Although many people still cook a traditional meal on New Year's Day, such as black-eyed peas, which are thought to bring good luck for the New Year, many of the festivities take place the night before. For every budget and taste, there are appropriate New Year's Eve events just waiting to be discovered. Some people prefer to stay home with a significant other and maybe a few friends and family to watch the ball drop in New York City while other people prefer the hustle and bustle of Times Square in New York City to celebrate their own happy New Year. What follows are just a few of the different types of celebrations and activities that you can choose to partake in over the New Year.
For those of you with time to spare, money to burn and a yearning for travel, China is the perfect destination during the New Year. Although the Chinese New Year differs by about two weeks from the calendar used by the Western World, the parties and celebrations shouldn't be missed. The Chinese perform a number of rituals and celebrations to insure a happy new year. If you can not afford the trip to Beijing or Hong Kong, the Chinese New Year is celebrated with a parade and other festivities in Chinatown in San Francisco every year. Other parades celebrating the Chinese New Year are located in Los Angeles, CA; Sacramento, CA; Hartford, CT; Chicago, IL; St. Louis, MO; and New York, NY. The popularity of these parades and celebrations grow every year. Check your local Chamber of Commerce for information regarding local celebrations of the Chinese New Year.
For some, there is no better way to greet the New Year then by attending the concert of a favorite band. To help get you off to a happy new year, look for local concerts and favorite bands that might be playing in your area. Many popular local and national music acts schedule New Year's Eve events. Many of these events include a toast to the New Year. These concerts are usually scheduled well in advance and tickets generally go fast. Check your favorite concert venues for upcoming shows or, if you feel like traveling, look for where your favorite band is playing New Year's Eve. This information can usually be found on band or record-label websites.
Most cities have some sort of New Year's Eve festivity planned, whether it is fireworks, live concerts, or even hay-rides. For example, in Toronto, there is live entertainment and fire works in Nathan Phillips Square. The town also offers family-friendly activities such as hay-rides. Most of these public events forbid drinking or public drunkenness, and the police are not shy about detaining people they suspect of being intoxicated at these events, so if you don't think you can have a happy new year party without imbibing alcohol, consider going to a private party, club, or bar to celebrate the big night. The main exception to this rule in North America is Las Vegas, where drinking in public is perfectly legal and acceptable. There are concerts, fireworks, gambling, and dancing at venues off and on the Strip. Traveling to Las Vegas for the New Year can be expensive and hotels fill up fast. Be sure to book well in advance.
Of course, your local bars, casinos, tracks, and even bowling alleys offer a variety of activities for you to have a happy New Year celebration. Make sure to plan in advance so that you have tickets or passes to any celebration you may want to attend, if they are needed. Cabs and public transportation are usually out in full-force at New Year's Eve Events. Make sure to bring extra money for a cab in case you have a little too much fun. The important thing is to plan in advance so there is nothing left to chance on New Year's Eve. Have a happy New Year.