New Year

young people celebrating New Year

The last day of the year, December 31, is a night to celebrate. Find out how people celebrate New Year in the UK.

Instructions

Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercises to check your understanding.

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve is the last day of the year, 31 December. It’s one of the biggest party nights of the year all around the UK. The celebrations start in the early evening as people get together with family and friends. In many cities, people go out to watch fireworks displays or light shows at midnight. Just after midnight, it’s traditional to link arms with the people around you and sing a song called 'Auld Lang Syne', which is about remembering your old friends.

New Year's Eve in London

The biggest fireworks display in England is in central London Many people go to Big Ben, the famous clock tower, to hear it ring 12 times at midnight and then watch the fireworks over the river Thames. 

New Year in Scotland

In Scotland, New Year celebrations are called 'Hogmanay'. The biggest Hogmanay celebration is in Edinburgh, the country’s capital  city. There are music concerts, street performers and fireworks. In fact, it is one of the largest street parties in the world! In Scotland, many people also have a tradition called 'first-footing'. The 'first foot' is the first person to visit your house in the new year, and the first foot is said to bring you luck for the whole year. To do this, they bring a lucky gift, such as coal for the fire, food to eat, or coins. According to tradition, tall, dark-haired men bring the most luck.

New Year at home

It’s not a big street party for everyone, though. Lots of families stay at home together and have a quiet evening. People often watch the fireworks and celebrations on TV, and then send 'Happy New Year!' messages to family and friends after midnight.

New Year's Day 

The first day of the new year is a public holiday in the UK, so many people don't have to go to work. Some people like to go for a New Year's Day swim, and take part in outdoor swimming events. The water is very cold on 1 January, so it's important to put on warm clothes and have a hot drink after the swim! Other people prefer shopping and some shops start their January sales on this day. They sell clothes, electronics, toys and other things at lower prices than usual.

New Year's resolutions

After all the celebrations, it's traditional to make plans for the new year. These plans are called 'New Year's resolutions' and the idea is to make some positive changes in your life. Some of the most popular resolutions for teenagers are to organise your study time, be a good friend, save money and learn something new.

Many people make New Year's resolutions but then, after a week or a month, they find it difficult to continue and even give up. To help you to keep going, it's important to make simple resolutions that are easy to do. You can write your resolutions on a piece of paper to help you remember your plans. It's also easier to stick to your resolutions if you involve other people. For example you could go running with a friend or study for your exams with a classmate.

Discussion

How do you usually celebrate New Year's Eve? Do you make any resolutions?

Personal online tutoring
EnglishScore Tutors is the British Council’s one-to-one tutoring platform for 13- to 17-year-olds.

Comments

Submitted by nora503 on Mon, 01/03/2022 - 10:50

I usually spend New Year’s Eve with my family or friends at home. This year I went to my best friend’s house with my family. It was amazing. When the year changed we went out on the balcony and saw fireworks from all over Athens. My new year's resolution is to make a trip to London and read most of the books in my booklist.

Submitted by legolas on Fri, 12/31/2021 - 11:18

we are celebrating New Year with my friends at dormitary tonight .
Profile picture for user Cfvdv

Submitted by Cfvdv on Thu, 06/10/2021 - 15:07

I celebrate New Year's Eve being with my family. Usually, I stay awake for a long time, watching the fireworks in the sky. I don't make any resolutions but I always try to do the best things I can.
Profile picture for user Youjiro

Submitted by Youjiro on Tue, 03/05/2019 - 04:23

My new year's resolution was to save money and improving English ability .
English courses near you