Happy New Year!
What are your New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day traditions? We have many different ideas of how one should ring in the New Year. On New Year’s Eve, some people set off firecrackers or watch big fireworks shows. Some have parties or dinners. Some eat doughnuts or drink champagne, blow on party horns, share a kiss at the stroke of midnight to welcome in the New Year or sing Auld Lang Syne. Some go to church to pray. Some do nothing at all, preferring a quiet night at home.
On New Year’s Day the traditions vary widely as well. Some people will write down New Year’s resolutions of things to accomplish in the coming year: to lose weight, pay off debt, find a new job or other self-motivating things. Some clean house or take down the holiday decorations. Some share gifts with family. Some watch parades or sports events (live or on TV), and the list goes on and on. Below are some different traditions in different countries that you may find interesting.
Around the world, traditions can vary greatly.
- In Denmark, you stand on a chair and jump from it as the clock strikes midnight.
- In Wales, open and shut the back door of your house at midnight to lock out the bad luck, and then re-open it to let in goodness and prosperity.
- In Spain, eat twelve grapes for good luck.
- In Puerto Rico, clean your house and throw a bucket of water out the window to get the bad spirits out of the house.
- In the Philippines, everything that is round will bring you wealth: round food, coins, clothes with polka dots are all popular. You will also have a midnight feast, with round plates and round cookies?.
- In Romania, toss your spare coins into a river for good luck on New Year’s Eve.
- In Turkey, people wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve for good luck, and as the clock strikes midnight, they open the door to sprinkle salt on the doorstep for peace and prosperity.
- In some South American countries, the color of your underwear on New Year’s Eve can bring you love (red) or money (yellow). If you want to travel in the New Year…drag your suitcase around the block on New Year’s Day.
- In Panama, you’ll burn effigies of popular pop culture stars and politicians on New Year’s Eve.
No matter how odd or familiar some of these customs may be, the idea is one of hope for the future. Out with the old and in with the new!
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