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Hi, someone asked me what we do here on January 1. So I'll tell anyone who's interested!|
New Year's Eve (December 31st) is the big time to celebrate. On New Year's Eve ("eve" means the night before something), we usually have parties. Usually it's known as an adult partying time, often with a lot of drinking. Some adults will get a babysitter and go party with their adult friends, but some people have parties that include their children too. And some people don't do much at all, they just stay home. My parents won't do anything. They'll treat it like any other day.
WHAT IS A NEW YEAR'S PARTY LIKE? The main goal is to stay up until midnight and make a lot of commotion when the clock strikes midnight. Some young people go to bars or clubs to party. They might drink a lot and dance a lot. If they are single, they might try to meet someone new tonight.
If it is a family party with kids, the kids might fall asleep before 12:00. They always try hard to stay awake, but if they fall asleep we try to wake them a few minutes before 12:00 so they can feel like part of the fun. They are always proud the first time they stay up until midnight with the grownups. Sometimes when we wake them they say "I wasn't sleeping!" as they rub their eyes.
WHAT WILL I DO?
We will go to my cousin's house around 7-8pm. We'll play games, have food, some people will drink a lot (but not everyone). People tend to get a little silly. They might wear funny party hats, or decorate with balloons, or make noise with noisemakers you blow through. Some people will set off FIREWORKS but that's illegal in my state, so only a few people will do that. They'll do it from their own backyards, and only do a little bit, with space in between them. If they set off a lot in a row, the police will be able to tell where they are coming from and they'll get in trouble. If the police are nice, they'll just tell them to stop, and when they go away the people will set them off again anyway. If the policeman is in a bad mood because he is working on New Year's Eve, he might make them pay a fine or take them away.
There are many TV programs on, with singing and big parties, like in New York City (I live near there, that's why I'm talking about it, no offense if you live somewhere else, I'm sure your parties are good too!) Just before 12:00 midnight, they start counting down, and if you're watching the TV show from Times Square in NYC, you will see "the ball drop". What the heck is that? It's a big ball covered in thousands of light bulbs, and it's way up high. As they count down from ten, the ball slowly goes down, until it hits a platform where the ball lights go out, and the number "2006" will light up as everyone cheers. Thousands of people crowd the streets there. I think they're crazy, it's too cold to stand out there just to see a ball drop (which doesn't even really drop, it goes down slowly).
WHEN I WAS LITTLE... I thought the ball would really fall and crash on the ground. It seemed very exciting in my imagination, a big giant lightbulb going out because it smashed to the ground! Then when I saw it and nothing smashed or broke, I was very disappointed.
We also made noise by going outside at midnight and banging spoons on pot lids or frying pans. Free noisemakers! The neighbors would yell across to each other "Happy New Year!!" and bang their things too. It's quieter these days. People have gotten more boring.
New Year's Day (January 1st) is often used for recovering from the previous night's drinking. Most people have off work, and use the day in different ways; relaxing, visiting friends, housework that was ignored over the holidays, etc.