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Without a Christmas tree, gifts and expectation of a miracle: how Americans celebrate New Year

This year in Washington on New Year forecast heavy rain and +11. Needless to say, it does not carry any special sensation of the approaching holiday. There is no fabulous atmosphere, the expectation that some small miracle is about to happen.

Фото: Depositphotos

Where is the holiday?

The nights from the 31st to the 1st Americans, it seems, almost do not attach much importance. Here, few summarize the year and no one says that as you meet the year, so spend it.

But here it is very popular to give yourself the so-called New Year`s resolutions, that is, New Year's promises. More often than not, Americans promise to lose weight, quit smoking, and start playing sports regularly, polls say.

At the same time, studies show that up to 90% of these promises for the whole year cannot be fulfilled by people, so psychologists advise setting simple, more achievable goals (for example, not “lose weight,” but “lose 0,5 kilograms in a week” )

At the same time, the American New Year is not full of attracted symbolism: here they don’t dress in the colors of the coming year according to the Chinese calendar and are not at all interested in which animal will be the symbol of the year and what it will bring. Only representatives of the Chinese community and some diasporans from the countries of the former Soviet Union do this.

There are no established traditions of celebration here. Nobody cuts the 31st basins of salads, does not serve snacks in the shape of a Christmas tree, and all the presents were given away on December 25th.

On the subject: What our immigrants lack during the New Year in the USA

The holiday is not for children

The lack of gifts is one of the reasons why kids do not have much reverence for the New Year.

I remember that in my childhood I loved this holiday also because at least once a year it was possible to go to bed late (as adults!), Although previously my mother put me to sleep at least for an hour or two at about 6-7 pm.

Here, not all parents want to intervene in the children's sleep schedule through the mythical 12 beats of the chimes. Therefore, many families, especially those with very young children, do not celebrate at all - and do not do it at all.

Also, the New Year in the USA ends the Christmas season, and on January 2, most people return to work. Therefore, drink and walk all night, and then wake up on January 1 at lunch, maybe not everyone wants to.

Parties and Pop Up Bars

In general, the American New Year is the exact opposite of Christmas, a cozy family holiday. Americans and Europeans always wonder why in Eastern Europe, New Year is a more important holiday than Christmas. As you know, this is a legacy of the Soviet era, when the Christian holiday for the people was replaced by the celebration of the secular New Year.

Фото: Depositphotos

Young people in the city most often throw a party for friends or go to restaurants and hotels that have New Year's programs. In recent years, so-called pop-up bars have become common. These are temporary establishments that open in a rented room for a separate event, for example, the Christmas season, and then close them.

Another option is to travel. My friends were in Greece last year, my neighbors in Atlanta.

No gifts - no need for a Christmas tree

And colleagues noticed an interesting trend: many people throw out their Christmas trees on the day after Christmas, December 25th. I think it is precisely because they leave home for the New Year, and so that the tree does not crumble during this time.

Another argument: why keep the tree in the house if there are no gifts under it? Christmas tree markets here also close after Christmas, and the trees that remain can be picked up for free (yes, don’t thank).

The process of getting rid of Christmas trees for Americans was also an occasion to get together and have fun. Some have a feast with burning Christmas trees. They do this in a large fire in specially organized places, for example, on the beach or in the territory of suburban breweries.

On the subject: 8 alternatives: what can you do with a Christmas tree so you don’t throw it away

Guaranteed holiday

However, in the USA there is at least one place where the atmosphere for the New Year is very solemn - Times Square. Although this year, for a free show of famous artists and contemplation of the legendary crystal ball, you will have to pay not only by pushing in the crowd and bursts of toilets.

This year they promise rainfall. But a million Americans and tourists think it's worth it. Here are the real New Year fans. I feel weak, but you?

The original column is published on the blog "My America" ​​on the site "Voice of America".

ForumDaily is not responsible for the content of blogs and may not share the views of the author. If you want to become a column author, send your materials to

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