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New Year Traditions

Parties, customs, and celebrations all over the world!

While millions of people all over the world have different ways of celebration the mark of the New Year, Americans are almost always found watching the ball drop in Times Square from either the couch or New York City.

While millions of people all over the world have different ways of celebration the mark of the New Year, Americans are almost always found watching the ball drop in Times Square from either the couch or New York City.

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Fireworks, parties, champagne, and good food. By the time Christmas is over, people all around the world are preparing to celebrate the coming of the New Year. Everyone is getting ready for a fresh start and a brand new opportunity to create and execute new goals and resolutions, and become a better person. However, people from all different areas in the world have their own unique traditions for ringing in the New Year.

In European nations, there are many diverse traditions that the different cultures value, but depending on the country, some of them are taken very seriously. For example, in the UK, citizens believe in the “First Footing.” This is their superstition that in order to have good luck in the New Year, the first visitor after the midnight must be a tall, handsome, dark haired male, bringing a loaf of bread, whiskey, coal, and salt. On New Year’s Eve, however, crowds gather all along the Thames River to watch the fireworks display that erupts from the London Eye as soon as Big Ben strikes 12. In France, New Year’s Eve is known as Jour des Trennes or Jour de ‘An. The celebrations preceding the New Year are known as Reveillion, and a special feast called “le Reveillion de Saint-Sylvestre” is thrown in celebration. Much like our own traditions in the United States, big parties are thrown and champagne is popped. In Spain, it is customary to eat twelve grapes, one at each toll of the bell until the New Year. Residents also watch the broadcast of the countdown on the clocktower from Puerto del Sol in Madrid.

In some Asian countries, the New Year is celebrated a little differently. In China for example, the New Year does not follow the traditional Gregorian Calendar that the rest of the world uses. Instead, the Chinese follow the moon, so the Chinese New Year begins on the New Moon between January 21 and February 20. In 2019, they will celebrate the commencement of the Year of the Pig on February 5. Even though they have a different timeline, the Chinese celebrate with the rest of the world. These festivities are simply just leading up to the New Year however, and they go on from New Year’s Eve until Lantern Festival on the 15th of the new lunar month. They clean their houses in order to strip away any bad luck from the previous year, and decorate with red paint and lanterns. On New Year’s Eve, a reunion dinner called Nian Ye Fan is held, and fish is traditionally served. In Thailand, the New Year is celebrated on April 13-15, where people are often doused in buckets of water to wash away bad luck. Gatherings are held in large cities like Hong Kong and Beijing to watch the large displays of fireworks.

Chips like Doritos are the first off the shelves during the holidays.

In South America, traditions are very different throughout the continent, but a large number of people believe the superstition that on New Year’s Eve, you should wear yellow underwear to bring happiness and prosperity, and red for love. They wear it inside out right before midnight, but after the clock strikes 12, the turn it right side out. In Brazil, the Lemanja Festival is a customary tradition in which people travel to the beach to offer flowers to the goddess of water, Lemanja. They also believe in lucky rituals of 7, where they eat 7 grapes for abundance, 7 pomegranate seeds for prosperity, and jump over 7 waves, making a wish each time. Fireworks and large meals are also popular, and lentils are often eaten during the celebrations.

 

In the United States, traditions differ based on region. In the south, parties are held with friends and family, but southerners have a strong superstition that their New Year’s Day supper must consist of greens, black eyed peas, pork, and cornbread in order to bring good luck in the New Year.

“My mom makes it every single year,” says Dylan Zilla, Junior at LHS. “We’ve done it forever so it’s kinda tradition.” In the North, this is not as popular and many people simply choose to watch the football games with chicken wings, chips, appetizers, and beer.

Dylan Zilla, LHS Junior, smiles fondly while remembering playing video games with friends all day on New Year’s Eve.

When asked about his New Year traditions, LHS Junior, Drew Ramos makes a face trying to forget that his girlfriend dumped him that very day.

“We don’t really do anything special for New Year’s Eve dinner,” says Drew Ramos, Junior at LHS. “Sometimes just appetizers or chips and dip.”

 

The largest tradition in the US however, is the ball drop in Times Square New York City. “I’ve always wanted to watch the ball drop from NYC,” says Baylie Gentry, Senior at LHS, “but I usually just watch it on the TV.” While everybody celebrates the coming of the New Year, everyone also has their own special way of doing it.

Baylie Gentry gives a thumbs up the first day back to school since break after telling about her exciting New Year’s Eve celebration with her friends and family.

 

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New Year Traditions