New Year's Eve is often celebrated at social gatherings, during which participants dance, eat, consume alcoholic beverages, and watch or light fireworks to mark the incoming year. Other individuals may observe the evening with a watchnight service. The observance of New Year's Eve generally extends through midnight of January 1 (New Year's Day). Also known as "Last Day of the Year", the Philippines is one of the few countries having New Year's Eve as a special non-working holiday. Filipinos usually celebrate New Year's Eve with the company of family and close friends. Traditionally, most households stage a dinner party named Media Noche in their homes. Typical dishes include pancit, hamon, lechon (roasted pig), which is usually considered as the centerpiece of the dinner table. Barbecued food is also an integral part of the menu.
Most Filipinos follow a set of traditions that are typically observed during New Year's Eve. Included among these traditions is the customary habit of wearing clothes with circular patterns like polka dots, this signifies the belief that circles attract money and fortune or other colorful clothing to show enthusiasm for the coming year. Throwing coins at the stroke of midnight is said to increase wealth that year. Traditions also include the serving of circularly shaped fruits, shaking of coins inside a metal casserole while walking around the house, and jumping up high which is believed to cause an increase in physical height. People also make loud noises by blowing on cardboard or plastic horns, called "torotot", banging on pots and pans or by igniting firecrackers and fireworks at the stroke of midnight, in the belief that it scares away malevolent spirits and forces. Urban areas are usually hosts to many New Year's Eve parties and countdown celebrations which are usually hosted by the private sector with the help of the local government. These parties usually display their own fireworks spectacles and are often very well attended. The main celebration is focused on Manila Bay at Roxas Boulevard in Manila.
What do people do?Many people spend most of December 31 quietly. They may spend time outdoors, reading the reviews of the last year in newspapers or resting in preparation for the New Year's Eve parties that begin in the late afternoon or evening. People who host parties may spend a large part of the day preparing food and arranging drinks. In the evening, New Year's Eve parties usually go on for many hours, well beyond midnight. Some, particularly young people, may choose to spend the evening in pubs, clubs or discos. Although there are many who celebrate the event responsibly with moderate amounts of alcohol, some celebrate the event with large amounts of alcohol, which can lead to fights and other acts of foolishness in the early hours of the morning.
Just before midnight, people turn on a radio or television to see the countdown of the last few minutes of the old year and the display of fireworks just after midnight.
In English-speaking countries, a few popular songs are associated with New Year's Eve and it is common to hear them on the radio these countries on, or shortly before, December 31.
- "Auld Lang Syne" (a song with words by Robert Burns, the song most closely associated with the holiday)
- "Happy New Year" by ABBA
- "Imagine" by John Lennon
- "It Was a Very Good Year" by Frank Sinatra.
- "It's Just Another New Year's Eve" by Barry Manilow.
- "Let's Start the New Year Right" from Holiday Inn by Bing Crosby.
- "New Year's Day" by U2
- "Same Old Lang Syne" by Dan Fogelberg
- "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong
The lives of several couples and singles in New York intertwine over the course of New Year's Eve.
Starring the biggest stars of Hollywood:
- Jake T. Austin as Seth
- James Belushi as Building Super
- Halle Berry as Nurse Aimee
- Jessica Biel as Tess Byrne
- Jon Bon Jovi as Jensen
- Abigail Breslin as Hailey
- Chris "Ludacris" Bridges as Brendan
- Robert De Niro as Stan Harris
- Josh Duhamel as Sam
- Zac Efron as Paul
- Héctor Elizondo as Kominsky
- Cary Elwes as Stan's Doctor
- Carla Gugino as Spiritual Dr. Morriset
- Katherine Heigl as Laura
- Ashton Kutcher as Randy
- Seth Meyers as Griffin Byrne
- Alyssa Milano as Nurse Mindy
- Lea Michele as Elise
- Sarah Jessica Parker as Kim
- Russell Peters as Chef Sunil
- Michelle Pfeiffer as Ingrid
- Til Schweiger as James Schwab
- Ryan Seacrest as Himself
- Yeardley Smith as Maude
- Hilary Swank as Claire Morgan
- Sofía Vergara as Ava
- Cherry Jones as Mrs. Rose Ahren
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