Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Sites For Learning About New Year Celebrations


'Happy New Year 2010!' photo (c) 2010, Felix Montino - license:

Check out my New York Times post: Ideas for English Language Learners | Celebrate the Holidays

With New Year’s coming-up (at least in the calendar that many of us use), I thought a “The Best…” list would be in order (You might also be interested in The Best Ways To Help Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Succeed).

This list, though, will highlight other New Year celebrations in addition to the one traditionally celebrated in the Gregorian calendar.

These sites, and many others, can also be found on my website under Holidays.   Please feel free to offer any suggestions you have.  You  might also be interested in The Best Resources For Chinese New Year .

Here are my choices for The Best Sites For Learning About New Year Celebrations (and that are accessible to English Language Learners):

How about learning the famous New Year’s song that everyone sings but most don’t know what it means? I’m talking, of course, about Auld Lang Syne. Students can listen, read the words, and repeat them at this ManyThings website for English Language Learners.

Read a short summary of New Year traditions at this site which provides audio support for the text. It’s sponsored by a Florida school.

Here are three online grammar quizzes designed for English Language Learners that also contain a great deal of information about New Year’s traditions.

Father’s Time New Year Traditions has very accessible descriptions of New Year traditions from a ton of different countries.

New Year’s Celebrations From Around The World comes from “Topics” magazine, an online resource specifically for English Language Learners.

EL Civics has a very accessible New Year’s Lesson.

Fact Monster has good material at History Of The New Year.

Here’s an interactive map where you can also learn about New Year’s celebrations around the world.

The New York Times has a slideshow on the famous New Year’s celebration at TImes Square.

How Rosh Hashanah Works might be a little challenging for ELL’s, but it has great information that could be modified for classroom use. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year.

BBC Schools has some good information on Rosh Hashanah.

The History Channel has an excellent site on the Chinese New Year.

PBS Kids has a series of Chinese New Year games students can play.

Watch a slideshow of a Chinese New Year parade in San Francisco.

Send a Chinese New Year’s eCard from Blue Mountain or a New Year’s greeting from American Greetings. You can post links to student-created cards on teacher/student webpages.

I’m also adding Chinese New Year Resources From Topmarks, which has a number of accessible materials available.

Chinese New Year is the simple title of a variety of listening exercises from ELLO.

Here are some new Chinese New Year resources for ELL’s from the British Council that I’m adding to this list:

The Great Race, a “talking story.”

Listen to, and read, a song about Chinese New Year.

Ushering In The Year Of The Ox is a slideshow from Radio Free Asia.

Apples 4 The Teacher has a nice interactive that students can use to learn what animal is influencing their life because of the year you were born.

EL Civics has developed a Chinese New Year Lesson specifically for English Language Learners.

A New York Times slideshow and a video on the Chinese New Year celebration.

The S.F. Chronicle has a special page filled with slideshows and videos about present and past Chinese New Year celebrations.

The Lunar New Year is the title of a series of photos from The Sacramento Bee.

The Boston Globe’s Big Picture has a great group of photos on Chinese New Year: Welcoming The Ox.

Year Of The Ox is the title of a Wall Street Journal slideshow.

TIME Magazine also has a Chinese New Year slideshow.

MSNBC has a video showing global celebrations of the Chinese New Year.

There’s an annual huge Hmong New Year celebration here in Sacramento.  You can access a large collection of images from previous years here.

CBBC Newsround has images of people celebrating the New Year all around the world.

Here are some classroom materials from Lanternfish.

Here’s an interactive graphic explaining the Persian New Year. The same newspaper, the Orange County Register, has accessible information about several other New Year celebrations and one on the Vietnamese Tet New Year.

The San Jose Mercury News has a musical slideshow on a local Persian New Year celebration.

I’m adding Brainpop’s New Year’s Movie to this list.  You usually need a paid subscription in order to view Brainpop movies, but you can also get a free trial.  However, when I just checked out their New Year’s movie, it was available for free-of-charge.

The Sydney Morning Herald has several slideshows about their local New Year’s celebration.

Ringing In The New Year is a great slideshow from MSNBC showing New Year celebrations from around the world.

The New York Times has an intriguing slideshow about different New Year’s “rituals” from throughout the world. The newspaper also has another slideshow highlighting celebrations, and another one focusing on Times Square.

Cleaning Up After The Party is a New York Times slideshow on…cleaning-up after the Times Square New Year’s Celebration.

Celebrating The New Year
is also the title for a series of photos from the Sacramento Bee.

The Wall Street Journal also has a nice slideshow showing New Year’s celebrations around the world.

The Sydney Morning Herald also has a similar slideshow.

