New Year (Holiday)

New Year is the first day of the Gregorian calendar, January 1. It is commonly celebrated the night before, December 31st, with great anticipation for the turnover into a new year. Many people countdown the clock to strike midnight. Due to time zones, the first countries to ring in the New Year are Tonga, Samoa, and Kiribati. Next is New Zealand. The last to celebrate are Baker Island and Howard Island, albeit both are uninhabited.


Traditional Food

North America: 

  • Champagne as a celebratory drink
  • Southern USA: Eat green food (e.g. collard greens) for luck with money
  • Southern USA: Eat peas for prosperity

South America: 

  • Eat 12 grapes at the start of the new year for luck for each month of the year
  • Eat lentils to bring in prosperity

Asia:

  • Long noodles for happiness and long life; don’t cut noodles; slurp
  • Eat 12 round fruit for prosperity all year
  • Rice cakes for good luck
  • Whole chicken for family unity
  • Whole fish for abundance

Superstitions

  1. Kiss at Midnight: Kiss someone you love for another year of affection
  2. Make a Lot of Noise: Be loud at midnight to ward off bad luck
  3. Fill Cupboards: Empty cupboards symbolize another year of hardship
  4. Pay off Debts: Pay off your debts before the new year so you won’t continue to owe in the new year
  5. Don’t Give Loans: Don’t give out loans on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day
  6. Have Money in Your Pocket: Have money in your wallet for prosperity
  7. Air Out Your Home: Let the old air out and welcome the new
  8. Run with Empty Luggage: It is believed that if you run in a circle around your house or the block with an empty suitcase you will have a year full of travel opportunities
  9. Underwear Color:
    • Yellow: Wear new, yellow underwear to bring in luck, money, and happiness. Some countries believe that you should wear it inside-out before midnight; after the clock strikes 12am, then turn your underwear right-side out.
    • Red: Wear red underwear for luck in love
    • White: In Brazil, wear new, white underwear and jump 7 waves or toss flowers in the ocean for luck
    • Black: Don’t wear black underwear; it is bad luck

Customs

  • Global: Stay up and countdown to midnight on New Year’s Eve
  • USA: New Year resolutions to maintain during the year

Travel Tips

New Year’s Day is an observed holiday in the USA. If the holiday falls on a Saturday then Friday is observed as an additional federal holiday. If it falls on a Sunday then Monday is observed as an additional federal holiday. Please plan accordingly. Contact businesses directly to find out if they have any special holiday hours.

Peak Season for Travel:

  • Make reservations early
  • Airfare, car rentals, and lodging will be booked far in advance and selling at premium holiday rates
  • Flying on the actual holiday is generally cheaper than the days surrounding it
  • Hotels and other accommodations may require a minimum length of stay
  • Expect traffic the day before and the days following as families return from vacation (especially Fridays and Sundays)

Hours:

  • Non-essential government offices will be closed
  • Many businesses (including groceries and restaurants) will be closed or have limited hours on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
  • National parks are closed on New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day
  • Public transportation may be running limited holiday hours

Road Closures:

  • Roads may be closed ahead of time for celebrations; they remain closed for an extended period of time after celebrations for cleanup 

Free Street Parking:

  • On-street parking meters are generally free on federal holidays and federally observed holidays (see meter or street sign)

Sales:

  • Some businesses, especially big department stores and online venues, have promotional sales leading up to the holiday and the Monday after

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Event Timing

  • Date:January 1, 2023