What are New Year’s Eve Traditions in the USA?

What are New Year’s Eve Traditions in the USA?

31-12-2020 in

Counting down the clock to the strike of midnight, cheers of “Happy New Year” ringing out and popping champagne corks signals the beginning of a new year. New Year’s Eve in America brings the biggest celebrations, the most popular shows, and of course, no New Year’s Eve is complete without the iconic ball drop in New York City’s Times Square.

You might wonder what are the other New Year’s Eve traditions in the USA. In this article, you’ll find more about New Year’s Eve and Day and what you can expect from this great time of celebration in America.

What are New Year’s Eve Traditions?

Cultures and countries around the world celebrate New Year’s Eve in different ways, but the universal thinking is that customs revolve around bringing good luck for the next year. Bidding farewell to the old year and welcoming a new year filled with fresh hopes, aims, and opportunities. These good luck traditions and customs play a key role in New Year’s Eve traditions to “get rid of the old and bring in the new.”

What are the USA’s Traditions?

For many, New Year’s Eve traditions include fireworks displays, dressing up for parties, eating out, special New Year’s Day foods, drinking special liquor such as champagne, singing “Auld Lang Syne”, and of course kissing a loved one at midnight.

What are the New Year’s Day Traditions?

New Year’s Day traditions focus on family events. For New Year’s Day celebrations in the past, people gathered to enjoy special foods, champagne and toasting one another and the new year ahead, throwing confetti, attending and watching New Year’s Day parades, watching football on TV, and watching fireworks displays. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, public gatherings and certain events have been cancelled to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, while other events have adjusted their formats to allow them to carry on - but with no spectators.

No New Year’s Day can be complete without creating and sharing New Year’s Resolutions. With aims of self-improvement, these aims and goals revolve around losing weight, saving more money, more frequent exercising, and quitting bad habits such as smoking or eating unhealthy foods.

What are the New Year’s Symbols?

As we have mentioned, New Year’s Eve and Day concentrate on bringing good luck into the new year. These take the form of customs, rituals, and superstitions. Some people will keep a little money in their pockets on the first day of the New Year as they believe it ensures they’ll have some money on every day for the rest of the year. The Yule Log, Babies, Candles, and Mistletoes are some of the most distinctive New Year’s symbols.

• Yule Log:

The yule log symbolizes light triumphing over darkness. A yule log is usually decorated and placed in the fireplace where it will burn as a celebration of light and new beginnings for the year ahead.

• Babies:

The image of a baby has been used to symbolize New Year’s for centuries. It not only represents the birth of the baby Jesus in Christianity, but it also means the rebirth of people. Once again, it highlights new beginnings, new hope, and fresh opportunities that lie in wait for the new year.

• Candles:

Burning candles reflect New Year in many celebrations and traditions worldwide. They are a symbol of good cheer and warmth, while the custom of lighting candles are believed that the smoke carries their prayers to heaven and their prayers said over the candle’s flame would be answered by God.

• Mistletoe:

Mistletoes are another good luck charm. It is synonymous with the festive season not only as a decoration, but it is believed that hanging mistletoes above doorways and entrances will bring good luck while scaring off evil spirits and bad luck.

What are the New Year’s Food Traditions in America?

At New Year’s, Americans cook and eat circular-shaped foods such black-eyed peas, cabbage and pork-based dishes many believe it brings good luck and good cheer. Many of the dishes are straightforward and easy to make. Learn for yourself how to cook traditional US foods to entertain your friends and family too.


New Year’s Day traditions are some of the oldest and longest-held traditions we still observe today. Dating back some 4,000 years ago, New Year’s Day traditions of good luck play a large role in how we celebrate and honor this day, with hopes and wishes for a better, more prosperous, and healthier year in the future.


In this article, you will find more about New Year’s Day traditions in the USA, how they are celebrated, and the importance of New Year’s traditions for so many people.

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