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Americans' New Year

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What do Americans do traditionally toward the end of a year and the beginning of a year?

What do Americans do traditionally on 12/27, 12/28 or New Year's Eve, like clean the house or something, or special food .

What do Americans do after New Year's day at the beginning of the new year, like 1/2, 1/3, 1/4 etc.Do you have to work? new year party? special food? do you have school? Do you watch movies as a family?


Key Member
Mar 27, 2006
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
In the US, the days following Christmas (Dec 26, 27, etc) are often used to visit and exchange gifts with those friends and family members that you didn't see prior to Christmas. Basically, every day from December 25 to January 1 is very relaxed, a time to get together with friends and have a drink or two, exchange gifts, etc. A lot of people have to work during these days (only December 25 is an official holiday), so the getting-together stuff is often confined to the evening hours. Unless your particular religion has its own rituals, there are no specific foods consumed during these days. New Year's Eve (Dec 31) is one of THE biggest party days in the US. Of course, champagne plays a major part of the drunkeness, but folks tend to imbibe in the libation of their choice beginning in the early evening (most New Year's Eve parties begin after 6:00PM). A traditional New Year's Eve gathering has plenty of booze, lots of various snacks (anything from sandwiches to chips and dip, Buffalo wings, quesadillas, pizza, vegetables and dip, etc) as well as novelty hats and noisemakers. Whether you're at a private home or in a public venue, all eyes turn to the TV just prior to midnight to watch the ball in Times Square fall. When midnight strikes and the New Year has officially been rung in, everyone hugs and kisses one another, whether they be lovers or strangers. It is a moment or two of true comraderie. The party continues until the wee hours of the next morning.

New Year's Day is an official holiday, and either consists of folks quietly staying at home and nursing a hangover, or getting together to party while watching one of the many football games broadcast on TV that day. In many southern US states, it is traditional to eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Day - legend has it that consuming these legumes on January 1st will bring you good luck during the coming year. :)
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