America's New Year's Traditions

December 24, 2021 0 Comments

America's New Year's Traditions

It’s that time of year again – the end of another year and the start of a new one. We’ve all seen the multitude of news stories about the top new year’s celebrations. If you’re thinking of breaking out some new year's traditions to add to the rotation this year, here are some of the most popular usa new year's traditions.

When did celebrating New Year start and what type of traditions do Americans have?

In the United States, New Year is celebrated on January 1st. This came about because our country is one of the largest economic hubs in the world and because of Roman culture. The New Year was celebrated on the 1st of January under the Romans.

Historically, the first January 1st celebration happened in Boston in 1632. A group of Puritan pilgrims celebrated the new year by ringing the church bells and firing off cannons. This continued for many years after.

In the 1800s, the 1st of January was celebrated in America as New Year’s Day  and since 1900 it has been celebrated as the New Year’s day.

The tradition of eating traditional New Year's  food began by accident. In the early 1900s everyone had gone out for the evening and returned home around midnight. Dinner was still being prepared so most of the food was still warm. Since most of the food was still warm, it was eaten and enjoyed. This tradition has continued through the decades and has grown in popularity ever since!

How is New Year celebrated world wide?

In China, the Spring Festival is the largest celebration in China. It is celebrated at the end of January. It is also celebrated with fireworks and fireworks are a big part of New Year celebrations world wide.


England has spent hundreds of years perfecting their own New Year traditions. Is it Lantern Night? No, it is Jack and Jill night. In England, children are told not to play with fire. In England, New Year’s is a time when people bring good luck for the coming year. The tradition of bringing a fruit cake has been celebrated in England since the 1800s. This tradition continues today.

What is New Year's dinner like in England?

Typically, dinner consists of roast goose or beef or turkey. Usually, there will be potatoes, parsnips and parsnips. A special sweet dessert might be eaten too, such as a plum pudding.


Scotland has also spent hundreds of years perfecting their own tradition. The tradition of eating haggis is practiced in Scotland. Haggis is an inside-out sheep’s stomach stuffed with sheep’s liver and lungs and oatmeal. It is meant to be eaten with neeps and tatties, which are turnip and mashed potatoes.

Jewish Culture

Many Jewish people celebrate New Year on December 31st. They eat lots of sweet foods and sweets.

In France, New Year’s is enjoyed on the 1st of January. Seafood is a very traditional  food enjoyed on New Years.

New Year's traditions in America: which were the most popular?

There are often a lot of negative connotations when it comes to New Year’s. As Americans, we often think of New Year's as the symbolic end of the holidays. We turn our backs on the festivities of the festive period and turn our attention to the new year, hoping that it will be a prosperous and healthy one.

Of course, there is a big bit of American tradition behind certain aspects of the New Year. We do not celebrate the actual birth of Jesus, we instead celebrate the coming of the New Year on December 31 of every year. We also have the tradition of making resolutions, which of course is commemorated in the phrase, “New Year, New You”.

The tradition of celebrating the New Year  is relatively new to American society, with Canada being one of the oldest cultures to do so. However, Jesus, in Christianity, is still celebrated in traditional and festive ways on January 1.

Compared to British custom, we don’t celebrate the New Year with any form of gift giving. In fact, gifts are discouraged. Instead, Americans choose to put their traditions into their own particular holiday, including eating specific food, throwing parties and enjoying fireworks.

In Australia, we quickly followed the American tradition of celebrating the New Year, although different traditions have developed. Unlike America, Australia does not celebrate anything on the night of December 31st, instead we wait until the following day, January 1. We celebrate on January 1st, unlike America.

There is also not the idea of making resolutions on January 1st, instead the holiday season is well and truly over. The tradition of Australia’s New Year comes from England.

While Christmas is the most well known holiday in Australia, New Year’s Eve is a close second.

There are some similarities between both of our traditions. Australian traditions also include drinking and eating large amounts of food. Fireworks are also popular on New Year’s Eve in Australia. Another similarity between both our traditions is the act of counting down, however the celebration is a little bit different.

In Australia, New Year’s Eve parties are traditionally attended by just friends and family. While in America, they host huge parties for the general public, often with music, dancing and alcohol.

It is quite interesting to compare our two cultures, seeing as how both our country’s are relatively new to the celebration of the New Year.

Both cultures have something in common, and that is the celebration of the end of a chapter. While both cultures celebrate the end of the last chapter, both theirs open onto a new era, and the beginning of a new beginning.

Why did Americans start celebrating New Year's?

Now I am not a big party person, so I find it very easy to understand why New Years Eve is such a big celebration. After a long year of being cooped up in an office, people get out, they drink a LOT of alcohol and if they are in New York, they are bound to see a celebrity! How do these famous people spend New Year's Eve?

In 1792, there was a man named Henry Clay. He was a close friend of George Washington, a passionate politician and a pillar of the democratic party. He was also a scientist and an expert on astrology. He was of the opinion that 1788 was a “critical year” in the zodiacal cycle and that 1789 was going to be a “transformative year”. It was in 1789 that he wrote of his decision to ring in the new year by watching a firework display with his close friends.

This was the beginning of what became the “New Year’s Eve Celebration”.

George Washington was also fond of celebrations and he celebrated the passing of the Articles of Confederation. This meant that the new constitution would be signed and America would have a new government. He was joined by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Alexander Hamilton to watch the Bostonians celebrate by firing guns in the air. In 1795, George Washington wanted to celebrate the passing of the Embargo Act and so invited a group of Americans to meet at Federal Hall in NYC, where the long term residency of the USA had begun. That evening, 13 stars were hung in the windows and fireworks were shot off from the building.

As a country, we still see New Year’s Eve as a big celebration. We rang in the New Year of 2009 with Barack Obama as POTUS. In 2016, Americans celebrated the end of Republican rule of the US with the election of Donald Trump. This combined partying and celebrations can be dangerous. In 2011, several people were killed when a house party got out of hand.

Although I feel like many Americans take New Years  Eve way too seriously and blow the whole evening up, doing so can be dangerous. I celebrate the new year with my family and a nice meal. Instead of binge drinking and being hungover, we go for a walk. How do you celebrate the New Year in your country?