It’s almost time to say goodbye to 2020, and wave hello to 2021. This is how they bring in the new year in the countries we operate in around the world.
In the UK, New Year’s Eve is celebrated with friends and family. Often, people will host parties in their homes, go to pubs, or gather for large firework displays that begin as soon as the clock strikes midnight.
New Year’s Day is considered a day to relax and spend time with family. There is an old British superstition that the first guest to enter a person’s home on New Year’s Day will bring all the luck of the New Year with them. This tradition is called ‘first footing’.
Every year around 2 million people gather in Time Square, New York City, to witness the ‘ball drop’. The ‘ball drop’ began in 1907, and sees a large ball slowly lowered down a pole until it reaches the bottom as the clock strikes 12. Nowadays, the ball is covered in Waterford crystals, and the ‘ball drop’ is an event that includes musicians and entertainment. For those who can’t make it to New York, the ‘ball drop’ is broadcasted nationally and internationally to one billion people a year.
Similarly to in the UK, New Year’s Eve in Ireland is often spent with family and friends either at parties, in the pub, or enjoying time together.
In Ireland, New Year’s Day begins with cleaning the house. It is a centuries-old custom in Ireland to start the new year with a completely clean slate, meaning a spotless house. It is also a tradition to take note of which way the wind is blowing. If the wind is blowing in from the west, then the whole country is in for a good year, however, if it’s blowing in from the east, bad times are ahead.
In Denmark, they take ‘leaping into the new year’ to a whole new level. At the stroke of midnight, Danes leap from chairs to enter the new year in high spirits and with good luck. As well as jumping from chairs, Danes also smash plates against their friend’s front doors. This, like chair jumping, is supposed to bring good luck. The more plates you have smashed at your front door the more friends you have. Just be careful when stepping outside.
On New Year’s Eve, the Dutch celebrate with friends and family, drinking bokbier and glüwein, and setting off fireworks at midnight.
The next day, 30,000 people brave the freezing cold Dutch sea to enjoy a New Year’s dive. This has been an annual tradition for roughly 50 years, with many participants taking on the challenge to raise money for charity. The biggest of these dives happens outside Den Haag, underneath Scheveningen pier.
New Year’s Eve in the United Arab Emirates is grand and luxurious. Many people go out for festive dinners, where entertainers dazzle diners whilst they eat. Alternatively, big parties are held at the best clubs in the UAE, where special guest DJ’s perform. At midnight, a myriad of fireworks, known to be the world’s most expensive fireworks, light the sky to welcome in the New Year.
In Qatar, they don’t view New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day as public holidays, so they don’t usually celebrate them. This being said, because of the tourism in Qatar, there are parties thrown at resorts and firework displays put on at midnight.
New Years’ is a big time of the year for tourism in Kuwait. There are usually big parties held for tourists and locals alike, with firework displays going off at midnight to welcome in the new year.
Bahrain Bay is the best location in Bahrain to be on New Year’s Eve. Throughout the evening there is a host of extravagant feasts laid on at hotels and restaurants. At midnight a grand firework display is set off, followed by an abundance of exclusive parties.
New Year’s Eve in Singapore is centred upon Marina Bay. The focal point of the evening is always the midnight firework show, which is organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
People in Singapore start their New Year’s Day with a fresh approach. They buy fresh flowers and plants to decorate their homes and often freshly paint their houses. This is supposed to signify a new beginning for the new year.
With the new year, comes a fresh start, which should be met with freshly laundered clothes. To book your Laundryheap service, head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app.