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England celebrates the New Year by either waiting for Big Ben, or another clock to strike midnight while enjoying the party. Usually, the partygoers will countdown the last ten seconds, by shouting out the numbers from "Ten!" and then as simultaneously Big Ben chimes and zero is reached, shout "Happy New Year!" instead of zero. Amusingly, the countdown is sometimes miscalculated and "One!" is repeated until Big Ben chimes. The chimes are usually accompanied by fireworks.

There are also major celebrations across Scotland where it is known as Hogmanay. The traditional song Auld Lang Syne was written by Robert Burns, a Scots poet. There are large street parties held in the major cities and Edinburgh and Glasgow are particularly renowned for their celebrations. The Edinburgh Hogmanay Street Party is attended by people from all over the world, thanks to its outstanding reputation.

London's celebrations are the most covered. Since the construction of the London Eye, it has been the centre-point of a huge ten-minute fireworks display each year, illuminated with coloured lasers. At the start of 2005, fireworks were launched from the wheel itself for the first time.


A young man celebrates a New Year party at a hotel in Tortosa, SpainSpanish New Year's Eve (Nochevieja, or Fin de Año) celebrations usually begin with a family dinner, traditionally including shrimps and lamb or turkey. 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 12 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 12 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 alternatively with cider.

After the family dinner and the grapes, many young people attend New Year parties at pubs, discotheques and similar places (these parties are called cotillones de nochevieja, after the Spanish word cotillón, which refers to party supplies like confetti, party blowers, party hats, etc.). Parties usually last till 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 next morning, party goers usually gather to have the traditional breakfast of chocolate con churros (hot chocolate and fried pastry).


The French call New Year's Eve la Saint-Sylvestre. It is usually celebrated with a feast called le Réveillon de Saint-Sylvestre. This feast customarily includes special dishes and drinks like champagne and foie gras. The celebration can be a simple, intimate dinner with friends and family or a much fancier ball (une soirée dansante).

On le Jour de l'An (New Year's Day), friends and family exchange New Year's resolutions and sometimes gifts.

The holiday period ends on January 6, Epiphany. On this day, they traditionally enjoy a type of cake which varies depending on where you are in France.


The New Year's Eve (Véspera de Ano Novo) is one of the most traditional holidays in Brazil. In most of the brazilian cities, even the medium cities, there are a large time of fireworks after the midnight and special music shows. The most famous celebration is in the Copacabana Beach, in Rio de Janeiro. The city of São Paulo has also a famous worldwide event: the Saint Silvester Marathon (Corrida de São Silvestre), which crosses the streets between the Paulista Avenue and the downtown. It's disputed by athletes of every world, including some olympic stars as the kenyan runner Paul Tergat, who won five times the marathon.


During the celebration of Año Viejo, Ecuadorean citizens burn anthropomorphic figures made of wood, newspapers, and rags, which are then stuffed with fireworks. These figures, known also as Año Viejo, represent symbolically the detritus of the old year and are generally references to noteworthy events during the past year. Often these have included hated political figures, pop-culture references, etc.


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