in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, Nord, he is known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. Matsse was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter commonly regarded, along with Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, as one of the three artists who helped to define the revolutionary developments in the plastic arts in the opening decades of the 20th century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture. Although he was initially labelled a Fauve (wild beast), by the 1920s he was increasingly hailed as an upholder of the classical tradition in French painting. His mastery of the expressive language of colour and drawing, displayed in a body of work spanning over a half-century, won him recognition as a leading figure in modern art.

Matisse was also recognized as a leader of an artistic movement known as Fauvism which began 1900 and continued beyond 1910. The leaders of the movement were Matisse & André Derain; who were friendly rivals, each with his own followers. Other members were Georges Braque, Raoul Dufy and Maurice de Vlaminck. The Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau (1826–1898) was the movement’s inspirational teacher who pushed his students to think outside of the lines of formality and to follow their visions. In 1905, Matisse and a group of artists exhibited together & The paintings expressed emotion with wild, often dissonant colours, without regard for the subject’s natural colours. Matisse showed Open Window and Woman with the Hat at the Salon. Matisses’s fondnes for bright and expressive colour became more pronounced after he spent the summer of 1904 painting in St. Tropez with the neo-Impressionists Signac and Henri Edmond Cross. In 1904 he painted the most important of his works , Luxe, Calme et Volupté. In 1905 he travelled southwards again to work with André Derain. His paintings of this period are characterized by flat shapes and controlled lines, and use pointillism in a less rigorous way than before.

Around April 1906 he met Pablo Picasso, & The two became lifelong friends as well as rivals and areoften compared; one key difference between them is that Matisse drew and painted from nature, while Picasso was much more inclined to work from imagination. The subjects painted most frequently by both artists were women and still life, . Matisse and Picasso were first brought together at the Paris salon of Gertrude Stein and her companion Alice B. Toklas, who became important collectors and supporters of Matisse’s paintings during the first decade of the 20th century. They also collected many paintings by Renoir, Cézanne, and Picasso at the Salon and Gertrude Stein’s two American friends , the Cone sisters Claribel and Etta,also became major patrons of Matisse and Picasso, collecting hundreds of their paintings. The Cone collection is now exhibited in the Baltimore Museum of Art.In 1917 Matisse relocated to Cimiez on the French Riviera, a suburb of the city of Nice. His work of the decade or so following this relocation shows a relaxation and a softening of his approach. After 1930 a new vigor and bolder simplification appeared in his work. American art collector Albert C. Barnes convinced him to produce a large mural for the Barnes Foundation, The Dance II, completed 1932; the Foundation owns several dozen other Matisse paintings. This move towards simplification and a foreshadowing of the cutout technique are also evident in his painting Large Reclining Nude.In 1941, he underwent surgery and started using a wheelchair, and was cared for by , Lydia Delektorskaya who was formerly one of his models, Then With the aid of assistants he set about creating cut paper collages, often on a large scale, called gouaches découpés. His Blue Nudes series feature prime examples of this technique he called “painting with scissors”;

during World War II Matisse, was shocked to learn that his daughter Marguerite, was active in the Résistance and had been captured & tortured in Rennes prison and sentenced to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, but avoided further imprisonment by escaping from the Ravensbrück-bound train and survived in the woods until rescued by fellow members of the Resistance. In 1947 Matisse published Jazz, a limited-edition book containing about one hundred prints based on his colorful paper cutouts accompanied by his written thoughts. In the 1940s he also worked as a graphic artist and produced black-and-white illustrations for several books and over one hundred original lithographs at the Mourlot Studios in Paris. Matisse was much admired and repeatedly referred to by the Greek Nobelist poet Odysseas Elytis. Elytis was introduced to Matisse through their common friend Tériade, during the work on the Cutouts. Matisse had painted the wall of the dining room of Tériade’s residence, the Villa Natacha in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat,In 1951 Matisse finished designing the interior, the glass windows and the decorations of the Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence, often referred to as the Matisse Chapel. This project was the result of the close friendship between Matisse and Sister Jacques-Marie’ He had hired her as a nurse and model in 1941 before she became a Dominican nun and they met again in Vence and started the collaboration.

