Kissing! At midnight on the eve, but it should last until the new year at 12:01. Kiss off the old year and kiss in the new one I always say. After first things first, you've shot fireworks, watched the ball drop in Times Square in New York and you've slept off a slight Champaign headache there are traditions old, re-invented and newly found to celebrate on New Years day.
Parades! Upon waking from the New Years Eve slumber, you have to watch some parades on TV, notably the Rose Bowl Parade.
Football and beer! January 1st is smack in the middle of the College football bowl games, snacks, beer and your favorite team(s).
Black Eyed Peas! Grandmother says to have at least 365 Black Eyed Peas at lunch, or whenever, just be sure you have them.
Resolutions! For Americans, this is the day we promise to deprive ourselves of something we really like or really hate but still do anyway. We resolve to lose weight, stop drinking, smoking, cussing or even become more faithful. As far as American's go, you can bet we will make it to January 10th, maybe 15th. before our temptation sets back in. Not for the 10%, forgive me, some actually make resolutions happen. All-in-all it's something that provides a temporary good feeling and some will succeed, some won't.
The Jewish feast! To celebrate the circumcision of Jesus, what? It's true, I'm just a Gentile, I'll take the beer and football.
New Baby! The first baby born on this day is celebrated, not as a God, just as a symbolism commemorating new life and the parents usually get a diaper or baby food sponsorship. This also signifies the passing of the prime days of father time or handing over of new life.
These are just a few accounts of what I know and what I have experienced, minus the Jewish thing, that was a friend of mine. Basically we Americans enjoy friends, family and celebrate, any excuse to celebrate will do of course, but this is a somewhat special event with more significance. To many of us it's the last time we'll party like this until St. Patrick's day, which oddly, isn't American at all. Mainly after it's all over with most are glad the holidays are over and we can get on with our lives. Aside from personal and regional traditions these are the basics of the American New Years Day as I have experienced. This recounting of experiences has varied from childhood until now however. As a teenager all I wanted to do is escape the family after lunch and drive around with friends, go to the mall, a movie or otherwise hang out with anyone other than family. It's funny how things change and as we get older we tend to cocoon more with the ones we love.