Every Word You Need to Know to Celebrate New Year’s

Ready to Celebrate New Year’s?

These ten words will get you through the holiday.

Happy New Year’s!


It’s almost 2020, and that means New Year’s is right around the corner. Bust out the champagne, grab some friends, and get ready to count down to 2020! 

If you’re studying English, then you will likely want to learn how to talk about holidays with your friends, colleagues, or new acquaintances. New Year’s is one of the most exciting days of the year, and after you read this blog, you’ll be ready to celebrate the new year in style–verbal style that is! 

11 Strange International New Year’s Celebrations


1. New Year’s Eve 

Eve is used to refer to the day before Christmas or New Year’s. So, Christmas Eve is on December 24th while New Year’s Eve is December 31st, the last day of the year. Interestingly, we only use Eve for these two holidays, no others. 

Let’s meet at my house for drinks on New Year’s Eve.

2.New Year’s Day 

New Year’s Day refers to the actual first day of the new year, January 1. Most people will have this day off of work and school, so many people will sleep in–if they drank, there is a good chance they will have a hangover on New Year’s Day. 

I slept until noon on New Year’s Day since we partied until 4:00 in the morning. 

3. countdown / count down

Countdown refers to the act of counting down the time until the New Year begins. You can count by hours, minutes, or seconds, but people will generally count down the last 10 seconds together. 

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

Everyone in Times Square counted down the final 30 seconds of the year together. 

4. champagne 

People like to drink alcohol to celebrate New Year’s. While you can drink whatever you want, “champagne” is the traditional New Year’s beverage of choice. Champagne is a sparkling wine that comes from the region of France called Champagne—EU countries require any sparkling wine labeled champagne to actually come from this region. 

If you’ve never tried it, it’s quite delicious and bubbly, so give it a try this New Year’s Eve. 

My friend and I drank a glass of champagne as the clock struck midnight. 

5. resolutions

One of the most famous traditions associated with New Year’s is to make a New Year’s resolution. This is basically just a goal for the upcoming year. You might want to change one aspect of your life or work on improving yourself. 

Here are a few common New Year’s resolutions. 

Lose weight 

Save money 

Exercise more 

Learn a new skill 

My New Year’s resolution for 2020 is to learn how to play the piano. 

6. celebrate 

Celebrate can be used for any holiday. It refers to the customs or traditions that people partake in during a holiday or festival. For example, we celebrate Christmas by eating food with loved ones, giving gifts, and decorating a Christmas tree. Cinco De Mayo is celebrated by having a big parade, wearing bright-colored clothing, and eating a lot of delicious food. 

So, how do we celebrate New Year’s? You can celebrate by hanging out with your friends, having some drinks, counting down the final seconds before the New Year, and making a New Year’s Resolution. 

Let’s celebrate New Year’s Eve at Times Square in New York City!

7. ring in the new year 

Ringing in the New Year originally came from the old days where churches used to ring bells to keep the time or usher in certain holidays.  

So, while that is where the literal name comes from, the more common usage in modern English is an idiom that revolves around partying and celebrating during New Year’s Eve and into the new year. 

Let’s ring in the new year by watching fireworks and staying up all night. 

8. confetti 

Confetti is made up of small, colored pieces of paper. Confetti is often used in celebrations like birthdays, sporting events, and you guessed it…New Year’s! Confetti will often be seen floating through the air to make the atmosphere seem more fun and livelier. 

You may see confetti in places like Time Square where there are massive gatherings to celebrate the new year. The confetti will begin to drop at midnight when the new year starts. 

Confetti rained down on the crowd.

9. out with the old and in with the new 

Out with the old and in with the new refers to changing your life. The old might not be bad, but New Year’s can be seen as a time for a clean slate, a time to start over and get another chance. So, it’s the beginning of something new—we can throw away the bad parts of our old life. 

So, if your goal is to exercise more, then out with Netflix before work and in with a trip to the gym. 

Well, it’s out with the old and in with the new. It’s time for me to start exercising instead of watching TV every morning. 

10. stroke of midnight 

The stroke of midnight literally just refers to… well, that exact time (midnight or 12:00 am). Normally, there is nothing special about the stroke of midnight, but of course, on January 1, the stroke of midnight is the very beginning of the new year. Therefore, the term “stroke of midnight” is more commonly said during the New Year’s celebration than other days of the year. 

2020 will be here at the stroke of midnight; make sure you’re watching the celebration on TV so you don’t miss it. 


There are certainly other words you can use to describe New Year’s, but these ten words are very common and will likely to get you through the holiday without missing a beat. Have a happy New Year, and I’ll see you again in 2020! 


new-year-2020-celebrate-celebratio  by susan-lu4esm

new-year-s-eve-2019-new-year-s-day by pixel2013

confetti-concert-people-crowd by StockSnap