Wales - Calennig
Last New Year in Cardiff saw over 50,000 revellers gathering to celebrate Calennig. Calennig means New Year's gift and originates from the decorated piece of fruit taken by children from door to door wishing health and prosperity. Today the celebration takes place on the city streets. A candle lit procession lights up the castle, there are fairground rides, a winter wonderland ice rink, live bands and a sound and lights show. The festival has something to offer all ages, not just the young, drunk and single!
Wales - Mari Lwyd
The Mari Lwyd is carried out every New Years' Day in Llangynwyd. A horse and its party arrive at the door of a house or pub where they sing several verses. Then ensues a battle of wits (pwnco) where the people inside and those outside exchange challenges and insults in rhyme. The victors are those that hold out the longest.
Edinburgh hosts Scotland's premier Hogmanay festivities, now famous throughout the world. The origin of the word Hogmanay is uncertain but it could be from the French "Homme est né' – Man is born or from the Scandinavian word for a feast preceding Yule, " Hoggonoff'.
Hogmanay and Calennig
Catalonia in Edinburgh
This year Edinburgh's four day festival will have a Catalonian theme with street theatre, a parade, music and dancing. Festival director Pete Irving says, "The Catalan parade will be the largest concentration of Catalan culture yet seen in the UK'. Edinburgh's Lord Provost draws on the merits of the festival, " It is a vibrant cosmopolitan celebration where people from all around the world come together in a spirit of friendship'.
Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee, often overshadowed by this famous Edinburgh event also host their own outdoor party with live music and spectacular fireworks. Even the small north-east town of Stonehaven has its own unique event. Giant fireballs are lit and swung on long metal poles. Sixty men are needed to carry them up and down the high street, warding off evil spirits.
In cities all over the UK, people celebrate by going to New Year parties in pubs and clubs. However the increasing expense of this has resulted in many people preferring private parties at home.
Whatever you are doing, Happy New Year, Blwyddwyn Newydd Dda and Bliadhna Mhath Ur!