New Year’s Eve Traditions

NewYearsEveIt is hard to believe that the end of 2013 is upon us, but here it is.  New Year’s Eve is tomorrow!  For some parents, NYE plans are very different now that they have children.  You may not be out all night at the hottest club in town, but fun can still be had!  One idea is to adopt some traditions of your very own, that you can do year after year.  We did some searching and found some interesting traditions from around the world.

Spain In Spain, it is customary to eat 12 grapes, one at each stroke of the clock.  Each grape is for good luck for each of the months of the year.

Denmark In Denmark people stand on chairs and jump off them to leap into the new year to banish bad spirits.

Russia In Russia they write down a wish on paper, burn it, throw the ashes into a glass of champagne (or sparkling grape juice) and then drink it before 12:01 for the wish to come true.

Mexico  While also following the grape tradition of Spain, Mexican families decorate homes and parties in colors that represent wishes for the upcoming year: red encourages an overall improvement of lifestyle and love; yellow encourages blessings of improved employment conditions; green for improved financial circumstances; and white for improved health.  Another tradition is to make a list of the unhappy event of the previous year and then burning the list in the fire before midnight to banish the bad luck.  At the same time, discuss all the positive events so the good luck continues.

Japan It is customary to clean the house, inside and out, in Japan.  It is also customary to eat long noodles to signify longevity in Japan and other Asian countries.

Turkey  Pomegranates are eaten for many reasons.  They are red, which stands for life and fertility.  The round seeds represent prosperity and their medicinal properties represent health.

In Germany, Poland and Scandinavia, it’s believed that eating herring at the stroke of midnight will ensure a year of bounty—as herring are in abundance throughout Western Europe. Also, their silvery color resembles that of coins, a good omen for future fortune.

Italy  In Italy they toss old things out the windows to make room for the new.  Look out below!  They also eat cotechino con lenticchie: pork sausage served over lentils. The lentils are a popular meal because of their coin-like shape.  Lentils are also eaten in Hungary in a soup.

Philippines  In the Philippines it is customary to eat 13 round fruits, 13 being a lucky number.  In other parts of the world, 12 round fruits are eaten, 1 for each month of the year.

Here are some other traditions:  At midnight, open all the doors in the house so the old year can leave before the New Year can enter.  Make loud noise with pots and pans and other noise makers to scare away evil spirits.  Some other foods eaten in many cultures for NYE are black-eyed peas, rice, cabbage, and other leafy greens.

What New Year traditions do you have?  Are there any new ones you will start?  Whatever you do, please have a safe and happy New Year!

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