New Year's 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 a watchnight service.
The celebrations generally go on past midnight into January 1 (New Year's Day).
Celebrations and traditions around the world
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 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 and drink alcoholic beverages with their friends until the early hours of January 1.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 Canadianscontinued on CBC and CBS until 1978. The song Auld Lang Syne is still a popular song to sing at midnight on New Year's Eve, with the Lombardo version being the standard.
Mexicans celebrate New Year's Eve, (Spanish: Vispera de Ano 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. At the same time, thanks are expressed for all the good things during the year that is ending so that they will continue in the new year.
Mexicans celebrate with a late-night dinner with their families, the traditional meal being turkey and mole. 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 around the Zocalo, the city's main square.
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, and great recipes.
In the United States, New Year's Eve is celebrated with formal parties and family-oriented activities. Celebrations often center on dropping or raising an item during the countdown, especially on the East coast. New Year's Day is a public holiday in the United States.
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 Belgian farmers also wish their animals a happy New Year.
In the Czech Republic New Year's Eve (Silvestr) 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. Fireworks are a popular tradition; in large cities such as 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 and go outside for the fireworks.
People in Denmark may go to parties or entertain guests at home. There is a special evening meal, with concludes with Kransekage, a special desert, along with champagne. Other traditional dishes are boiled cod, stewed kale and cured saddle of pork.However, expensive cuts of beef as well as sushi have become increasingly popular.
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 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.
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 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, Janssonin kiusaus, 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.
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.
In Germany, parties are common on New Year's Eve (Silvester). Fireworks are very popular, both with individuals and large municipal displays. Every year Berlin hosts one of the largest New Year's Eve celebrations in all of Europe, attended by over one 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.
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. 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. Bonfires are also very common, often accompanied by shows, musical events and food tables.
Iceland's biggest New Year's Eve events are usually in and around the capital, Reykjavík. Most Icelanders listen to the evening radio broadcast of the mass at Reykjavik's cathedral.This is followed by dinner. Nightclubs in the city are very crowded and tend to stay open until at least 5 am.
Áramótaskaupi? ('The New Year's comedy') is an annual Icelandic television comedy special, that is an important part of the New Year for most. It focuses satirically on the past year, and shows little mercy for its victims, especially politicians, artists, prominent business people and activists. Neighbours then meet at their nearest large bonfire, while watching the midnight fireworks.
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. Pubs and clubs across the country hold events on New Year's Eve, particularly in larger cities such as Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Derry.
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. An ancient tradition, no longer existing, was disposing of old or unused items by dropping them from the window.
Dinner is traditionally eaten with parents 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. A lentil stew is eaten 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. During the day-time celebration children get gifts. 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 (Julian) Calendar.
Malta organized its first New Year's street party in 2009 in Floriana. The event was not highly advertised and proved controversial, due to the closing of an arterial street for the day. In 2010 there were the first national celebrations in St. George's Square, Valletta Although amateur fireworks are very popular in Malta, they are almost totally absent on New Year's Eve.
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.
New Year's Eve (Oud en Nieuw or Oudejaarsavond) in the Netherlands is usually celebrated as a cosy evening with family or friends. Traditional snack foods are oliebollen (oil dumplings) and appelbeignets(not to be mistaken for the 'appelflap' which is completely different) (apple slice fritters). On television, the main feature is the oudejaarsconference, a performance by one of the major Dutch cabaretiers (comparable to stand-up comedy, but more serious, generally including a satirical review of the year's politics). 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. Towns do not organise a central fireworks display, except for Rotterdam where the national fireworks display can be seen near the Erasmus Bridge. Public transport shuts down completely (the only scheduled time during the year) between approximately 8pm and 1am. On television a clock is broadcast several minutes before midnight.
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 Krakow. 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.
Also, New Year's Eve (Sylwester) celebrations in the Katowice, near the Spodek arena.
Traditional celebrations of New Year's Eve (Revelion) are the norm in Romania. Romanians follow centuries-old customs, rituals, and conventions. Children sing 'Pluguºorul' 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 Piaþa Constituþiei and Romexpo where Sectorul 5 mayor Marian Vanghelie organizes Vanghelion, a party for thousands of people featuring traditional and tropical food, musical icons such as Enrique Iglesias or Toni Braxton, many other Romanian music stars, and a fireworks show.
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. Even after the fall of the Soviet Union, New Year's is celebrated in Russia and has became a Russian tradition. There is an old superstition that if the first visitor (especially an unexpected one) on January 1 is a man, the year will be good. People also try to start the new year without debts. 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 or watch popular New Year TV shows. There is a tradition to listen to the Kremlin clock bell ringing twelve times on the radio or on TV. During these last twelve seconds of the year people keep silence and make their 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.
Main article: Hogmanay
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.
New Year's Eve in Serbia is traditionally celebrated extensively. Indoors, families celebrate New Year's Eve with an abundance of food. 'Serbs decorate trees, 'Novogodišnja jelka, at New Year's, rather than at Christmas. Near, or after midnight, Santa Claus (Deda Mraz) visits houses and leaves presents under the tree, to be unpacked then or, if the family is asleep, to be discovered in the morning.