In 1952 he established a museum dedicated to his work, the Matisse Museum in Le Cateau, and this museum is now the third-largest collection of Matisse works in France. Matisse’s final work was the design for a stained-glass window installed at the Union Church of Pocantico Hills near the Rockefeller estate north of New York City. “It was his final artistic creation; the maquette was on the wall of his bedroom when he died in November of 1954 of a heart attack at the age of 84. He is interred in the cemetery of the Monastère Notre Dame de Cimiez, near Nice .German media have also recently revealed th discovery of Nazi plundered art worth €1bn in Munich, including lost works by Picasso and Matisse.

Hogmanay

Hogmanay is the Scottish word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year (Gregorian calendar) It is normally followed by further celebration on the morning of New Year’s Day (1 January) or, in some cases, 2 January—a Scottish bank holiday. The origins of Hogmanay are unclear, but it may be derived from Norse and Gaelic observances. Customs vary throughout Scotland, and usually include gift-giving and visiting the homes of friends and neighbours, with special attention given to the first-foot, the first guest of the new year.

The word Hogmanay is derived from the 1693 Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence, which held that the term was a corruption of the Greek agía mína (αγία μήνα), or “holy month”.The three main modern theories derive it from a French, Norse or Gaelic root. The word is first recorded in a Latin entry in 1443 annals as hagnonayse. The first appearance in English came in 1604 in the records of Elgin, as hagmonay. Subsequent 17th-century spellings include Hagmena (1677) Hogmynae night (1681), and Hagmane (1693) in an entry of the Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence.

It may have been introduced to Middle Scots via French. The most commonly cited explanation is a derivation from the northern French dialectal word hoguinané, or variants such as hoginane, hoginono and hoguinettes, those being derived from 16th century Middle French aguillanneuf meaning either a gift given at New Year, a children’s cry for such a gift, or New Year’s Eve itself.[5][6] Compare also the apparent Spanish cognate aguinaldo/aguilando, with a suggested Latin derivation of hoc in anno “in this year.”[7]

This explanation is supported by a children’s tradition, observed up to the 1960s in some parts of Scotland at least, of visiting houses in their locality on New Year’s Eve and requesting and receiving small treats such as sweets or fruit. The second element would appear to be l’an neuf (the New Year), with some sources suggesting a druidical origin of the practice overall.[8] Compare those to Norman hoguinané and the obsolete customs in Jersey of crying ma hodgîngnole, and in Guernsey of asking for an oguinane, for a New Year gift (see also La Guiannee). In Québec, “la guignolée” was a door-to-door collection for the poor.[9]

Other suggestions include au gui mener (“lead to the mistletoe”),à gueux mener (‘bring to the beggars’),[10] au gui l’an neuf (‘at the mistletoe the new year’, or (l’)homme est né (‘(the) man is born’). The word may have come from the Goidelic languages. Fraser and Kelley report a Manx new-year song that begins with the line To-night is New Year’s Night, Hogunnaa but did not record the full text in Manx. Gaelic consistently refers to the New Year’s Eve as Oidhche na Bliadhn(a) Ùir(e) (“the Night of the New Year”) and Oidhche Challainn (“the Night of the Calends”).

The roots of Hogmanay perhaps reach back to the celebration of the winter solstice among the Norse, as well as incorporating customs from the Gaelic celebration of Samhain. The Vikings celebrated Yule,which later contributed to the Twelve Days of Christmas, or the “Daft Days” as they were sometimes called in Scotland. Christmas was not celebrated as a festival and Hogmanay was the more traditional celebration in Scotland.This may have been a result of the Protestant Reformation after which Christmas was seen as “too Papist”.

