Barbados celebrates New Year’s Day with a public holiday every 1 January, as does most of the rest of the world. However, the celebrations really begin on New Year’s Eve and reach a high point with the turning of the clock from 11:59pm on 31 December to midnight on 1 January.
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New Year’s Day is a time of resolutions and starting fresh for some, while for others it is spent recovering from a big, late night spent with friends and family.
In Barbados, and throughout much of the rest of the Caribbean, welcoming the new year involves some traditions not always shared by the rest of the world.
First of all, many in Barbados will go to a midnight mass on New Year’s Eve and then head home to party during the wee hours of the morning. They may also party hop, going from house to house, greeting all their friends along the way.
It is also common for people to grab a late dinner at a restaurant, many of which have specials this time of year, hang out at the beach to watch the fireworks and later the sunrise, and then enjoy a breakfast special next morning. Some also have picnics or barbecues right on the beach. Almost everyone is very busy with festive activities on New Year’s Eve, and sleeping off the resultant tiredness on New Year’s Day is how they often make up for it.