Réunion celebrates New Year’s Day with a public holiday every 1 January, as does most of the rest of the world. However, the celebrations really begin on New Year’s Eve and reach a high point with the turning of the clock from 11:59pm on 31 December to midnight on 1 January.
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New Year’s Day is a time of resolutions and starting fresh for some, while for others it is spent recovering from a big, late night spent with friends and family.
In Réunion as in France, New Year’s Eve is also called Saint Sylvester because it is the official feast day to that particular canonized Roman Catholic saint.
It is traditional to begin New Year’s Eve with a taste of champagne, and then there is more to drink when the toast at midnight finally arrives! Most gather for a dinner with family and friends. The dinner is often quite elaborate, having as many as eight courses.
When the clock strikes midnight, confetti often flies as everyone shouts out “Happy New Year!” to each other.
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