For lots of people in Britain, the 31st of December, or New Year's Eve as we call it, is the biggest party of the year. It’s a time to get together with friends or family and welcome in the coming year.
New Year’s parties can take place at a number of different venues. Some people hold a house party; others attend street parties, while some just go to their local for a few drinks with their mates. Big cities, like London, have large and spectacular fireworks displays.
There’s one thing that all New Year’s Eve parties have in common: the countdown to midnight. When the clock strikes twelve, revellers give a loud cheer, pop champagne corks and give each other a kiss.
They then link arms and sing a song called Auld Lang’s Syne, by a Scottish poet called Robert Burns. Not many people can remember all the lyrics, but the tune is well known, so lots of people just hum along.
The parties then continue into the early hours of the morning with lots of dancing and drinking. Because of this, for a lot of people New Year’s Day starts with a hangover. Other people might spend the day visiting relatives or friends they haven’t managed to catch up with for a while. Whatever happens, New Year’s Day tends to be very relaxed.
In Britain, it’s popular to make a promise to yourself about something you are going to do, or want to stop doing, in the New Year. This is called a New Year’s resolution. Typical resolutions include giving up smoking and joining a gym to get fit. However, the promise is often broken quite quickly and people are back into their bad habits within weeks or days.
New Year’s Day is the last bank holiday of the festive season, which means most people have to go to work the next day: bright and fresh and ready for the new year ahead!