After we toast the New Year at midnight on new Year’s Eve and finish singing Auld Lang Syne, we turn to family and friends and start to offer them New Year’s greetings. We wish each other a “Happy New Year” and we hug and kiss.
For family and friends who aren’t with us in person, we either send cards or postcards in advance, or SMS messages or emails at the time.
New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day, deemed to be January 1st in the Gregorian calendar, is widely recognised around the world, even though many countries also celebrate their own new years. The Chinese New Year is probably the best known example.
Celebrations around the world often include major fireworks display, family parties, and gatherings in public places.
The first major firework display of each New Year is held in Sydney Australia, an event carried on television around the world. Sydney is first even each year due to Australia’s proximity to the International Date Line.
Parties for family and friends are held in many countries. perhaps the most famous are held in Scotland as part of their Hogmanay celebrations. Many parties around the world adopt many of the Scottish traditions, like singing Auld Lang Syne and toasting the New Year with whisky.
Public gatherings include Trafalgar Square in London, where thousands gather to see in the New Year after a day of celebrations and parades, and Times Square in New York where 1 million people gather to see the lights and to cheer as the clock strikes twelve.
Happy New Year and Other Greetings
“Happy New Year” is the usual greeting we offer each other at New Year, particularly in person. Many writers and poets have penned New Year’s greeting that have become famous quotes. Some examples are:
Charles Dickens: A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to the world!
Benjamin Franklin: Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man.
Edith Lovejoy Pierce: We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called “Opportunity” and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.
Cards, Postcards, and eCards
We send many hundreds of millions of New Year’s cards and postcards are each year to family and friends who won’t be with us at New Year. Many offer the simple greeting “Happy New Year”, some use famous quotations, with progressively more being humorous.
The craze for eCards, delivered via the Internet, has included their use for New Years cards.
SMS Messages and Emails
An estimated 43 billion SMS messages were sent for New Year 2015, a significant increase on 2016. We are expected to send even more in 2017.
No measures of New Year’s greetings emails are available, but is it believed there are several billion sent.