El Salvador 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 El Salvador, New Year’s Eve is called Noche Vieja, meaning “old (year’s) night”. It is followed, therefore, by “new year’s morning”. The late-night parties leading up to the new year are full of life, salsa music, and an abundance of Latin-style food!
Most people also buy and don new clothing for the new year. They wear them on New Year’s Eve, and it is thought that this will “attract” good luck. There is also a tradition of cracking an egg into a glass of water just before midnight. The egg, of course, randomly changes form as it floats freely in the water, and people watch it and try to “interpret” its “meanings” for their year ahead.
City streets tend to be full of revellers all night. Kids stay out all night setting off firecrackers. But by about 1am on 1 January, the streets finally empty out and all is quiet.
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