Expectations are always high for New Years and we always fail spectacularly. It's the major holiday in Ukraine since the Soviet era basically squashed all religious holidays and so the people moved all gift giving and family celebrating to January first. The religious holidays are back now, but they don't have the festivities that we associate with them here in the US.
So...New Years is "supposed" to be super fun with lots of fireworks and partying until 3 AM and huge gifts from Father Frost or Winter or something like that. Think Halloween and Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July -- very kid oriented and family oriented and fun fun fun. There's an enormous feast expected featuring no less than 13 specific dishes. There's non-stop celebrating.
America's idea of New Years seems to be: if you're under 21, just go to bed because there's nothing for you to do. If you're over 21 get trashed by 11 and go to bed by 1 AM. Sleep all day on January first.
So, you can imagine the mood here. Surprisingly decent, really.
I spent 7 hours cooking yesterday and today and prepared the feast of feasts. We went to the church's New Year's Eve celebration which ended in sulking off angry teenager, but everyone else had a blast.
Once home, we read our 2015 predictions (nearly all failed) and wrote our 2016 for the jar. We made a fire and toasted marshamallows for s'mores. We fired off confetti poppers and did a toast with bubbly grape juice.
Today we did the feast. And eventually everyone went to bed. And no one had a meltdown. So...successfull start to 2016. We keep the bar low here.