New Year's Eve

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People around the world celebrate New Year's Eve in different ways.

In the U.S., common New Year's Eve celebrations involve parties, food and drink, dancing, and singing ("Auld Lang Syne" being a prominent choice). Another popular American tradition is watching New Year's Eve celebrations on television, including the famed "ball drop" in New York's Times Square, which has occurred annually since 1907.

Other common New Year's Eve traditions include fireworks, sporting events, and large banquets full of traditional food.

Many Christians mark New Year's Eve with a religious ceremony called "Watch Night," with hopes and prayers for good times in the year to come.

Many people in Mexico greet the arrival of midnight by eating a grape with each chime of a clock, making a wish while eating each grape. Another Mexican custom is to make a list of unpleasant events in the year just passed and then burn the list at midnight.

At midnight in Austria, many radio stations play Johan Strauss's "The Blue Danube," to which many people dance, at home or in public. Radio broadcasts are common in other European countries as well.

Celebrations in London focus on Big Ben and the associated clock and bell, which ring and chime at midnight. London's Eye has become a popular focal point for New Year's Eve fireworks.

Berlin is also home to a large fireworks display, in the sky above the Brandenburg Gate. Crowds annually exceed 1 million people.

Children in Greece sing New Year's carols.

People in some countries give each other gifts to celebrate the coming of the new year.

In some countries, the New Year's Eve celebration carries on into the new year, sometimes for a few days.

One New Year's tradition familiar to many Americans is the New Year's Resolution. Those who make such resolutions report varying levels of success at keeping them.

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Social Studies for Kids
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David White