A land of opportunities and that of the free, USA has earned this reputation and lived up to it since quite long. Its geographical location makes it one of the last countries in the world to usher in the New Year around the world. The saying "last but certainly not the least" holds absolutely true for grand and elaborate New Year celebrations held around the United States. The New Year revelry touches an unprecedented high here, in front of which the earlier celebrations carried out around rest of the world seem to pale. The USA follows the Gregorian calendar as per which December 31 is the last day of the year and is celebrated as New Year's Eve. Over the years with evolution of television, the changing of the year by Father Time has eventually become a grand affair.
December 31 is a social holiday in most of the country as it is part of the cheerful holiday season. Therefore, all educational instructions remain closed along with several commercial organizations, which either remain completely closed or partially open for a limited time. One can enjoy special entertainment programs hosted by various theaters, clubs and other entertainment venues. Huge public celebrations, social meetings and private parties filled with free-flowing drinks and exquisite dishes go a long way to show the deep festive spirit embedded in the hearts and minds of American people. The New Year is welcomed in the country amidst loud cheers, greetings, hooting and singing, accompanied by lots of dancing and kissing.
New Year Celebrations
If one gets a chance to see the USA from a bird's eye view on December 31st, one would be mesmerized with the spectacularly luminescent sights, as the entire country is bathed in bedazzling shades of electric lights. The very air is charged up with the festive mood and good cheer present in the general population on this occasion. The grandest and one of the most awaited celebrations of New Year takes place at Times Square, Manhattan, New York City. The Ball Drop ceremony, conducted here, is not just watched live by millions but is also broadcasted throughout the world. The first Ball Drop in Times Square took place in 1907 and since then, it has become an unbroken tradition followed on every New Year's Eve, except during the World War II.
The magnificent ceremony involves lowering of a stunning crystal ball covered with brilliantly lit electric lights from a pole with a height of 77 feet, or 23 meters. The intriguing process begins one minute before midnight on New Year's Eve. The ball slowly descends down the pole and reaches the bottom of the pole precisely when the clock strikes twelve. This event is believed to be one of the most watched live televised New Year programs across different time zones round the globe. However, this sort of New Year celebration is not just limited to Times Square but can be seen across the country, where this ceremony is replicated in many interesting ways.
In various states of USA based on the Ball Drop concept of Times Square, many intriguing objects are dropped and raised as part of New Year celebrations. These objects range from funny to downright weird, such as live and modeled domestic and wild animals, fruits, vegetables, automobiles, industrial machinery, etc. In Atlanta, Georgia, a giant replica of a peach serves the purpose, whereas in Raleigh, North Carolina, a 900-pound brass-made acorn takes on this role. In Strasburg, Pennsylvania, this role is taken up by ping pong balls. These out-of-the-box celebrations do make New Year revelry in USA special and absolutely extraordinary to watch as well as be a part of. These festivities go on till the New Year's Day.
People start January 1 at a leisurely pace as it is a federal holiday. They wish their dear near and dear ones "Happy New Year" and spend quality time with close friends and family members. Many people go on picnics on this day with their loved ones and enjoy blissful outings. Another wonderful celebration of the New Year is the Tournament of Roses Parade held in Pasadena, California. The elaborate procession includes numerous stunning floats, marching bands, and equestrians. Americans love their sports; therefore, the country has a rich sports culture. Popular sports events, like football matches, known as the Orange Bowl, as well as the Fiesta Bowl, are played and watched during New Year celebrations.
New Year is celebrated in a congenial environment filled with lots of fun and frolic throughout the USA.