It is extremely interesting to learn and understand the various cultural traditions that many countries celebrate especially at the New Year. People tend to think of January 1st as a new beginning. This is a thought that is held by people throughout the world. Let’s have a look at some New Year celebrations around the world!
No matter if you are watching the ball drop with our newest drink in your hands, New Year’s Milk Shots, and making New Year’s Resolutions in Canada, or you are eating grapes for good luck in Mexico, tradition plays a huge part in the celebration of this holiday.
NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS IN SPAIN
Spain celebrates the New Year with the most lavish parties and festivals. Being that this country is steeped in religion, many people dress in brand new clothes and come together at the stroke of midnight to pray. These are prayers for good fortune in the New Year. The locals refer to this as Nochevieja.
NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS IN MEXICO
Mexico is a culture full of colour and excitement and New Year’s Eve is no different. There are wonderful parties with delicious food and drink. At midnight, Mexicans believe that if you eat twelve grapes they will bring you good luck through each of the twelve months of the New Year. This tradition began in Spain during the early portion of the Twentieth century and soon became popular in Peru, Portugal, and Mexico. The sweeter the grape, the better luck you will have. A sour grape represents a difficult month. The tradition states that you should have the grapes ready and eat each grape with the chiming of the clock. As the first grape in eaten then you are to name that grape January and so forth with the next eleven grapes.
NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS IN GERMANY
In Germany, you cannot speak of New Year’s Eve without referring to the famous forth century Pope, Saint Sylvester. December was considered a day of feasting which would celebrate Saint Sylvester. These celebrations also include dancing, drinking, and various other fun activities. One of the most famous fortune-telling games the Germans play on New Year’s Eve consists of dropping a molten lead ball into extremely cold water. The shape of the ball tells the future, when it is solidified. A heart shaped or ring shaped it means that a wedding will take place in the coming year. If the ball takes the shape of a ship, then there is travel in the future. If the molten ball forms a pig when solidified, then food will be plentiful in the coming year.
NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS IN SCOTLAND
In Scotland, New Year’s Eve is also, referred to as Hogmanay and New Year’s Day is often called Daft Days. “Night of the Candle” is another name for New Year’s Eve. Many people enjoy biscuits called Hogmanay. The Scots also believe it is important to clean your house before the New Year. This is supposed to clean out the negative energy acquired throughout the year. Many like to burn Juniper branches in their home to help with the purification process.
NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS IN JAPAN
The people of Japan begin planning New Year’s Celebrations in the middle of December by collecting special cards, which are to be delivered on New Year’s Day with the help of a large group of students that are hired to deliver these special cards. Shinto tradition also speaks of cleaning their home before the New Year. Many Buddist temples ring their bells 108 times to clear the evil. This procedure is to ensure that they will begin the New Year free of evil. Osechi ryori is a food that is prepared many days before the January 1st festivities.
As you can see, New Year traditions are unique and special around the world!