New Year's Day
Like many people all over the world, Americans enjoy
arrival of each new year. Almost everyone makes an occasion
of New Year's
Eve in order to see the old year out and welcome the
new one. In New York,
a favorite gathering place on December 31 is New York
City's Times Square.
Thousands of Americans and international tourists crowd
this famous spot
(at the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue)
and crane their necks
to watch for 'Happy New Year' to flash across the electronically
sign that moves around. When the moment arrives bedlam
breaks forth. Bells
ring, whistles blow, people cheer with their happy excitement.
The cheerful scene goes one after another in public
the country, but not at the same moment. Because of
the four time zones
in the United States the New Year comes to the Central
States one hour
later, to the Mountain States two hours later, and finally
to the Western
States three hours after the Eastern States have said
goodbye to another
year. So by following the radio and television broadcasts
enjoy the festivities in other parts of the country
as well as their own.
Some people prefer to see the old year out at a church
the holiday does not have religious origin, many churches
hold 'Watch Night'
services on New Year' s Eve. Those who go to churches
can solemnly renew
their dedication to God for the coming year.
The custom of visiting friends, relatives and neighbors
is one of the
popular activities on New Year' s Day. This activity
is called Open House.
The custom of Open House was inaugurated by George Washington
first term as President. On January 1, 1789, President
opened the doors of his official residence to all who
wished to come. An
Open House is just what the name implies: the front
door is left open.
Inside the door there is a spirit of relaxed cordiality,
and guests are
free to arrive and leave when they like. Invitations
may say simply, 'Drop
in after the game' or 'Come drink a New Year' s toast
with us'. On January
1, now, families hold 'Open House' so that their friends
can visit them
throughout the day to express good wishes for the new
Many championship football games are scheduled for
New Year’s Day, and
there is usually an elaborate parade before each football
much of the day is spent watching these games on television