Time flies by and there is no way to slow it down! Before we know it, the year has passed and it is time to welcome in a New Year! Why do we celebrate the beginning of each year? Surely because a new year symbolizes new beginnings, new relationships, new opportunities, and certainly new reasons and methods to better ourselves and improve on last year’s shortcomings! America isn’t the only country that celebrates to welcome in the new year, almost every country has unique festivities and traditions!
Here are a variety of traditions and celebrations that occur around the globe to celebrate the new year! (Courtesy of the Old Farmer’s Almanac and Victoria Duodera)
Create a Ruckus!
Countries like America, Italy, and Switzerland say goodbye to the old year with loud cheers, sirens, horns, drums, and church bells! This tradition began in ancient China and Thailand where guns and firecrackers were used to scare off dark forces and sickness that might come into the new year.
Eat Eat Eat!
Since we live in PA Dutch country, I will acknowledge the obvious tradition of eating delicious pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day. Dutch homes enjoy fritters and donuts (or other round treats) to symbolize the annual fresh start. Spain joins the celebration by eating 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight and the Swiss drop blobs of sweet cream on the floor to welcome in rich blessings!
Drink and be Merry!
Many countries have specific beverages that symbolize a prosperous new year! As you may have guessed, the world renowned celebration occurs when the champagne cork pops, but some countries prefer their own national beverages. England drinks wassail, Scotland drinks spiced hot pot, and Holland enjoys mulled wine. Other common New Year beverages include punch varieties and eggnog.
Share the Blessing!
Many countries welcome the blessings of the new year by exchanging gifts or small presents. Romans exchange nuts and coins whereas the Persians exchange eggs. Scotland exchanges shortbread and coal as good luck charms for the new year!
A tradition celebrated in many countries around the world is that of true love’s kiss! The idea behind the kiss is that you are to kiss the person who you hope to keep on kissing through the next year.
I am sure we all have unique aspects to our annual celebrations that include gift giving, food, drinks, or general festivities. No matter how you welcome in the new, be sure to take a moment to look back at the old and remember the lessons and blessings that you are taking with you into the next year of your life journey!
Duodera, Victoria. “New Year Traditions From Around the World.” Old Farmer’s Almanac. Yankee Publishing INC, 12 Dec. 2009. Web. 31 Dec. 2015. <http://www.almanac.com/content/new-year-traditions-around-world>.