The start of New Year’s Day, at midnight on January 1st, is heralded by fireworks, parties and special events, which are often televised. Very few people have to work on the day itself. For many it is a day of recovery from the New Year’s Eve celebrations the previous night. In some towns and cities, parades are held and special football games are played. The birth of the first baby in the New Year is often celebrated with gifts to his or her parents and appearances in local newspapers and on local news shows. Many people make New Year’s resolutions. These are usually promises to themselves that they will improve something in their own lives. Common New Year’s resolutions are to stop smoking or drinking alcohol, to lose weight, exercise more or to live a healthier lifestyle.
Martin Luther King Day, January 20th is a relatively new federal holiday and there are few long standing traditions. It is seen as a day to promote equal rights for all Americans, regardless of their background. Some educational establishments mark the day by teaching their pupils or students about the work of Martin Luther King and the struggle against racial segregation and racism. In recent years, federal legislation has encouraged Americans to give some of their time on this day as volunteers in citizen action groups.
Things you can do to celebrate this January!
- Make a list of resolutions to try to keep in the new year
- Share with your host family what you do for new years in your home country and when it is
- Eat food considered lucky to eat going into the New Year! In America, these include black eyed peas, cabbage, and pork.
- Listen to Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I have a dream” speech