NEW YEARS EVE TRADITIONS
Are you looking for some new traditions to start for New Year's Eve? People from all over the world celebrate New Year's Eve, and many cultures have unique traditions. Here are some traditions you could start, and some ways that it is celebrated in different countries. Will you try any of these multicultural traditions?
1. In the Philippines they use round objects to celebrate New Year's Eve. The circular shape symbolizes money and wealth. Wear polka dots; eat cookies, donuts, bagels, or other round objects; play checkers, twister, or other games that use round objects. Get creative! They also serve 12 round fruits. They are believed to represent prosperity (because of their shape that mirrors coins), and the number 12 is for each month of the year.
2. Romanians believe that tossing a coin in the river on New Year's Eve will provide good luck for the whole year. If you do not live near a river, maybe you could come up with a river substitute to toss coins into to bring you and your guests good fortune!
3. Are you the adventurous type? Take a polar bear plunge just after midnight into a cold lake or ocean. This tradition was started in Vancouver, Canada in 1920 by the Polar Bear Club. I may sit this one out...
4. People often enjoy a fireworks show for the New Year. If you can't find one near you, get sparklers to light!
5. Make your own noisemakers to ring in the New Year! This could be a fun activity to do with your kids.
6. In Latin America they throw a bucket of water out the window to signify cleansing and renewal. This would be a fun and simple tradition to add!
7. Go Greek! They hang an onion on their door on New Year's Eve to symbolize rebirth. On the 1st, parents tap the onion on their children's foreheads. It is said to welcome prosperity for the upcoming 365 days.
8. Don't love the smell of onions? Then try the Spaniard way. They eat 12 grapes at midnight-one with each chime of the clock at midnight. They say it is rather tricky! Each grape symbolizes a month. If you are successful in eating all 12 then you are promised to have a lucky year!
9. Here is another tradition from the Philippines. Open your windows and doors at midnight. This is to let out the old year and welcome in the new. I think I'd choose this one over the polar bear plunge...
10. A Danish tradition is to stand on a chair, and then leap into the New Year at midnight for good luck.
11. If you live near a beach you can do as the Brazilians do. They are said to head to the beach, and immediately after midnight, they are supposed to jump seven waves while making seven wishes. They also wear all white when they do this to symbolize purity.
12. Want to have a bonfire? In India, they make an effigy of an old man and then burn it at midnight. The old man symbolizes the old year, and the burning symbolizes the passing of grievances from the old year and leaves space for the new year to be born.
13. In Mexico, families make tamales together and enjoy them on New Year's Day.
14. In Colombia they are said to place three potatoes under each family member's bed. They include a peeled potato, an unpeeled potato, and a partially peeled potato. At midnight everyone grabs a potato with their eyes closed. The potato they grab determines if they can expect a year of good fortune (unpeeled), financial struggle (peeled), or a mix of both!
15. Here is another interesting tradition involving food. In Ireland, they bang Christmas bread against walls and doors in the home to make way for a healthy and prosperous new year.
16. Here is a tastier tradition. In Norway and Denmark, they eat a traditional 18-layer, ring cake on New Year's Eve. It is called Kransekake.
17. The Japanese east soba noodles just before midnight. The Toshikoshi soba translates to a "year-crossing." The noodles are long and symbolize crossing from one year to the next. It is a soft noodle that is easily cut, which symbolizes letting go of the past year's regrets (a cutting-off) before the fresh start of the new year. I think I like this one...
18. If you want to celebrate like the French, then plan on having a feast full of traditional, decadent food. They call it le réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre. They have foods like foie gras, oysters, lobster, escargot, and of course, champagne.
19. The Italians use lentils in their New Year's celebrations for their coin-like shape which symbolizes luck and prosperity. They will usually eat lentils and often Pork (spicy sausage called cotechino or deboned pig trotter called zampone) on New Year's Eve.
20. If you can handle the cold, then you can spend New Year's Eve like some Canadians do, ice fishing. They spend the day fishing with friends and often fish into the night.
21. Remember the one where the Brazilians jump seven waves? Well, they have more traditions with the number seven. Some people eat seven pomegranate seeds to keep their purses full. Others eat seven grapes to ensure abundance in all areas of life.
However you celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful New Year's Eve and a blessed New Year!
Looking for more tradition ideas? Check out these blog posts!