A new year is a
good time to start fresh – and, for some people, a time to seek good fortune
in the year ahead.
In the American
South, for example, people might prepare a dish known as "Hoppin' John." They
make it with black-eyed peas and ingredients like bacon, rice and vegetables.
Eating it at the New Year is thought to bring good luck.
On New Year's
Day, some families in the United States invite friends and relatives to an
open house. Jill Cooper from Santa Fe, New Mexico, gave us a description.
"They're family parties, big open house-y kind of parties with lots of cookies
-- too many cookies --and punch and eggnog. And houses are decorated, and you
see your friends and you bop from party to party."
But that is not
all she and her family like to do to celebrate the New Year.
"We try to do something outside 'cause we live in Santa Fe and we live right
in the mountains. Everybody wants to go for a wonderful hike and start off
with fresh air and all the things we're going to have in our lives the whole
next year. And then we drop in on parties."
like to take it easy on January first and enjoy a quiet day of rest. Twenty
year old Malia is from Virginia.
"I usually sleep in because we stay up late on New Year's Eve. And my family, we
usually eat the leftovers of the desserts that we make for New Year's, or New
Year's Eve and stuff, so. But, just relax, mainly."
But New Year's
Day is anything but a day of rest for John Worster, who lives in
"I offer Catholic Mass, 'cause I'm a Catholic priest by profession, and so it
is actually the feast day of Mary, Mother of God. And so we begin our Catholic
way of understanding new year by just thanking God for Jesus' mother, Mary. On
New Year's Day, after church we'll go out and sit in the goose pit and do some
hunting for Canada geese and also ducks."
On New Year's
morning, millions of television viewers watch the Tournament of Roses Parade
in Pasadena, California. The parade includes marching bands and horseback
riders. But the parade is most famous for its motorized floats. They come in
all shapes and sizes, but they are all covered with flowers.
California, the weather on New Year's Day might be cold. But the skies are
usually sunny and dry, even as other parts of the country might experience
A local group
created the Tournament of Roses festival in Pasadena in 1890. The
festival later expanded to include the parade and a big game in college
I'm Shirley Griffith. And I'm Steve
Ember. We wish you all happiness and good fortune in the New Year, and hope
will join us again next time for "This is America" in VOA Special English.