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New Year Eve

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New Year's Eve is December 31, the final day of the Gregorian year, and the day before New Year's Day,

New Year's Eve is a separate observance from the observance of New Year's Day. In 21st-century Western practice, the celebration involves partying until the moment of the transition of the year at midnight. Drinking champagne is also a major part of the festivities.

Within many cultures the use of fireworks and other noise making is a major part of the celebration in cities such as Berlin, New York City, Sydney, London, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, Prague and Tokyo.

New Year's Eve is a public non-working holiday in the following countries, among others: Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Greece, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Venezuela.


Sydney (after Auckland, New Zealand) is the second major city to celebrate the New Year due to its time zoneWith crowds of well over 1.2 million people, Sydney has arguably the second largest New Year celebrations worldwide, after Rio de Janeiro (which attracts over 2 million people on Copacabana Beach; New York and London both average crowds between 800,000 and 1,000,000) benefiting from the harbour city's warm summer weather and spectacular natural amphitheatre. New Zealand is the first country to welcome to the new year, as it lies between the Australian time zone and the International Date Line. Sydney is therefore the second major city in the world to celebrate the new year.Over 80,000 fireworks are traditionally set off from the Sydney Harbour Bridge and four other firing points covering 6 km along Sydney Harbour. The event can be seen from a 16 km radius around Sydney and attracts an average of 300,000 international tourists each year.

The Harbour of Lights Parade adds to the attraction as cruise boats covered in fairy lights cruise the centre of the harbour all night. These vessels have the prime position for the evening. Sydney has recently been acknowledged by numerous media sources as having the world's best New Year celebrations, topping the list of cities such as New York City, Edinburgh, Paris, and London.

In 2005, the New Year's Eve creators delivered their most spectacular fireworks yet: a gigantic heart with two rings around it, pulsing on the bridge. It had lights built behind it so it seemed to radiate. It was the first NYE to have the bridge effect revealed at the 9pm fireworks. Up to 12am, another ring was added every hour. The Heart of the Harbour was a pyrotechnical feat of amazement. The bridge continued the traditional "golden waterfall" which usually gushes off the side of the bridge but looked like it was rolling off it. The soundtrack which is made by the Sydney council, makes the fireworks be "moulded" around the music.

Sydney celebrating the then upcoming Sydney Olympic Games in 2000A brilliant vocal send off was the finale, and after the 12am fireworks, the smallest heart beat feebly, but quickly, as though from a massive high it had witnessed.

Already for 2006, the council have set up the NYE website, which now features a ticker of how many seconds are left until 2007. The theme for this year is "A Diamond Night In Emerald City." The theme relating to Sydney, the Emerald City, and the Diamond being the focuspoint (In which the names have come from The Wizard of Oz. It has been released that the 9pm fireworks will be boosted so the kids (which it is used for) can have more fun. The children will be asked to click their heels together three times at the end of the 9pm fireworks to "trigger something magical", reminiscent to Dorothy in the Land of Oz. The Sydney Harbour Bridge turns 75 in 2007, which makes NYE 2006 so much more special with A Diamond Night In Emerald City. Already, the creators have built a gigantic coathanger with a diamond in the centre on the bridge. "The Coathanger" is the nickname for the Harbour Bridge.

Australia's Most Comprehensive New Years Eve websites:

Plus the official webpage:

[edit] Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, people usually gather in Central, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui harbourfront to see the lightworks on the skyscrapers along the harbour and to count down to the New Year at spots like Times Square and Ocean Terminal.

[edit] United States

The 1,070-pound Waterford Crystal ball on New Year's Eve.

Countdown 2006 in NYC.In the United States, New Year's Eve is a major social holiday. In the past 100 years the 'ball dropping' on top of One Times Square in New York City, broadcast to all of America, is a major component of the New Year celebration. The 1,070-pound, 6-foot-diameter Waterford crystal ball (on the right) located high above Times Square is lowered, starting at 23:59:00 and reaching the bottom of its tower at the stroke of midnight (00:00:00). It is sometimes referred to as "the big apple" like the city itself; the custom derives from the time signal that used to be given at noon in harbors. From 1982 to 1988, New York City dropped an enlarged apple in recognition of its nickname. Since 1972, Dick Clark has hosted televised coverage of the event called Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin Eve, shown on the ABC network. For about four decades Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians serenaded the United States from the ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Park Avenue in New York City. The song Auld Lang Syne has become a popular song to sing at midnight on New Year's Eve.

Many religious communities have a tradition of New Year's Eve being known as "Watch Night." The faithful of the community congregate in worship services commencing New Year's Eve night and continuing past midnight into the new year. The Watch Night is a time for giving thanks for the blessings of the outgoing year and praying for divine favor during the upcoming year. Though held by some to have begun in the African American community, watch night can actually be traced back to a sect of Christians known as the Moravians. The practice was later adopted by John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. Watch Night did take on special significance to African Americans on New Year's Eve 1862, however, as slaves eagerly awaited the arrival of January 1, 1863 -- the effective date of the Emancipation Proclamation. This particular New Year's Eve became known as "Freedom's Eve."[1]

[edit] Local Celebrations

Now, many cities in America have their own local version of the celebration, even while keeping an eye on New York, and the New York-centric aspect of the holiday is diminishing. Many cities, echoing the New York tradition of ball drop, also descend or lower an object (or an enlarged representation of an object), usually one of local significance. There are also examples of things going up. In Seattle the countdown is done by raising the Space Needle's elevator and launching fireworks up the side of the tower until both reach the top at midnight.

Further information: List of objects dropped on New Year's Eve

New Years Eve is a great opportunity for musicians and entertainers to perform because of the huge demand for entertainment on New Year's. In Sacramento, California the entire first floor of the Hilton Hotel, Arden West is taken up by a New Year's Eve party that features two bands, a DJ, and Casino gaming (for fun and prizes), and a balloon drop. The DJ is also a musician. He sings and plays saxophone, trumpet, and trombone.

New Year's Eve is a major event in Las Vegas, Nevada, where Las Vegas Boulevard is shut down as several hundred thousand people party. In New Orleans, Louisiana, another of the most popular New Year celebration venues in North America, similar crowds of hundreds of thousands gather in the French Quarter, particularly on Bourbon and Canal Streets, to celebrate the New Year.

Many cities also celebrate First Night, a non-alcoholic family-friendly New Year's Celebration, generally featuring performing artists, community events, parades, and fireworks displays. First Night began in Boston in 1976 and is now found in over 60 cities nationwide.


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