Restaurants, clubs, cafes and hotels are usually fully booked and organize New Year's celebrations with food and live music.
Serbian New Year's celebrations are most known for the outdoors festivities 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. It has become common for large groups of Slovenes to visit their former capital and celebrate the beginning of a new year. Street celebrations grow into mass gatherings with hundreds of thousands of people celebrating New Year's in one of several locations throughout Belgrade. During former President Miloševiæ's term, the gatherings had a strong political connotation as well. Since 2000, the City of Belgrade has annually organized several concerts with major national and international performers on Belgrade's major squares: the Republic Square, Terazije Square and in front of the Serbian Parliament building. The concerts commence early in the evening and last well into the morning. Usually, there are separate celebrations and concerts organized for small children ( in Slavija Square) and for elderly (in Kalemegdan park). Midnight is marked by major fireworks fired from buildings within the city.
On January 1, the central Svetogorska street is closed to vehicle traffic and is used to hold the 'street of open heart' festival. Food and warm drinks are served and open air theater plays are performed, while families with children as well as politicians (often including the President) walk down the street. The evening of the first of January is reserved for the repriza, a repeat of the previous night; people often go to clubs, friends houses, or squares where they were the previous night, to celebrate once more. Slightly down-scaled festivities are organized.
On January 13, a large part of the population celebrates '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, where people also gather. Other cities also organize such celebrations.
Spanish New Year's Eve (Nochevieja or Fin de Ano) celebrations usually begin with a family dinner, traditionally including a Spanish Omelette, shrimp or prawns, and lamb or capon. Spanish tradition says that wearing new, red underwear on New Year's Eve brings good luck. 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. After the family dinner and the grapes, many young people attend cotillones de nochevieja parties (named for the Spanish word cotillón, which refers to party supplies like confetti, party blowers, and party hats) 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 with guests numbering the thousands at hotel convention rooms. Early the next morning, party attendees usually gather to have the traditional winter breakfast of, hot chocolate and fried pastry (chocolate con churros).
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. Each commune has its own government-arranged countdown in a public space, accompanied with formal fireworks shows in smaller cities.
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 the countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union, 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.
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.
See England, Scotland and Wales.
Numerous decorations and customs traditionally associated with Christmas and Bayrams are part of secular New Year's Eve celebrations in Turkey. 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 Zante currant-pimento-dill iç pilav dish, dolma, hot börek, baklava, and various other eggplant dishes, topped with warm pide, salep, and boza.
Television and radio channels are known to continuously broadcast a variety of special New Year's Eve programs, while municipalities all around the country organize fundraising events for the poor, in addition to celebratory public shows such as concerts and family-friendly events, as well as more traditional forms of entertainment such as the Karagöz and Hacivat shadow-theater, and even performances by the Mehter—the Janissary Band that was founded during the days of the Ottoman Empire.
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 and Antalya, with the biggest celebrations taking place in Istanbul's Taksim, Beyoglu, Niºantaºi and Kadiköy districts and Ankara's Kizilay Square, which generally feature dancing, concerts, laser and lightshows as well as the traditional countdown and 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.
Central and South America
Traditional celebrations in Argentina include a family dinner of traditional dishes, including vitel tonné, asado, turron and pan dulce. Just before midnight, people flock to the streets to enjoy fireworks and light firecrackers. 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. Argentines also celebrate New Year's by swimming in rivers and lakes or public pools.
The New Year (Portuguese: Ano Novo, Brazilian-Portuguese: Réveillon), 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 has a large fireworks display.
The city of Sao Paulo hosts the Saint Silvester Marathon Corrida de Sao Silvestre, which traverses streets between Paulista Avenue and the downtown area.
In other regions, different events also take place. At Fortaleza, Ceará, 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.
New Year's Eve celebrations in Chile include a family dinner with special dishes, usually including lentils, and twelve grapes to symbolise each month of the year. 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 conntry. Over one million viewers attend the most popular, the 'Ano Nuevo en el Mar', in Valparaiso. Since 2000, the sale of fireworks to individuals has been illegal, 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 Costa Rica, families usually gather around 9 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.
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 traditional New Year's Eve songs, such as 'Cinco para las Doce', are played. 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 as women representing the 'widow' of the year that has passed. There are traditional family events and meals and modern celebrations such as hosting parties and going to nightclubs. The main event takes place at midnight where fireworks are lit and thousands of life-size dummies, representing misfortunes of the past year, are burned in the streets.
In Guatemala, banks close on New Year’s Eve, and businesses close at noon. In the town of Antigua, people usually gather at the Santa Catalina Clock Arch to celebrate New Year's Eve Spanish: Fin del Ano. In Guatemala City the celebrations are centered around 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. 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.
During New Year's Eve in Suriname (Template:Lang-du), the Surinamese population goes into cities' commercial districts to watch fireworks shows. This is however, 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.