New Year’s Eve • New Year's Eve is observed annually on December 31, the final day of any given year. • In modern societies, New Year's Eve is often celebrated at social gatherings or a party. • At the parties people dance, eat, consume alcoholic beverages, and watch or light fireworks to mark the incoming year.
Clocks symbolise the transition at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve. • Celebrations in London focus on Big Ben with it’s iconic chime welcoming in the New Year. • The celebrations are televised from London by the BBC. • Parties are held up and down the country, in pubs, clubs and private houses. • At the stroke of midnight people gather in a ring with hands joined as they sing Auld Lang Syne.
Auld Lang Syne • Auld Lang Syne is a poem written by a Scottish man called Robert Burns. • Auld Lang Syne roughly translates to ‘For the sake of Old Times’. • It was set to folk music and is a traditional way to welcome in the New Year in most of the United Kingdom. • Everyone stands in a circle and crosses their arms to hold the hands of the people next to them whilst the song is sung.
Every New Year’s Eve in London there is a huge firework display. • Last year 250,000 people watched the fireworks from the banks of the river Thames. • The display usually lasts around ten minutes and takes around five months to plan. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOYKHQMvsYE
New Year’s Day • New Year's Day is observed on January 1st, the first day of the year. • January 1st represents the fresh start of a new year and so often there is a period of remembrance of the passing year, including on radio, television and in newspapers. • Publications have end of year articles that review the changes during the previous year. There are also articles on planned or expected changes in the coming year.
As many people see a New Year as a new start a lot of people make New Years resolutions. • This means setting yourself a goal to achieve during the next year. • These can be anything from doing more exercise, sleeping more, reading more books or just being happier. • Many families also get together on New Year’s Day and eat a big meal similar to Christmas dinner.
New Year’s Day Parade • The New Year's Day Parade is a parade through the streets of the West End of London, which takes place annually on 1st January. • The first year the parade took place was 1987. • The London parade is the biggest New Year's Day street event of its kind. • The parade is used to raise funds for charities in London and representatives from each of the 33 London boroughs are encouraged to take part.
More than 10,000 performers representing 20 countries world-wide will assemble for the 2012 Parade so the parade uses influences from many different cultures of the world. • This is represented by many different costumes, music, inflatables and other items. • More than half a million people are expected to pack London's streets to see the parade. • This year in London New Year is expected to be particularly important as 2012 will see London host the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The Diamond Jubilee marks 60 years of the Queen being on the throne.