, ,


By John Winsch?[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 Tonight we will be celebrating New Years Eve over many parts of the globe. Do you know who will be the first to celebrate?

As I’m in America, it won’t be me.

Caroline Island is the very first place to ring in the New Year. But since the Island is uninhabited, there’s not much partying going on. The people who live on the inhabited islands in the Line Islands, of which Caroline Island is a part, are the first people to ring in the New Year.

Six hours after midnight creeps over Caroline Island, revelers in Sydney and Melbourne start celebrating. No winter coats and mitten for the Aussies, though. Their New Year is in the middle of their summer, and they often celebrate with bonfires on the beach.

Five hours after this, Moscow and Bagdad ring out the old year and welcome in the new one.

Time keeps creeping across the earth and the partying begins in London with massive fireworks three hours later, (a total of fifteen hours from the Line Island celebrations).

America starts their celebrating in New York with the drop of the crystal ball in Times Square. Lots of shouting, kissing, and singing of Auld Lang Syne begin about nineteen hours past the first celebrations in the world. I just recently learned from a friend who was in Times Square last year for the event that there are no public restrooms provided for the thousands of people who gather for this event. Hotels near the square provide special lanyards so their patrons can enter, and the general public can’t come in for potty and get-warm breaks. No portapotties kind of takes the thrill out of standing around freezing while you wait for the crystal ball to drop, in my opinion. But then I wouldn’t be in a crowd like that anyway. I’m happy with a televised edition of the celebration.

The last city to enter the New Year is Honolulu, Hawaii, twenty-four hours after the first New Year’s hoopla in the Line Islands. Hawaiian revelers greet each other by saying “Hau’oli Makahiki Hou.” Elaborate New Years Eve firework shows are popular in Hawaii, as well as a melting pot of traditions.

If twenty-four hours of partying isn’t enough, some revelers celebrate the New Year on other dates, most of which are based on religious or lunar calendars. Iran celebrates the Persian New Year on March 20, the first day of spring. In China and some other Asian countries the New Year falls somewhere between January 21 and February 20, a roving date that is dependent on the movements of the moon and the sun. Rosh Hashanah is considered the New Year for most Jewish people. It, too, is also a fluctuating date, ranging from September to October 5. The Muslim New Year is also based on a lunar calendar.

No matter where, or when, or how you’ll celebrate New Years Eve, here’s wishing you all the happiness and prosperity for the coming year. And, the will to make sure you keep all those New Year resolutions that you’re sure to make … and probably break.

Happy New Year!