New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve is a separate observance from the observance of New Year's Day. In 20th-century Western practice, the celebration involves partying until the moment of the transition of the year, generally at local midnight. Drinking champagne is also a major part of the festivities.
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.
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 the New Year at spots like Times Square and Ocean Terminal.
United StatesUnited States New Year's Eve is a major social holiday. In the past 100 years the dropping of the 'ball' on top of One Times Square in New York City, broadcast worldwide, is a major component of the 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 reaches the bottom of its tower at the stroke of midnight (00:00:00) on January 1. 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. 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. In between 1982 and 1988, New York City dropped an enlarged apple in recognition of its nickname.
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 dropping a ball, also drop or lower an object (or an enlarged representation of an object), usually one of local significance. Template:See
There are also examples of things going up. In Seattle the countdown is done by launching fireworks up the side of the Space Needle until it reaches the top at midnight.
The UK celebrate New Year by either waiting for Big Ben, or another clock to strike 00:00:00 while enjoying the party, the chimes are normally accompanied by Auld Lang Syne and fireworks. It is also a major celebration in Scotland see: hogmanay
As a family-friendly, non-alcoholic celebration of the coming New Year, many communities have started sponsoring "First Night" celebrations. Typical events might include musical entertainment, arcades, and carnival attractions. One such "First Night" celebration can be found at Whistler, BC Canada, one of the world's most popular ski resorts.