What’s the most fun part of a sleepover? We’ll give you a hint: it’s not sleeping! Staying up late with good friends and family members can be a great way to make fun and lasting memories.

Sometimes, staying up late is part of a special celebration. For example, on New Year’s Eve each year, millions of people stay up late to usher out the old year and welcome in the new one.

Do you like to stay up late on New Year’s Eve? Counting down to midnight is a longstanding tradition that many families share. There’s nothing quite like welcoming the new year at its very start in the company of good friends and family members.

What other ways do you use to celebrate the new year? Many people bring in the new year with bubbly drinks and special foods. They may enjoy these treats at parties at which they wait for the huge, lighted Waterford crystal ball on the roof of One Times Square to drop, signaling the new year and triggering a huge fireworks show.

At the stroke of midnight, you’re also likely to hear the familiar sounds of Auld Lang Syne, an old Scottish song that was popularized as a New Year’s Eve song in 1929 by famous band leader Guy Lombardo. The song’s name translates to “old long since” and means “times gone by.” The lyrics encourage us to remember people of the past with fondness.

Of course, people around the world often have their own unique and special traditions. For example, in Japan, the new year is the most important holiday of the year. It’s a time of renewal when people take off work, clean their houses and spend time together as a family.

In Spain, it’s a tradition to eat 12 grapes at midnight. The Spanish believe doing so will bring 12 happy months in the new year. In the Netherlands, the Dutch gather their Christmas trees in the street and burn them in a huge bonfire while launching fireworks.

What does your family usually do to celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day? Do you make resolutions? Go to a fireworks show? Watch a favorite show on television? If you don’t already have a tradition, start one this year!

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