NEW YEAR'S EVE is on December 31, the final day of the Gregorian year, and the day before New Year's Day.
In the United States, New Year's Eve is a major social holiday. One of the top destination cities for New Year's Eve from 2003 to 2006 has been New York, according to hotwire.com. Las Vegas is also attracting a large number of New Year's Eve party goers with the famous Las Vegas strip being closed to vehicles and buses.
In the past 100 years the "ball dropping" on top of One Times Square in New York City, broadcast to all of America (and rebroadcast in many other countries), is a major component of the New Year celebration. The 1,070-pound, 6-foot-diameter Waterford crystal ball located high above Times Square is lowered, starting at 23:59:00 and reaching the bottom of its tower at the stroke of midnight (00:00:00).This is repeated for all four time zones in the continental US. It is sometimes referred to as "the big apple" like the city itself; the custom derives from the time signal that used to be given at noon in harbors.
From 1981 to 1988, New York City dropped an enlarged apple in recognition of its nickname. Since 1972, Dick Clark has hosted televised coverage of the event called Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, shown on ABC-TV. From 1956 to 1976 on CBS-TV, Guy Lombardo (who died in 1977) and his Royal Canadians serenaded the United States from the ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Park Avenue in New York City. The Royal Canadians continued on CBS-TV until 1978, and Happy New Year, America replaced it in 1979, continuing until 1995. The song Auld Lang Syne has become a popular song to sing at midnight on New Year's Eve.
New Year's Eve is a separate observance from the observance of New Year's Day. In 21st-century Western practice, New Year's Eve is celebrated with parties and social gatherings spanning the transition of the year at midnight.
Many cultures use fireworks and other forms of noise making in part of the celebration. Some of the cities most well-known for their celebrations include Edinburgh, Sydney, Toronto, Moscow, Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, Berlin, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, and New York City.
New Year's Eve is a public non-working holiday in the following countries, among others: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Greece, the Philippines, and Venezuela.