The last day of December the year is called New Year’s Eve, and with it comes the celebration of all kings and all-night parties, especially in Scotland, where it is of more importance than Christmas Day. It was and it often is a night of feasting, singing, dancing until midnight when bells ring and people greet each with the New Year. The celebration is the same in England, Ireland and Wales. Children go singing from door to door, and are given sweets and presents.
Those who see the New Year in, join hands at midnight and sing the Scotland song of “Auld dang June” as soon as the clock finishes striking twelve. This song in sung in England to nowadays, but it is not one of the Old English customs. Even in Scotland, singing it is not so very old, for the words were only written in the 18 th century by Robert Berns.
At home or in restaurants most people spend the final hours of the old year and the first hours of the new year dining with friends. Champagne – the drink that traditionally symbolizes a celebration – is often served for the midnight toast on New Year’s Eve.
Following a long New Year’s Eve people usually spend a quient New Year’s Day. In most homes everyone sleeps late, then enjoys lunch and TV with the family and friends. New Year Day is the time for starting new life programs and giving up bad habits, for making New Year resolutions. But this winter Festive season is expensive. To earn extra money for presents and celebrations a lot of young people do part – time work in December.
Ringing out the old year, ringing in the new; is a custom followed in old most countries and one which will continue for many centuries more.