Happy New Year, dear readers, and best wishes for 2022! Read on if you'd like to learn about how people celebrate the new year in the UK. Practise your reading skills at the same time.
In England, December 31st is called New Year’s Eve. Many people like to celebrate the new year with their friends (whereas Christmas is more often spent with family). Some people go out for a meal or go to a pub or nightclub while others invite friends round to their home for a party.
People stay out until after midnight so they can see in the new year. At midnight, everyone counts down the last ten seconds until 12 o’clock, maybe with the TV or radio on so they can hear Big Ben strike 12 in London. Then they wish each other a Happy New Year, kiss loved ones, hug friends and drink champagne!
There is usually a spectacular firework display in London. Fireworks are set off from the river bank, from boats on the river and from the London Eye. The first display like this was to celebrate the new millennium at the end of 1999 and it happened most years since then.
Not everyone goes out on New Year’s Eve. Some people have a quiet evening at home. There are plenty of good things to watch on TV, including the London firework display. People also set off fireworks in their gardens so there’s no chance of an early night!
In Scotland, New Year’s Eve is called Hogmanay, a Scots word, and the celebrations are even bigger there than in England. There is a big street party in Edinburgh. They have a custom called first-footing. The firstfoot is the first person to enter the house in the new year and brings gifts such as whiskey, fruit cake or even coal for good luck. Another tradition is to sing a song called "Auld Lang Syne" at midnight and people link arms to sing it.
New Year’s Day (January 1st) is a national holiday in the UK. Many people go out for a walk, perhaps to burn off some of the calories they have consumed over the Christmas and New Year period! If New Year’s Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then the following Monday will be a holiday instead.
A lot of people make New Year’s resolutions, for example, “I’m going to lose weight this year” or “I’m going to see my family more often” or “I’m going to learn Spanish”. Many people sign up for gym membership! Of course, most resolutions are broken or forgotten within the first week!
Have you made any New Year's resolutions this year? Perhaps your resolution could be to improve your English! Visit my lessons page if you would like to know more about how I help learners to do that.
About the blog
Follow the blog for mini lessons and tips on how to improve your English.