Montreal New Year's Eve is December 31 of every year. It is celebrated in countries that use the Gregorian calendar with the United States, Australia, British Isles, North & South America, Europe, Scandinavia and (the former) Soviet Union as the main regions in the world who welcome in a new year and have New Year’s Eve Parties.
It is exactly at the stroke of midnight on December 31 that marks the transition to the New Year ahead and sparks a grand celebration in Montreal. Celebrations may be fantastic Montreal New year’s Eve parties at one of your favorite Montreal clubs or solemn times to reflect on what the year has brought. Some people will dress up in crazy outfits and drink champagne (or other liquors of their choice) and use traditional “noisemakers" to express their joy and hope for the new year ahead. Yet, others might want more of a laid back dinner for two or more at a Montreal restaurant New Year’s Eve party.
New Year's Eve celebrations can be traced back to an ancient Roman observance around the time of the Winter Solstice in December called "Saturnalia." This pagan holiday was known for totally letting go all discipline and dancing with some behavior that was out of hand, of course nothing like that happens at a Montreal New Year’s Eve party.
Fast forward to Julius Caesar who, during a visit to Egypt around 150 BC, found the calendar of his dreams. The Romans tried to follow the same cycle as set by the Egyptians with the New Year beginning in spring. But scholars and emperors continued to finagle with the calendar until it fell out of synchronization with the sun. The Roman senate, in an attempt to get everything back on track, named January 1 as the first day of the year, and eventually it was entitled the Julian Calendar.
Still the calendar was constantly being revised and manipulated by various people, until 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII established the Gregorian Calendar. This calendar set the dates in stone and offered a clear distinction of the four seasons.
In the 18th century, New Year's Eve parties revelry in cities like Philadelphia, New York, and Baltimore often ended with street demonstrations, violence, and vandalism. Groups of people were known to toot tin horns, shout, scream, yell, set off firecrackers, knock down barricades such as fences and gates, break windows and (in a few cases) burglarize the homes of some wealthy citizens in the area.
The custom of singing auld lang syne on New Years Eve goes back to the British Isles from the 18th century when guests ended a party standing in a circle and singing this song. The custom first was rooted in Scotland, because the lyrics were written in 1788 by Robert Burns, their favorite folk poet of the time.
What does this song mean? In the Scottish dialect, auld lang syne is "old long since" -- aka "the good old days." The traditional lyrics begin with, "Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind..." And the entire song's message merely means to just forget about the past and look ahead to the new year in Montreal with hope.
Using noise to welcome in a new year goes back to ancient times when it was felt that noise scared off evil spirits .But vary few of us link New Years Eve with evil spirits ( spirits that you drink perhaps but not any other kind), we still feel noisemakers are a must for New Year's Eve parties in Montreal.
Go Montreal Living and our friends around the world have wonderful traditions for welcoming the New Year and celebrating with New Year’s Eve parties.
In Denmark, the tradition is to "smash in the new year" by banging on the doors of their friends' homes and throwing pieces of broken pottery against the sides of the houses.
In Japan, dancers go from house to house at Oshogatsu making strange noises and rattling and pounding bamboo sticks and banging on drums.
In many parts of the US and Canada, firecrackers are set off at midnight to mark the new year. This is also the main celebration in Viet Nam, Hawaii and South America.
In Rio de Janeiro, people go to the beaches to watch fireworks and take a midnight dip in the water, offering flowers and a wish to the goddess Lemanja.
The English look to the "first-footer," or the first person to step foot into their house, to tell them how next year's luck will be.
New Year's Day marks the Festival of Saint Basil in Greece, where children leave their shoes out to be filled with gifts. St. Basil's Bread is baked with small trinkets inside, bringing luck to those who find them. Italians hang mistletoe over the front door to bring good luck.
Women in Mexico wear red underwear if they wish to marry in the New Year, and pink is worn by pregnant women to bring luck to the baby. Those hoping to travel, carry an empty suitcase around the block.
Many people in Spain and Latin countries eat 12 grapes at midnight, as a bell is rung 12 times. Each grape represents a month of the year. By eating them at midnight one hopes to have happiness and luck for the next 12 months.
Since 1904, Times Square in New York City has been a hot spot for New Year's Eve Parties. Originally, the owners of the square held rooftop parties, and now the streets are flooded with people nose-to-nose in the freezing cold just to watch the big ball drop. The first time the ball took the plunge was on New Year's Eve 1907! Back then, the Times Square Ball was made of iron and wood and decorated with 100 25-watt light bulbs. Today, half a million people gaze at the sphere made of Waterford crystal and lit by 600 bulbs as it drops from the top of a skyscraper at midnight.
Montreal New Year’s Eve Resolutions
How did New Year's Resolutions all begin? Once again, we go back to the wild and crazy parties of the ancient Romans. They used excess as a way of acting out all the chaos that they hoped a new year would get rid of. So, the New Year's festival was a way to start over. By purging yourself of all this so-called excess energy and confessing your sins, there was a hope that you would be much better in the next year ahead.
The custom of making New Year's Resolutions came into vogue in the 20th century and is still done today.
The New Year’s Eve Resolution is always said with hope and good intentions that in the coming year all your hopes will come true!
Happy New Year’s Eve Montreal