New Year

People celebrating New Year

What do you know about New Year? Read this article to find out what people do at this special time!


Do the preparation exercise first. Then read the article and do the other exercises.

Reading text

New Year

Almost everywhere celebrates the new year, but the date when the new year starts depends on the calendar you use. For example, in the Iranian solar calendar, New Year (Nowruz) is celebrated around 21 March, and for Jewish people, New Year is Rosh Hashanah and is celebrated in September or October. The calendar which is used the most in the world is called the Gregorian calendar. In this calendar, New Year is on 1 January. Find out how it's celebrated around the world!

Midnight fireworks

New Year's Eve, 31 December, is the last day of the old year. In many places, people have a party or go out in the evening with their friends and family to watch amazing fireworks or light shows. People often watch a big clock and count down the last ten seconds (10! 9! 8! … 3! 2! 1!) before midnight, the moment the new year starts, then say 'Happy New Year!'

Traditions around the world

There are lots of different traditions in different countries. In some countries, people sing a special New Year song. In the UK the song is called 'Auld Lang Syne', and people usually sing it just after midnight. In Greece, you can have a piece of a special cake or bread. Inside only one piece of the cake or bread is a coin. If you get that piece, you have good luck for the next year!

In other countries, colours are important. In Brazil, for example, people often wear white clothes for good luck, yellow clothes for happiness and money or red clothes for love. In the Philippines, circles mean coins or money, so people wear clothes with circles and eat 12 round fruits, one for each month of the year.

Bells can be important too. In many places, a clock bell rings 12 times at midnight. In Japan, temple bells ring 108 times! This is to make sure that there are no negative feelings or ideas, like anger or hate, in the new year.

New Year's resolutions

For lots of people, the New Year is the perfect time to make New Year's resolutions. This means to promise yourself to do something good for all the next year. For example, I'm going to eat one more piece of fruit or vegetables every day, or I'm going to help my little brother with his homework every week. Sometimes it's difficult to keep your resolutions! If you make a resolution, try something small that you can easily say 'Yes, I did that today.' Good luck!

New Year is celebrated in so many different ways, but everywhere people are happy and excited for the new year and enjoy this time with their friends and family. Happy New Year!


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