The New Year's is celebrated in many ways just like in the US. Huge parties in large banquet halls or smaller neighbor parties happily ringing in the New Year. The place to be (if you like crowds) is near the London Eye (a huge Ferris wheel) near the River Thames. They are advertising a fire work display that will be the envy of everyone. There is also a large London parade on the first of January; last year we did not know and did not look to see if it was televised so we have not seen it. We are hoping to see it on telly (English word for TV) this year.
But there are some special traditions that we have discovered for the New Year. The first one being called the First Footing. Which is, who will be the first person to enter your home on 1st. This often happens shortly after midnight, and usually one of your party guest will slip outside and ring the bell just after midnight. It is said that the first male visitor to the house on the New Year's day brings good luck. A blonde, a red-haired or a woman is not allowed to enter the house first as they are supposed to bring bad luck. The male visitor usually brings money, bread or coal as these are considered good luck. In some places, there is a tradition of gifting the holy mistletoe. It is believed to bring prosperity for the recipient. Another tradition which is popularly celebrated is the "burning of the bush". It symbolizes burning of all past events.
Another New Year tradition that I have been told about is celebrated in Scotland and that is Hogmanay. I am told that Scotland has some of the largest New Year's celebration parties on the Isle, the largest being in Edinburgh. Some New Year celebration can last for up to 5 days:)!
First is called the Redding of the house. Which is sort of like spring cleaning. Cleaning out the fire place is particularly important and there is a skill in reading the fire places ashes which is sort of like reading tea leaves.
Scotland also does a First Footing but it is slightly different. After the stroke of midnight, neighbors visit each other, bearing traditional symbolic gifts such as shortbread or black bun (a kind of fruit cake). The visitor, in turn, is offered a small whiskey. The first person to enter a house in the New Year, the first foot, could bring luck for the New Year. The luckiest was a tall, dark and handsome man. The unluckiest a red head and the unluckiest of all a red-headed woman.
Another tradition found up in the Orkney's islands north of Scotland is a very interesting games called Ba’ it sound a lot like mob football, I think, I would watch from a safe distance:)
Lastly did you know the the song Auld Lang Syne was written by a Scottish man called Robert Burns (the poet) it is a mystery as to how this song has become the first song of the year.