New Year is a magical holiday all over the world, and we in the UK definitely know how to mark the occasion in style. Wherever you are and however you see it in, there’s nothing quite like hearing the chimes of Big Ben announcing the start of another year, indulging in a collective off-key sing-along of Auld Lang Syne, and embracing your loved ones in celebration.
Whether for you, New Year is the perfect time to go wild and indulge before the January resolutions begin, or if you’d much rather just take the time to truly relax and kick back, here are a few suggestions for making the celebrations go off with a bang.
- EAT, DRINK, AND BE LUCKY. Take advantage of celebrating on home turf by enjoying a meal with friends and family. Many restaurants across the country will offer special deals or menus on New Years Day, so there’s plenty of reason to treat yourself with a special meal. Try embracing some New Year traditions from other cultures in your choice of cuisine. Legumes and cooked greens, for example, are consumed in Denmark, Italy, and the southern US because of their associations with good fortune. In Spain, Portugal and Cuba, revellers eat pork because it is thought to symbolize progress. Just don’t indulge in lobster on New Years if you want to avoid bad luck!
- DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. If you’re tired of the standard festivities offered by winter breaks, why not take part in something a little bit out of the ordinary for your New Year? Discover some of the strange local celebrations taking place across the country. In Allendale, Northumbria, you can join the bizarre Allendale Baal parade, thought to have originated as an ancient pagan ritual, where town-dwellers carry flaming whiskey barrels full of tar through the streets. In Orkney, Scotland, on New Year’s Day you can witness the traditional Kirkwall Ba football game in the town fiercely fought between the ‘Uppies and Doonies’. Or head to Cornwall, where the streets close for the night in St Ives, and scores of residents in fancy dress take over, parading along the harbour front and often continuing the party on the beach after midnight.
- LIVEN UP. For those who love a big city New Year, the UK is home to two of the largest celebrations in the world: London and Edinburgh. The Edinburgh Hogmanay attracts visitors from all across the globe, and on the night itself hosts a street party and a huge concert next to Edinburgh Castle, while a breath-taking firework display lights up the sky. London is full to the brim with New Years nights throughout the city to get stuck into, or get wrapped up warm and head to to the South Bank with plenty of time to spare to see the fireworks at midnight.
- WIND DOWN. If you want to give the city crowds a wide berth and seek out some serenity, short breaks in the countryside are ideal. Explore local landscapes and enchanting winter woodlands on a New Years holiday in areas of outstanding beauty, such as Cumbria or Wiltshire – ideal if you’re travelling with family or children. An escape to the country, while peaceful, doesn’t need to be boring either; plenty of resorts and holiday villages offer their own range of seasonal entertainment. All the fun of a city New Year, but in idyllic rural surroundings.
- BE ENTERTAINED. With plenty of weird and wonderful events taking place across the UK on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Try taking a river cruise along the Thames, or attending a masquerade ball or medieval-themed banquet. A murder mystery dinner is one thrilling way to celebrate. Get up early New Year’s Day to enjoy the London Parade if you’re spending the holidays in the capital – or if you’re a little worn own from the previous night’s frivolities stay in with friends and family, snuggle up on the sofa and watch some good old New Year’s Day television.