In Japan, New Year's Day is a religious holiday, observed in both the
Buddhist and Shinto traditions. In the 30 minutes straddling the New Year, NHK
(the public broadcasting company in Japan) presents a program called Outgoing
Year-Incoming Year that shows people observing ceremonies at various temples and
shrines around the country. (Such as ringing Buddhist temple bells 108
times...)This is the way I observe New Year's every year. Most
spiritual, and none of this silly wah-wah stuff like Time's Square, etc.As Bill and Dan observe here, peoples all over the world used to ring in
the New Year this way.