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American Life: December/New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve Traditions

Thank you for stopping by our blog again this month. We hope you all had a great Christmas and that Santa Claus was good to you. Did you get everything you wanted? Today is our last working day of the year at GEA so we just wanted to wish you happy holidays and briefly talk about some mainstream American New Year’s Eve traditions. 


New Year’s Eve is a time for friends, parties and celebration in the US. In Japan the holiday is associated with family (and cleaning) but in the US many Americans associate the holiday with fun and parties. Of course you can celebrate with your family but it is not a family first holiday as it is in Japan. Christmas is celebrated on December 25th so this is when many Americans do their family activities.  So how do Americans celebrate New Year’s Eve? Here are two examples of classic traditions.


One of the biggest traditions, and one that I personally used to do, is to watch the countdown in New York’s Times Square on TV. At midnight a big ball drops down a tower and everybody cheers and throws confetti. It is a big celebration with lots of entertainment and live performances. Most of the people in the same time zone tune in to watch. I was actually there one year when I was in high school. It was an unforgettably cold experience.


Another traditional way to celebrate New Year’s Eve is to bang on your pots and pans at the stroke of midnight. You can hear many people making quite a lot of noise outside. I didn’t know this before but banging on pots and pans at midnight on this day is supposed to scare all the evil spirits from the house. I am sure I have done this at one point in my life but I don’t have a clear memory of doing so.


America is a big country with many people from different cultures and backgrounds. It is impossible to list all the New Year’s traditions here but today I included some classic traditions that I thought were interesting and different from Japan. No matter what your tradition is or where you are from we wish you a very happy, healthy, and safe New Year! 


We are looking forward to seeing you in January! 

 


  

 

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