18 (12)  What happens on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day in the US ! (January 3, 2003)

The most popular Japanese TV show on New Year's Eve, "KouHaku Utagatsusen" (song competition: male pop & Enka (Country) singers vs. female) corresponds to "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2003" in the US.   "Joya-no-kane (bell)" (the watch-night bell) in Japan is similar to countdowns, fireworks, confetti, and noises using noise makers and car horns.

These two days are not as big as Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Independence Day. But New Year's Day signals the end of the Holiday season, which starts on Thanksgiving < http://www.exploreamerica.info/what_letter_English_11.htm >.

New Year's Eve activities:

People often go out to a bar, restaurant, or house party with friends or relatives. Some people may drink too much, but others simply have a glass of champagne to toast the New Year, and some have no alcohol. The parties may have confetti bombs, hats, and noisemakers.  
confetti < http://www.confetti.co.uk/shopping/newshop/searchresults.asp?cat=220  >
noise makers < http://masters-of-sound.makesparties.com/catalog/template.php3?sub_event=263&event=7 >

TV programs often review events of the past year. As 12:00 midnight approaches, most people watch TV to see when the official start of the New Year is.

Traditionally people watch Dick Clark on TV as the ball lowers in Times Square to signal the New Year. Dick Clark will host "Dick Clark's 31st New Year's Rockin' Eve 2003". This is the most popular TV show for New Year's Eve. Besides the Big Apple ( New York ) , many large cities hold special events. Las Vegas, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and others will host events. Some light fireworks (photo examples < http://www.exploreamerica.info/Photo_Gallery_01_New_Years_Eve_2002.htm >) to celebrate the New Year.

At midnight , noisy people at parties might kiss each other, and people on the street use noise makers and cars blow horns. Some people make New Year's resolutions. The most common resolution is to lose weight, so fitness gyms get many new clients in January.  Once midnight is past people begin to sing the song: "Auld Lang Syne" (spoken poem: < http://www.yourscottishname.com/poemsofburns/poems/auld_lang_syne2_marq.htm > music: < http://wilstar.com/xmas/auldlangsyne.htm > )

Because the USA is such a large country that spans several time zones, All Americans can't celebrate the new year at the same time.  For
Minnesota, it'll be only 11:00 p.m. in 2002 when New York crosses into 2003, while for those in California and in Hawaii it will be 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. respectively.  This may seem strange to some Japanese who grew up in Japan.

New Year's Day activities:

People tend to sleep in after the late parties.

There are college football Bowl games < http://www.exploreamerica.info/what_letter_Jpn_S_3_121302.htm  >,  and parades related to the Bowl games such as the Florida Citrus Bowl Parade in Orlando, Florida and the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.

Some families and friends may get together and play games, watch football (Bowl games), and relax.

Cards, Yahtzee, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, Risk, and Trouble are popular games.  Of course, computer games and video games are also popular.

Christmas decorations often remain past New Year's Day. There are no special meals for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. 

Just Curious!
Q: People don't go to church on New Year's Day, do they?
A: Yes, There is church on New Year's Day. I don't think this mass is nearly as attended as Christmas Day mass but it is still a day that Catholics are supposed to go to church. (I'll probably go on New Year's Eve)

Sites relating to New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day < http://www.exploreamerica.info/whatsnew_Stuff123102_New_Years_Eve_Sites.htm  >

Newsletter 12 (Japanese)

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