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New Year's Eve Traditions in the UK

New Year's Eve Traditions in the UK

  1. First Footing

  2. Hogmanay Street Parties

  3. Auld Lang Syne

  4. Calennig

  5. The Mari Lwyd

  6. Singing Hymns

  7. Parties and Celebrations

  8. Fireworks

  9. Countdown to Midnight

  10. New Year's Day Swims

  11. The London New Year's Day Parade

  12. New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Eve, or "Hogmanay," is an important holiday in the United Kingdom, with many traditions and celebrations taking place across the country. Here are some of the most popular New Year's Eve traditions in the UK:

First Footing

First footing is a traditional Scottish practice that involves being the first person to cross the threshold of someone's home after midnight on New Year's Eve. The first footer brings with them a gift, usually a piece of coal or a bottle of whisky, which is believed to bring good luck to the household for the coming year.

Hogmanay Street Parties

In Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, Hogmanay is celebrated with a massive street party that attracts tens of thousands of visitors from around the world. The party features live music, food and drink, and a spectacular fireworks display.

Auld Lang Syne

"Auld Lang Syne" is a traditional Scottish song that is often sung at midnight on New Year's Eve as a way of saying goodbye to the old year and welcoming in the new. The song is known for its catchy chorus and poignant lyrics, which reflect on the passage of time and the importance of friendship and community.


Calennig is a Welsh tradition that involves giving gifts of small coins or sweets to friends and family on New Year's Day. The tradition is thought to have originated in ancient times as a way of honouring the Celtic god of the new year.

The Mari Lwyd

The Mari Lwyd, or "Grey Mare," is a Welsh New Year's Eve tradition that involves a group of people dressed in white carrying a horse's skull on a pole and singing traditional Welsh songs. The group goes from house to house, challenging residents to a verbal "duel" in which the group sings a verse and the residents must respond with a verse of their own.

Singing Hymns

In some parts of Wales, it is traditional to attend a midnight service at church on New Year's Eve, where hymns are sung to welcome in the new year.

Parties and Celebrations

New Year's Eve parties and celebrations are a popular way to mark the start of the new year in the UK. Many people attend organised events, such as concerts or club nights, while others host their own parties at home.


Fireworks are a popular way to celebrate the start of the new year in the UK. Many people attend organised displays, while others set off their own fireworks at home.

Countdown to Midnight

Like in many other countries, the UK is known for its tradition of counting down the final minutes of the old year and celebrating the start of the new year at midnight. Many people gather around televisions or radios to listen to the countdown, while others attend organised events or parties.

The London New Year's Day Parade

The London New Year's Day Parade is an annual event that takes place on January 1st in the capital city. The parade features floats, marching bands, and performers from around the world, and attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators.

New Year's Day Swims

In some parts of the UK, it is traditional to take a cold dip in the ocean or a lake on New Year's Day as a way of starting the new year off on a refreshing note. Many organised New Year's Day swims take place across the country, with people often dressing up in costumes or fancy dress.

New Year's Resolutions

Like many other countries, the UK is known for its tradition of making New Year's resolutions, or promises to oneself to make positive changes in the coming year. Some popular resolutions include exercising more, quitting smoking, and saving money.

Happy New Year from English Made Easy!

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