Read About British New Year Celebrations and Traditions
It is traditional in England to celebrate the end of the old year and welcome in the new year at the end of December.
December 31 is New Year's Eve. New year's Eve is not a public holiday. Most people go to work as usual. In the evening, many English people have parties in their homes. Others celebrate in pubs or clubs with their friends and families, or attend outdoor gatherings and firework displays.
Just before midnight on New Year's Eve, people hold hands and sing a traditional song called "Auld Lang Syne". They count the seconds down to the new year and when the clock strikes midnight, they hug and kiss and wish each other a happy new year! Sometimes people set off fireworks as the new year begins.
People often drink a toast to the coming year with a fizzy alcoholic drink called champagne. Some people let their children stay up late to join in with the celebrations.
New Year's Day is celebrated on January 1. New Year's Day is a bank holiday. A bank holiday is a public holiday. Most shops and businesses close for the day.
New Year's Day is a holiday for nearly everyone in the UK. Very few buses and trains run on New Year's Day. Most people stay at home and relax with their families.
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's Day will bring all the luck for the coming year with them. This tradition is called first footing.
The first person to enter a house on New Year's Day is known as the first footer. Dark haired people are thought to be the luckiest first footers, and it is traditional to carry a lump of coal when going first footing.
People often make New Year resolutions at the start of the new year. Resolutions are things that people have decided (or resolved) to do to make their lives better, such as stopping smoking or losing weight. Not everybody manages to keep their New Year's resolutions, though!