There are many customs, both national and local, associated with Hogmanay. The most widespread national custom is the practice of first-footing, which starts immediately after midnight. This involves being the first person to cross the threshold of a friend or neighbour and often involves the giving of symbolic gifts such as salt (less common today), coal, shortbread, whisky, and black bun (a rich fruit cake), intended to bring different kinds of luck to the householder. Food and drink (as the gifts) are then given to the guests. This may go on throughout the early hours of the morning and well into the next day (although modern days see people visiting houses well into the middle of January). The first-foot is supposed to set the luck for the rest of the year. Traditionally, tall, dark men are preferred as the first-foot. Another Hogmanay custom is the fireball swinging that takes place in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, in northeast Scotland. This involves local people making up “balls” of chicken wire filled with old newspaper, sticks, rags, and other dry flammable material up to a diameter of 2 feet (0.61 m), each attached to about 3 feet (0.91 m) of wire, chain or nonflammable rope. As the Old Town House bell sounds to mark the new year, the balls are set alight and the swingers set off up the High Street from the Mercat Cross to the Cannon and back, swinging the burning balls around their heads as they go. At the end of the ceremony, any fireballs that are still burning are cast into the harbour. In the east coast fishing communities and Dundee, first-footers once carried a decorated herring. And in Falkland in Fife, local men marched in torchlight procession to the top of the Lomond Hills as midnight approached. Bakers in St Andrews baked special cakes for their Hogmanay celebration (known as “Cake Day”) and distributed them to local children.In Glasgow and the central areas of Scotland, the tradition is to hold Hogmanay parties that involve singing, dancing, eating of steak pie or stew, storytelling and drink. Many Scottish regiments, hold special dinners while at the bells, the Old Year is piped out of barrack gates. The sentry then challenges the new escort outside the gates: “Who goes there?” The answer is “The New Year, all’s well.” Another old custom in the Highlands is to celebrate Hogmanay with the saining (Scots for ‘protecting, blessing’) of the household and livestock. householders also drink and then sprinkle ‘magic water’ from ‘a dead and living ford’ around the house. Following the sprinkling the house is sealed up tight and branches of juniper are set on fire and carried throughout the house and byre. The juniper smoke is allowed to thoroughly fumigate the buildings until it causes sneezing and coughing among the inhabitants. Then all the doors and windows are flung open to let in the cold, fresh air of the new year. The woman of the house then administers ‘a restorative’ from the whisky bottle, and the household sits down to its New Year breakfast.

The Hogmanay custom of singing “Auld Lang Syne” has become common in many countries. “Auld Lang Syne” is a Scots poem by Robert Burns, based on traditional and other earlier sources. It is now common to sing this in a circle of linked arms that are crossed over one another as the clock strikes midnight for New Year’s Day, though it is only intended that participants link arms at the beginning of the final verse, co-ordinating with the lines of the song that contain the lyrics to do so. Typically, it is only in Scotland this practice is carried out correctly.

Danny McNamara (Embrace)

Danny McNamara, the lead singer with the band Embrace was born 31st December 1970. Embrace are an English band from Bailiff Bridge, Brighouse, West Yorkshire and consists of brothers singer Danny McNamara and guitarist Richard McNamara, bassist Steve Firth, keyboardist Mickey Dale, and drummer Mike Heaton.The band was begun in a small outbuilding at the bottom of a garden in Bailiff Bridge in 1990. A bass player joined the McNamara brothers, Richard playing guitar and Danny singing. The three of them started creating songs, with the aid of a cassette recorder, and soon a drum machine was added. In 1992 The band recorded a three track demo in a 16 track recording studio in Huddersfield which was sold at concerts.A single, “All You Good Good People” was released in February 1997. their debut album The Good Will Out was released on 8 June 1998 and went to number 1 in the UK Albums Chart. In 27 March 2000 the band released Drawn from Memory. the album was supported by an acclaimed tour, during which they were supported by then-fledgling Coldplay.

Afterwards they recorded their third studio album If You’ve Never Been, which was released on 3 September 2001. In 2004 they released the album Out of Nothing, which reached number one in the UK in 2004 and contained The single “Gravity”, which had been written by Coldplay’s Chris Martin. Danny McNamara and Martin having become friends after Coldplay had supported Embrace in 2000. In October 2005, the band released their first b-side compilation, called Dry Kids: B-Sides 1997–2005, featuring b-sides from their previous album and including many fan-favourites such as “Blind” and a live rendition of D12′s “How Come”. The band’s fifth studio album, This New Day was released on 27 March 2006, with the single “Nature’s Law”. The band then had a break through much of 2007 to 2010. Albums released so far by Embrace include The Good Will Out (1998), Drawn from Memory (2000), If You’ve Never Been (2001), Out of Nothing (2004), This New Day and the album Embrace which was released in 2014.