I’ve gathered some materials about “Watch Night” that I’m adding to this list. Watch Night is particularly celebrated in African-American churches and commemorates when many African-Americans gathered to pray that President Abraham Lincoln would carry out his promise to sign the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863.

Here is a newspaper article that gives some background on the midnight prayer services (you probably have to modify portions to make them more accessible to English Language Learners), and a slideshow from the New York Times.

The Wall Street Journal has a slideshow on Tibetan New Year.

The Sacramento Bee also has a series of images on Tibetan New Year

Read about 10 Unusual Traditions for Ringing in the New Year around the World.

See great images at Around the World: 27 Fabulous New Year’s Eve Fireworks!

Countdown To 2010 is a slideshow from The Wall Street Journal.

Ringing In 2010, Around the World is a slideshow from the New York Times.

Here’s a nice video showing fireworks celebrations around the world and one specifically on the fireworks in Australia.

CNN has several videos of New Year Celebrations around the world.

Welcoming 2010 is from the Big Picture.

ESL Holiday Lessons has an English Lesson Plan on Islamic New Year.

The New Year around the world is another excellent online exercise for English Language Learners created by Renée Maufroid.

ESL Holiday Lessons has a New Year’s lesson for English Language Learners.

New Year’s Around The World is a LIFE slideshow.

Ringing In The New Year is a slideshow from The Wall Street Journal.

A New Year rolls in is a series of pictures from The Big Picture.

New Year’s Eve Activities for Pre-Entry Learners and Beginners comes from ESOL Courses.

The New Year’s Eve Project: A Documentary Photo Essay is from NPR.

Ringing In 2011, Around the Globe is a NY Times slideshow.

Colorful celebrations mark Nepalese new year is a series of photos from MSNBC.

Thais splash into the New Year are photos from The Sacramento Bee.

Annual Hmong New Year Festival is a Sacramento Bee slideshow.

Welcoming the New Year is a slideshow from The Wall Street Journal.

Here’s a video collection of New Year celebrations around the world.

Lucky Foods for the New Year is a useful article.

Ring in 2012, Around the World is a New York Times slideshow.

World welcomes 2012 with cheers, celebrations is from CNN.

New Year’s swimmers brave freezing waters is from MSNBC.

The Atlantic has a nice photo gallery of people welcoming in 2012.

ESL Holiday Lessons has a lesson on the Islamic New Year.

10 global New Year’s eats is from CNN.

New Year’s Facts by the Numbers Infographic
is a very impressive graphic from The History Channel.

36 Bizarre Things Ceremonially Dropped on New Year’s Eve is from Mental Floss.

New Year’s Eve 2012 Celebrations Kick Off is a photo gallery from TIME.

New Year’s Eve traditions take local twists with unique ball drops is a slideshow from The PBS News Hour.

ZingChart has a pretty interesting New Year’s interactive.

Here are some videos that might or might not show up in an RSS Reader:


Google has set-up a map where people can contribute their New Year’s resolutions. It uses Google Translate so you can see what people are saying all over the world.

In addition, you can check out this Google Map with links to videos of New Year’s celebrations around the globe.

Happy New Year, world
is a photo gallery from The Boston Globe.

Strange New Year traditions around the world
is a slideshow from The Telegraph.

Thanks to Google Maps Mania for both of these tips.

How the World Celebrates New Year’s Eve is a slideshow from TIME.

For Hillbrow, Fireworks, Not Furniture is a Wall Street Journal slideshow.

Rosh Hashanah

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.


Good Luck Food for New Year

by angelvicky.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.


Tweeting "happy new year" around the world

by kristw.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.


50 New Year Traditions From Around the World

New Year’s Celebrations around the World
is from English With Jennifer.

The Facts and stats on New Year

Happy New Year 2015! Teaching Worldwide Celebrations is by Judie Haynes.

Watch: In Dubai, The Coolest New Year’s Eve Spectacle? is from NPR.

Here’s a map, along with a chart, showing who stays up for how long on New Year’s Eve in different countries.

Anna Loseva: 30 questions to ask yourself on New Year’s Eve appeared on the Teaching English website.

Dave Dodgson: A year in review. Three Quick Ideas to Start your 2015 Classes

New Year around the World
by infogr8.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Pingback:   Carnival of Education, #201 — Scheiss Weekly

  2. Thanks, Larry. I just linked to this list. It’s a great resource. And happy New Year’s to you and yours. Continued success in 2011. Try to take it easy on the rest of us bloggers!! You set the bar pretty high, teacher dude. LOL

  3. Pingback: Resolutions, Ohio, Google+, Genealogy, More: Sunday Morning Buzz, December 30, 2012 « ResearchBuzz

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