New Year’s Day rings in the year with boisterous celebrations and festivities, well-intended yet hard-to-keep resolutions, pub crawls and dancing, and, of course, house parties. As the first national holiday of the new year, it is a favourite of young and old, a time when families and friends can gather in hopes that the coming 12 months will be better than ever. There are many traditions that, over the years, this noteworthy day has introduced. In Canada, the traditions and celebrations related to New Year differ from region to region. Here are some of our favourites.

  1. Kissing each other at midnight on New Year’s Eve is said to promote friendly ties and ward off evil.
  2. “Auld Lang Syne” is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year. At least partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700s, it was first published in 1796 after Burns’ death.
  3. First Footin, a European custom, is a belief that if the first person to enter your home is tall and dark-haired, the year ahead will be indeed one with good luck for you.
  4. Having a bowl of black-eyed-pea soup along with a drink can bring a year’s worth of good luck to the happy participants.
  5. New Year resolutions are intended to make one do better in the coming year. Weight control, exercise, quitting cigarettes are frequent favourites, but any resolution personally important to the maker is a good way to launch into the year; keeping it is the hard part.
  6. Vivid fireworks delight onlookers as they illuminate the entire area. And boasting a variety of festive lighting, homes, hotels, clubs and bars in Canada celebrate with people during New Year celebrations.