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This page last updated on 27 December 2020

Top New Year traditions from around the globe as explained by former Primary School Teacher

AS you know, New Year celebrations in most parts of the world will be extremely muted this year, but millions of us will try to mark the arrival of the 2021 in a Covid-compliant way. What are the origins of our New Year traditions? Former Primary School Teacher Laura Steele and now an Education Resource Expert, at Planbee; since 2016; has written this interesting list of facts...

Out with the old, in with the new... 2020 is nearly over, and I think it's safe to say that most of us are very eager indeed to say goodbye to this year, and to welcome 2021 in the hope that it will be a better year for all.

Across the UK, on 31 December, as the clock strikes midnight, people (would, in an ordinary year) hold hands and sing:- 'Auld Lang Syne' to welcome the new year in. But where exactly did this song originate? And how much of it can you remember?

The song was written by famous Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788, who based it on an old folk song. In the Scots language, the phrase 'Auld lang syne' roughly translates as:- 'for old times' sake.' It is a song about reunion and reconciliation; a reflection of times past, and a promise to move forward together. It can evoke feelings of belonging and friendship.

Although its origins are in Scotland:- 'Auld Lang Syne' is now sung all over the world on new Year's Eve.

In Scotland:- 'Hogmanay' is the Scots word for the last day of the year. The celebrations begin on New Year's Eve and last until the 2 January (which is also a public holiday in Scotland). Hogmanay’s origins are thought to be Viking; the Norse invaders began by celebrating the winter solstice on the 21 December, culminating in wild parties at the end of the month. Modern day celebrations include:- torch lit parades, fire festivals, huge fireworks displays, and music performances.

Another popular tradition in Scotland is that of '1st footing.' The 1st guest to enter a house in the new year must bring a gift (these can range from salt or coal, to shortbread and whiskey). This is intended to bring luck to the householder. Traditionally, tall, dar haired men are preferred as the 1st guests!

In Spain, on each of the 12 strokes of the clock at midnight, a grape is eaten. This is thought to bring good luck for the coming months.

Just before midnight, people in Denmark stand on chairs, ready to jump off them at midnight and 'leap' into January.

In Switzerland, it is traditional to drop a dollop of cream on the floor to bring a prosperous new year.

On New Year's Eve in Greece, an onion is hung on the front door as a symbol of rebirth. On New Year's Day, parents wake their children up by tapping them on the head with the onion!

In Brazil, people dress in white clothes to symbolise their hopes for good luck and peace for the new year. If you live near a beach, it is tradition to jump over seven waves; for each wave, you receive a wish.

Doughnuts are eaten in Germany. They 'Pfannkuchens' are filled with jam or liquor. As a practical joke, some may contain mustard or other unsavoury fillings; if you are unfortunate enough to choose 1 of these, this is seen as bad luck!

On the last day of the year, people in Columbia carry an empty suitcase around with them in the hope of a travel filled 12 months to come.

In Estonia, on New Year's Day, people attempt to eat either:- 7, 9 or 12 times throughout the day. These are all lucky numbers, and it is believed that the more they eat, the more plentiful the food will be in the coming year.

Another increasingly popular New Year's Day tradition in many parts of the world is the Polar Plunge, or Polar Bear Plunge. People visit their nearest beach, some in fancy dress, and take a dip in the sea. A lot of the events are for charity, with those brave enough to take the icy swim being sponsored by those who aren't!

Many people across the world make New Year's resolutions, or promises to themselves to achieve certain goals in the coming year. This seems to be one of the oldest traditions we follow; the ancient Babylonians are thought to have been the 1st people to make resolutions around 4,000 years ago. Their promises included:- paying debts and returning any items they had borrowed.

Please do let us know how you bring in 2021, as we would love to know. You can email our newsroom at:- News24@SouthportReporter.Comor post on our Facebook Page or send us a Tweet.

Total UK cases Covid19 cases in and around Liverpool City Region

Not all data has been added due to Christmas.

THE total number of UK Coronavirus (Covid19) infections that have been laboratory confirmed, within the UK, has risen by:- 30,501 cases and the total number now stand at:- 2,288,345 that includes tests carried out by commercial partners which are not included in the 4 National totals.

The total number of Covid19 associated UK fatalities added to the total, was sadly reported to be:-
316, within 28 days of positive test, according to the Department of Health. The total number of deaths of people who have had a positive test result confirmed by a Public Health or NHS laboratory is:- 70,752, within 28 days of positive test. Deaths with Covid19 on the death certificate:- 79,349

Hospital information has not been updated due to Christmas.

In England, there are a total of:-
1,963,217 confirmed cases. North West - total of:- 353,536 confirmed cases.

The number of laboratory confirmed cases within the Liverpool City Region are as follows:-


Area and number of confirmed cases:- Risen by:-

National UK Lockdown

Tier 2

Liverpool City Region

Liverpool, 26,601 confirmed cases.


Halton,  5,445 confirmed cases.


Knowsley, 8,569 confirmed cases. 24
Sefton, 11,677 confirmed cases.


St. Helens, 8,617 confirmed case.


Wirral, 11,469 confirmed cases.


Colour Key:- 0  1 to 10 11 to 20 21 to 30  31 to 40 41 to 50 51 to100 101 over  

The number of laboratory confirmed cases within Local Authorities around the Liverpool City Region, since start of the Pandemic, are as follows:-


 Blackburn with Darwen, 11,224 confirmed cases.

 Blackpool, 6,056 confirmed cases.

 Bolton, 16,791 confirmed cases.

 Bury, 11,249 confirmed cases.

 Cheshire East, 11,216 confirmed cases.

 Cheshire West and Chester, 11,084 confirmed cases.

 Lancashire, 57,232 confirmed cases.

 Manchester, 34,934 confirmed cases.

 Oldham, 16,426 confirmed cases.

 Preston, 8,404 confirmed cases.

 Rochdale, 14,432 confirmed cases.

 Salford, 14,974 confirmed cases.

 Stockport, 12,090 confirmed cases.

 Tameside, 11,534 confirmed cases.

 Trafford, 10,048 confirmed cases.

 Warrington, 9,783 confirmed cases

 Wigan, 18,726 confirmed cases.

Total UK people who have received vaccination

1st Dose 2nd Dose
616,933 Not yet disclosed

Daily reported Covid19 deaths are now measured across the UK as deaths that occurred within 28 days of the 1st laboratory confirmed positive Covid19 test.   Daily and cumulative numbers of Covid19 patients admitted to Hospital. Data are not updated every day by all 4 nations and the figures are not comparable as Wales include suspected Covid19 patients while the other nations include only confirmed cases.


The latest R number is estimated at:- 1.1 to 1.3 with a daily infection growth rate range of:- +1% to +6%, as of 24 December 2020.

Previous 24hr Data

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