Magnificent fireworks, great concerts, and beloved traditions – New Year's Eve is one of the highlights of the year in the USA! We will tell you how to spend the turn of the year like a real American.
Do you want to celebrate your New Year's Eve the American way? These five typical New Year's Eve traditions are a must for the last day of the year.
If you're expecting a lavish buffet on New Year's Eve, you'll be disappointed in the USA. For once, Americans prefer to be modest at this time of year. A saying from the Southern States goes: “Eat poor on New Year's, eat fat the rest of the year.”
Many Americans favor eating a plate of lentil soup on New Year's Eve because the shape of the lentil is reminiscent of the shape of a coin. According to popular tradition, eating the hearty dish on December 31st will bring a flood of money and good luck in the coming year.
Other classic US New Year's Eve foods include "Hoppin' John," a stew of black-eyed peas, and "Collard Greens," a dish consisting of ham, peas, rice, and cabbage. The green color of the cabbage stands for dollar bills, and the peas symbolize coins. Like the lentil soup, the dishes promise economic well-being and good fortune in the new year.
New year, new me! Americans are also making resolutions to get their new year off to the best possible start. More sports, healthier eating, saving more money, quitting smoking, new hobbies: on New Year's Eve, about 70% of US citizens resolve to turn their lives around or improve themselves.
Attention, spoiler: Experience shows that around 80% of New Year's resolutions are likely to be dropped within a month.
If you're celebrating with a group of friends or in a public space with hundreds of people, the New Year's Eve countdown is an essential ritual. The last ten seconds before midnight are counted down loudly and together before fireworks welcome the new year. Afterwards, many people toast with a glass of champagne or grab a loved one (or a friendly stranger) to share the first kiss of the year.
Not only in Times Square but everywhere in the USA, the New Year's Eve hymn "Auld Lang Syne" resounds after midnight. The Scottish song was written by Robert Burns in the 18th century and has survived the ages. Literally, the title means "old long ago." Many Americans sing it together to bid farewell to the old year.
At the turn of the year, American streets are always exceptionally clean. This is not only due to diligent cleaning services but also to a custom called "nothing goes out." According to this, no items are to be removed from the home before the new year starts.
The rule in many US households is that nothing is allowed to leave the house on New Year's Eve – not even the full garbage bag. According to superstition, anyone who does not comply with this principle will experience misfortune in the coming year.
Are you thinking of celebrating the New Year in the land of opportunity? Here are our top five New Year's Eve travel tips:
The most famous New Year's Eve party in America is celebrated in New York's Times Square every year. The legendary Ball Drop at midnight has been taking place since 1907. The New Year's Eve Ball is essentially an oversized disco ball with thousands of LED lights that is lowered from a flagpole on the roof of the One Times Square skyscraper at the turn of the year.
The event is accompanied by a pompous fireworks show, a musical program with a star-studded lineup, and about 1,400 kg of confetti that rains down on the approximately one million spectators in Times Square. You can follow the New York Ball Drop live on several American TV stations during special New Year's Eve broadcasts.
In America's glittering entertainment capital Las Vegas, you will, of course, also be entertained on New Year's Eve. "America's Party" is the official New Year's Eve event on the Las Vegas Strip. With a ticket, you can attend the "America's Party Downtown" concert at the Fremont Street Experience and also watch the grand fireworks display. Traditionally, the fireworks are organized by Fireworks by Grucci and are launched from the roofs of several famous casinos.
You can celebrate New Year's Eve with Mickey Mouse and Co. at various amusement parks in the USA. Disney World in Orlando, Florida, is particularly famous for its magical New Year's Eve celebrations. Be amazed when the fireworks over Cinderella's Castle create a colorful spectacle in the night sky and ring in the new year with delicious New Year's Eve menus and exuberant dance parties!
In the American southern metropolis of New Orleans, you can celebrate great parties! Warm temperatures and a wide variety of bars and nightclubs around Bourbon Street will make your New Year's Eve in the US state of Louisiana an unforgettable time. The most popular party with a lot of music and entertainment takes place at Jackson Square in the historic French Quarter. You can also enjoy a wonderful view of the New Year's Eve fireworks from a ship anchored off the shore of New Orleans.
The Californian metropolis of San Francisco attracts visitors with a whole series of unique New Year's Eve events, such as the spectacular fireworks show. You can see it particularly well from the Embarcadero waterfront or from the lofty heights of Twin Peaks. Another great way to spend a festive evening is aboard a ship in San Francisco Bay.
You've strictly observed all the New Year's Eve customs, and a year full of happiness is now upon you? Great, as an America-lover, you may now take your chance at winning the annual Green Card Lottery of the US authorities. We're keeping our fingers crossed for you!