The New Year is officially observed with a public holiday every 1 January in Antigua and Barbuda. New Year’s Eve celebrations on 31 December are complimented with a day of rest and New Year resolutions on the first day of January.
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In Antigua and Barbuda, New Year’s Eve takes on much of the aura of Carnival, except that Carnival lasts for 10 days straight, is even more festive, and takes place in July or August.
On 31 December, a gigantic gala festival breaks out on Antigua, the main island, where the beaches fill up with those conducting picnics and barbecues. Many also wander around town to different bars, and fireworks explode in the night sky at the stroke of twelve.
On 1 January, a costumed street parade is scheduled. While many are tired from the night before, they still get up to attend the parade and wave and cheer. As the parade marches past neighbourhood homes, you notice that Christmas lights and decorations are still up. It almost seems like Christmas, New Year’s, and Carnival all become one in Antigua and Barbuda.