The New Year is welcomed with parties, fireworks, and alcohol around the world. 


However, every country adds its own special twist. In the United States, a ball of lights is lowered in New York City at midnight and broadcast on television.

“The Ball”, as it is affectionately known, was invented when fireworks were banned in the city. 

In addition to the explosives and alcohol, Germany watches the same old British comedy skit called “Dinner for One”. The show has long since been forgotten in its home country but is loved by Germans.

In Britain, fireworks are accompanied by the ringing of Big Ben in London and a canon in Edinburgh, Scotland.



Many cultures continue to celebrate their traditional or religious New Year in addition to the global standards. The Chinese Lunar New Year continues to overshadow the Gregorian holiday. The celebration includes a family feast, firecrackers to ward of evil spirits, and a long variety of shows on television. 

Festivities on 31 December are increasingly popular, especially in large cosmopolitan cities. 

Rosh Hashannah is the New Year celebration in the Jewish tradition. It takes place in the autumn of the northern hemisphere. It is proceeding by Yom Kippur and the other High Holy Days. This is a period of reflection and repentance of sins of the previous year. Many Jews also celebrate the secular holiday around the world.  

Fireworks are the signature feature of the night. Modern fireworks come in a multitude of colors, sounds, sizes, and patterns. The first fireworks were modest in comparison. They were invented in China during the Song Dynasty. They spread slowly over the centuries but exploded in popularity in the nineteenth century because of innovation in chemistry that made the variety we have today possible. The pop of opening sparkling wine fits well with the other explosions through the evening. Commonly drank and widely known is the wine called Champagne, named after a wine-making region of France.


Images of these celebrations across cultures have been captured since the invention of the camera.

Here at IMS Vintage Photos we give you the possibility to own history and be part of the process of preservation of such valuable photos!