Andy Summers (The Police)

Andy Summers, British guitarist with rock band The Police was born December 31st 1942. Formed in London in 1977.The Police consisted of Sting (lead vocals, bass), Andy Summers (guitar) and Stewart Copeland (drums). The Police became globally popular in the late 1970s and are generally regarded as one of the first New Wave groups to achieve mainstream success, playing a style of rock that was influenced bypunk, reggae, and jazz.

They made many albums including Regatta de Blance, Zenyatta Mondatta and Their 1983 album, Synchronicity, which reached number one on both the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200, and sold over 8 million copies in the US. The group disbanded in 1986, but reunited in early 2007 for a one-off world tour lasting until August 2008. The band has won a number of music awards throughout their career, including six Grammy Awards, two Brit Awards—winning Best British Group once, anMTV Video Music Award, and in 2003, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Police have sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, and were the world’s highest-earning musicians in 2008, thanks to their reunion tour

THE POLICE GREATEST HITS – http://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLarJd9RZ0sKcG8H8R4gHV-8o87vEZIUlV

Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith)

Tom Hamilton, The Bass Player with rock Band Aerosmith celebrates his birthday on 31st December. Sometimes referred to as “The Bad Boys from Boston” and “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” The band was formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1970. Guitarist Joe Perry and bassist Tom Hamilton, originally in a band together called the Jam Band, met up with singer Steven Tyler, drummer Joey Kramer, and guitarist Ray Tabano, and formed Aerosmith. In 1971, Tabano was replaced by Brad Whitford, and the band began developing a following in Boston, Their style, which is rooted in blues-based hard rock, has come to also incorporate elements of pop, heavy metal, and rhythm and blues, and has inspired many subsequent rock artists. They were signed to Columbia Records in 1972, and released a string of multi-platinum albums, beginning with their 1973 eponymous debut album, followed by their 1974 album Get Your Wings.

In 1975, the band broke into the mainstream with the album Toys in the Attic, and their 1976 follow-up Rocks cemented their status as hard rock superstars.The band released two more albums, toured extensively, and charted a string of Hot 100 singles. By the end of the 1970s, they were among the most popular hard rock bands in the world and developed a loyal following of fans, often referred to as the “Blue Army”. However, drug addiction and internal conflict took their toll on the band, which resulted in the departures of Perry and Whitford in 1979 and 1981, respectively; they were replaced by Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay. Aerosmith released the album Rock in a Hard Place, which went gold but failed to match their previous successes. Perry and Whitford returned in 1984 and the band signed a new deal with Geffen Records. After a comeback tour, the band recorded Done with Mirrors, which won some critical praise but failed to come close to commercial expectations. It was not until the band sobered up and released 1987′s Permanent Vacation that they regained the level of popularity they had experienced in the 1970s.Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, the band scored several hits including Dude, looks like a lady Walk this Way (Featuring RUN DMC) and “love in an elvator“, and won numerous awards for music from the multi-platinum albums Pump, Get a Grip, and Nine Lives.

The band also became a pop culture phenomenon with popular music videos and notable appearances in television, film, and video games. Their comeback has been described as one of the most remarkable and spectacular in rock ‘n’ roll history. Additional albums followed in 2001 and 2004 including the songs Crazy (Featuring Alicia Silverstone & Liv Tyler) and I don’t Wanna Miss a Thing, from the film Armageddon. After 42 years of performing, the band continues to tour and record music. Their latest album, Music from Another Dimension, was released in 2012. Aerosmith is the best-selling American rock band of all time, having sold more than 150 million albums worldwide,including 66.5 million albums in the United States alone. They also hold the record for the most gold and multi-platinum albums by an American group. The band has scored 21 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, nine number-one Mainstream Rock hits, four Grammy Awards, and ten MTV Video Music Awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, and were included among both Rolling Stone’s and VH1′s lists of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.