Uruguay 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.
The end-of-the-year festive season in Uruguay runs from Christmas to Epiphany, also called “Three Kings’ Day” on 6 January. Right in the middle of these two weeks of merriment lies New Year’s Eve and Day.
Since Uruguay is in the Southern Hemisphere, New Year’s Day comes during the summer instead of the winter. This makes it easier for people to get outside and engage in more prolonged and intense celebrations!
Food is a major part of the holiday season in Uruguay. Lamb and pork are the most commonly consumed main dishes. Lentils are eaten for good luck. Desserts often served include nougats, fruit cakes, figgy pudding, ice cream, and dulce de leche.
The biggest fireworks shows in Uruguay on New Year’s Eve take place in Montevideo, Rocha, and Punta del Este.
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