What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

As we look forward to 2018 here are some classic New Year’s traditions explained…

Auld Lang Syne

The song originated in the 18th century in Scotland and is about the days gone by but also about hope for the future. It is now a traditional part of New Year’s festivities throughout the English speaking world.

Times Square

Fireworks at the New Year started in Times Square before New York City banned fireworks and initiated the ball which now drops at midnight. The first ball dropped in 1906 and was a 700 pound iron and wooden one.

Kiss at Midnight

It is said that this custom may date back to ancient times as a way to ward off evil spirits. According to superstition, kissing someone at midnight ensures that the following year will not be filled with loneliness.

Black-eyed Peas

A tradition that has its roots in the Southern US, those who eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s day say it brings good fortune for the following year.

Wearing Colorful Underwear

In Latin American countries the color of your underwear will dictate what the new year will bring you- green for fortune, red for love and white for peace and harmony.

12 Grapes

In Spain and other countries of Spanish influence they eat 12 grapes for luck for each of the 12 months of the year.


The tradition of setting off fireworks for the New Year has its roots in China, the country that invented them. It is said the fireworks scare off evil spirits for the New Year.
Now that you’ve been able to reflect on some world-wide New Year’s traditions here are a few ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve on the First Coast!

The Beach Blast Off at the St. John’s County pier in St. Augustine

A fireworks display, live music and food kick off 2018 at this free, kid friendly event in St. Augustine. It takes place December 31st from 6 P.M. to 10 P.M. at the St. John’s County pier.

Several bars and restaurants in St. Augustine have special New Year’s Eve events- here is a list

which has more details and contact info for reservations.

Fireworks in Downtown Jacksonville

The city will be setting off fireworks over the St. Johns River at midnight. The fireworks will be set off from a barge on the river between the Hyatt and Doubletree hotels downtown. There will be food trucks, live music and other vendors. The JTA Skyway is providing complimentary transportation to make it easier for those who attend the festivities downtown to get around. Tickets and more details are available here

The speakeasy style bar the Volstead in downtown Jacksonville is having a Roaring New Year’s Eve party tickets and more details available here

Jacksonville restaurant Blackfinn Ameripub is having an Under the Sea themed party

Tickets and more details available here

The Jacksonville Landing is having the 3rd annual New Year’s Eve River Bash

Tickets and more details available here

Click Here for more events in and around Jacksonville

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