What do people do?
On New Year's Eve (December 31) many people turn on a television to show pictures of one of the four clocks on the Clock Tower on the Palace of Westminster, or Houses of Parliament, in London counting down the last minutes of the old year. Just before midnight, people all over the UK cross their arms across their chests and link hands with everyone close by them. They sing a song called “Auld Lang Syne” reminding them of old and new friends. “Auld Lang Syne” is from old Scottish dialect and can be translated “times New Year Resolutions gone by”. This song is about love and friendship in times gone by. So when the clock strikes midnight, British people hug and kiss and wish each other a happy new year.
On December 31 many people hold parties at home; others celebrate in pubs or night clubs with their friends and families, or attend outdoor gatherings and firework displays.
New Year’s Parade
New Year celebrations in Britain is a colorful affair and is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Midnight parties, lavish meals, champagnes, music, dance and fireworks are the important parts of New Year in Britain. It is the biggest night-out New Year Resolutions of the year.
Another important part of New Year celebrations in Britain is the biggest New Year parade. The parade starts at noon walking down the streets via Whitehall, Pall Mall and finishing in Berkley square. Musicians, dancers, acrobats, drums and other entertainers do a splendid job to make the event most distinguished one. Everyone present at the Berkley is openly invited to join the carnival and enjoy the festive occasion.
There is an old superstition in Scotland and some other parts of the UK that the first person to enter someone’s home on New Year New Year Resolutions’s Day will bring all the luck for the coming year with them. This person is known as the first footer. It should be a male visitor - young, handsome, dark-haired and healthy. A blonde, a red-haired or a woman are not allowed to enter the house first as they are supposed to bring bad luck. The visitor was supposed to bring gifts of money, bread or cake, coal or salt and some greenery. These were all for good luck – the coal to be sure that the house will always be warm, the bread to be sure New Year Resolutions that everyone in the house will have enough food to eat, money so that they will have enough money and the greenery to make sure they will have a long life.
In Scotland the New Year celebrations are known as Hogmanay. Hogmanay is the Scot’s word for the last day of the year. Hogmanay has its origins in pagan times, an ancient time when the people would hold festivals for the sun and fire in the middle of the winter, to help them go through the cold hard times and to encourage the warmth and the longer days to return in New Year Resolutions the spring.
Up until the 1960’s, Hogmanay was a more important festival in Scotland than Christmas. On the day of Hogmanay, 31st December, traditionally the house would be cleaned throughout so that the New Year would be welcomed into a pristine, tidy home. It is regarded as very bad luck to welcome the New Year into a dirty and untidy house!
New Year Resolutions
Many people make New Year's resolutions. These are promises to themselves that they will lead a better life in some way in the coming year. Some of the most popular resolutions are: to do more New Year Resolutions exercise, to stop smoking, to eat more healthily, to save money and to learn something new. However, many of these resolutions, made in a flush of alcohol and partying, are not kept for very long and the same ones are repeated year after year!
We asked young people around the UK about their resolutions for the new year.
· My resolutions for this year are to be nicer to my little brother, spend less money on clothes and stop biting my nails.” Mary, aged 17, Glasgow.
· My resolutions are to do my homework on time, eat less junk food, save New Year Resolutions up for a motor bike and remember my girlfriend’s birthday this year!” Ben, 16, Brighton
· I'm going to learn how to play the guitar, go running every day and study hard to get good grades for university.” Sophie, 18, Newcastle Upon Tyne
· My New Year’s resolution is to not make any New Year’s resolutions. They are impossible to keep!” Stuart, 14, Devon
Lots of Brits make New Year’s resolutions and then after a week or a month they find it difficult to continue. How can people keep their resolutions? Life coach Emma Nesdale gives some advice.
Ø “Make simple resolutions that New Year Resolutions are easy to do. If you want to lose weight you can decide to give up crisps and cakes rather than go on a strict diet. It’s a good idea to write your resolutions on a piece of paper to help you remember your plans. It’s easier to stick to your resolutions if you involve other people. You could go running with a friend or study for exams with a classmate.”
It also seem that sending New Year cards is becoming a traditions, so even this celebration is not free from the pressures of marketing. So whether New Year Resolutions you go to London for the fireworks display and then watch the parade the following day or you are going from home to home with your bottle of whisky in a small Scottish town, you will find many different ways of bringing the New Year in and around Great Britain.
Christmas Day in United Kingdom
Christmas is the biggest festival in Britain and is celebrated on 25th December. The four weeks before Christmas are called Advent, and are traditionally celebrated in churches by lighting a candle each Sunday during Advent. Nowadays, many people in Britain are not very religious, but they New Year Resolutions still celebrate Christmas. But watch out - the preparations begin long before Advent. In fact, as early as September or October, you start to see signs that Christmas is on the way. On 26th of December British people celebrate Boxing Day.Some historians believe the name 'Boxing Day' came about because the boxes placed in churches to collect money for the poor and needy, and the contents were distributed on December 26. Oxford English Dictionary says this comes from the Christmas box. Boxing Day was a day off for servants and when they received a ‘Christmas Box’ from New Year Resolutions the master. The servants would also go home to give ‘Christmas Boxes’ to their families.