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