British celebrations of New Year are a defined and precise reflection of the customs, cultures, and traditions as followed and hold by British people.
Even in the time of the modern world, when everything which one can think of has grown itself into an unimaginable world, festivals and the way they are celebrated are no exception.
However, with the New Year celebrations in British, one can clearly draw a prominent exception in the list.
It is not that British totally evade itself from accepting the changing times, and the changing way of celebrations. But, they do change, but at the same time ensuring that they remain intact with their own customs and traditions even in the changing circumstances. New Year celebrations are a clear reflection of that.
British celebrate New Year on January 1, i.e. the first date of the first month of the Georgian calendar. British celebrations reflect high vigor, enthusiasm, pleasure, and delight; and at the same times give a glance of their rich customs and traditions. They reflect the British belief that one should initiate anything with positive hopes and beliefs of pleasurable coming time.
Also, one should move ahead and over the past problems and difficulties of life, and should only remember them to learn few good lessons of life. With this as the crux of all, British celebrate their New Year. Off late, one have visible experience an addition of contemporary traditions to New Year celebrations in British, such as taking oath, making resolution, etc. British New Year celebrations are eminent all around the world, and common and royal people from all around the world put in efforts to be a part of it.
New Year Celebrations in Britain
New Year celebrations in British saw a lot of planning and preparation going in before the key day arrives. Traditionally, British New Year celebrations begins on New Year’s Eve, i.e. 31st December of the old year, and go on till the dawn of the New Year’s Day, i.e. January 1st of the New Year. Setting off fireworks is an important celebration tradition, which gained eminence in last few years.
As soon as church bell rings twelve at the midnight, these fireworks are set off. Also, people all around the place, whether in houses, streets or parties, wish and hug one another while spreading and celebrating immense cheer and joy associated with New Year. Also, tradition of sending gifts, presents, New Year cards, flowers, cakes, and candles to near and dear ones have also gain immense popularity.
The Edinburgh part of Scotland holds a massive party on New Year’s Eve, which extends from Prince’s Street and goes on through Royal Mile to end at Edinburgh Castle. However, not everyone can be a part of this regal party.
New Year in England
In England, there is a tradition of opening the back door of the house as soon as the church bell rings twelve. It is considered to be a reflection of one’s farewell to the old year. Then a dark haired moon, preferably young and good looking, is asked to enter through the front door with salt, coal, and bread in his possession. Doing so is traditionally believed to bring good luck, and also ensure abundance of food (bread), money (salt), and warm (coal) in the coming year.
One should prefer to bring in a stranger. Also a blonde, a woman, or a red-haired are unwelcomed, as they are considered to be bring bad luck to the house. Apart from England, it is also rigorously followed in Scotland.
New Year in Scotland and Wales
In Scotland, New Year is refereed as ‘Hogmanay’, which has been derived from the name of an oak cake which is distributed among small children on New Year’s Eve. In Wales, New Year’s Eve is referred as ‘Nos Galan’, while New Year’s Day is referred as ‘Dydd Calan’.
On New Year’s Day, small children wake up early in the morning, and then make a visit to all the neighbors in the neighborhood, while singing New Year special carols. People out of generosity and love, give them coins, cookies, mince pies, apples, and other sweets. This goes on till the noon.