In the Gregorian calendar, New Year’s Eve (also known as Old Year’s Day or Saint Sylvester’s Day in many countries), the last day of the year, is on December 31 which is six days after Christmas.
Samoa and parts of Kiribati are the first places to welcome the New Year while American Samoa and Baker Island in the United States, are among the last.
One of the most prominent celebrations in the country is the “ball drop” held in New York City’s Times Square, first celebrated December 31, 1907. Inspired by the time balls that were formally used as a time signal, at 11:59 p.m. ET, an 11,875-pound (5,386 kg), 12-foot (3.7 m) diameter Waterford crystal ball located on the roof of One Times Square is lowered down a pole that is 70 feet high, reaching the roof of the building 60 seconds later to signal the start of the New Year. The Ball Drop has been held since 1907, and in recent years has averaged around a million spectators annually. The popularity of the spectacle also inspired similar “drop” events outside of New York City, which often use objects that represent a region’s culture, geography, or history—such as Atlanta’s “Peach Drop”, representing Georgia’s identity as the “Peach State”. Alongside the festivities in Times Square, New York’s Central Park hosts a “Midnight Run” event organized by the New York Road Runners, which culminates in a fireworks show and a race around the park that begins at midnight.