Mary Xmas and Happy New Year in London
British people love to celebrate New Year in a variety of ways. Thousands of people head into London to watch the fireworks display at the stroke of midnight.
The London Eye, a huge Ferris Wheel located on the River Thames and opposite the iconic clock tower Big Ben, is loaded with fireworks which are set off when the strikes twelve. These scenes are broadcast all over the UK on TV for those who prefer to stay at home, and everybody gathers around the TV for this moment. Unlike Japan, there is not a single show on New Year’s Eve that people watch. Most people don’t like to spend the evening watching TV.
Instead, they often hold house parties and invite all of their friends over. This usually involves drinking and party games such as Pictionary or Charades. The parties often follow the principle of BYOB, or Bring Your Own Bottle. This means that every guest brings a different bottle of alcohol while the host just provides snacks and entertainment; this keeps individual costs down. There is usually so much food eaten during the party that the host’s family have to eat it for the next few days! As the final ten seconds are counted down, everyone finds their loved one. At the exact moment of midnight, people turn and kiss their partner.
University students or people in their early twenties often go to a nightclub, especially if they are single. As the stroke of midnight, they often grab the person nearest to them of the opposite sex and kiss. This is a great opportunity to start a new relationship.
New Year’s Day, January 1st, is usually spent recovering from headaches or full stomachs. People go and visit other family members or just stay at home. There are often reruns of classic James Bond movies on TV. This is the final day of peace. The next day, the chaos of the New Year sales begins…