Nouveau, simply meaning New Beaujolais is the celebration
of the arrival of this years batch of red wine
from the Beaujolais region of France
It's a full night of partying during November and is intended to be a world-wide celebration, as the Beaujolais.com website itself pronounces:
Every year our special "breakfast" goes right round the world. It gives the inhabitants of all countries on every latitude the opportunity to gather, a glass of wine in hand, to pronounce in multitudinous accents the ritual motto "le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé". In 2000 the young wine full of energy won't fail tradition.
A couple of points here, it's celebrated all over the world true, but nowhere quite as strongly as in France itself. Also the tradition of the wine itself exists for many hundreds of years, but the actual celebration of the new wine started as a nationwide campaign in France only some ten years ago. It is not, as the marketing men would have us believe, a grand and long world-wide celebration.
In France it is widely seen as a commercial ploy to get through the sales of what is generally regarded (outside Beaujolais itself) as a fairly poor wine.
Basically, go out, get drunk on cheap wine and party, but don't expect too much from the flavour.