New Year's Eve.
I have to say, for a Dutchie, that's a strange word. The Eve before New Year, we call it Old Year's Day (oudejaarsdag). Both are of course correct, but the word New Year a day ahead, strange?! In Eastern Europe they call it Sylvester, because it is the celebration day for Saint Sylvester. But than, the Germans also "slide" into New Year. They wish everybody "einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr" (a good slide into the New Year). They are probably partying big time!
The evening is celebrated amongst family and friends. Having some food, playing games or watching TV.
Just before midnight, the champagne is pulled from the cooler so that everybody has a glass in their hands to welcome the new year and leave behind an old one. And wishing everybody a very happy new year.
And than, to make it an even bigger party, fireworks. In most places in the world it is an organised big fireworks display (for instance from the Sydney Harbour Bridge), in The Netherlands we all fire our own fireworks. That is a lot of noise and smoke in the air those first few hours of the new year. Yes, the first few hours. Don't expect to go to bed before 2, because you will be woken up by somebody who did find a new batch to fire off.
Closing the stories of this year and starting new stories for a fresh new year.
See you in 2014!