New Year’s Eve Traditions from Around the World to Adopt or Create One of Your Own
On December 31, all around the world, people will be celebrating the year that is passing and cheering on the coming of a new year. Here in America we celebrate on New Year’s Eve by gathering at a party and dressing in our very best or we curl up on the couch for a quiet night of music performances while waiting to see the ball drop down during the final seconds of the year in Times Square. At midnight we cheer, hug or kiss our loved ones and friends, sip a bit of Champagne, and sing a few bars of Auld Lang Syne.
If you are looking for a few new traditions to try with your friends or you are searching for meaningful ones to add to this year’s celebration then it only takes a few moments online to seek out a vast listing. To save you time I’ve gathered some of the more interesting ones here and offered a few suggestions. I hope one of them brings you hope for a successful and fabulous 2016.
· In many areas it is considered good luck to incorporate foods into the menu during New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Some people eat fish for calling in prosperity or blessings. Others eat an abundance of green vegetables for the same reason as green symbolizes money. Some people eat their least liked meal on New Year’s Eve and celebrate a new prosperous year on New Year’s Day with a big spread.
· It’s a tradition for some to begin counting down the passing of the old year and the coming of the new at noon on New Year’s Eve. At the top of each hour until midnight they pray for different parts of their lives, or for each month of the coming new year, or for a specific blessing. Others count off each hour till midnight calling a friend that they want to reconnect with in the coming year.
· Another tradition is to eat a grape and make a wish at each of the twelve chimes at midnight. It’s fun because you have to get all 12 grapes in your mouth by last twelve seconds for them to come true!
· Some people make a New Year’s Birthday cake and everyone pulls a candle off of the cake to blow out the candle and make a wish together.
· An opportunity to recognize both the good and the bad of the past year helps to have hope for the New Year for some. In which case, it is customary to dine on New Year’s Eve with a meal that is simple and bland to recall what was difficult, and then to dine festively on New Year’s Day to signify the hope for abundance in the days ahead.
· Since closing out the old year can be a therapeutic way of discarding what was hard and closing the door on it, some traditions involve getting rid of sad memories and shedding the burdens of hard moments. Writing down what was hard, the regrets, and the pains in 2015 and then burning the paper is what some will be doing on New Year’s Eve. In addition, they will be writing down the good, the blessings, and the hopes then tying them to a paper lantern or helium balloon and sending them upward to heaven in a way of acknowledging them and being grateful.
· Some people will gather together for bible studies or for worship to bring in the New Year.
· In some countries it is traditional to gather family and friends and share a delicious meal. Then they watch comedy shows and play games together to be filled with laughter and bring in the New Year with joy and laughter filling the home and people’s hearts.
· Eating a ringed cake with a charm baked inside to represent wealth, health, love, and luck is another tradition. Those that are served the cake at midnight and get a charm are said to be wished the blessing represented by the charm. Some bake a coin in aluminum foil within the cake to symbolize prosperity in the New Year for the person who finds it.
· A traditional drink is Champagne. For some the tradition involves putting a twist of lemon peel in the glass to represent bitter and a sugar cube to represent sweetness before adding the Champagne for a toast.
· Some people write down a goal for the year and seal it in an envelope and put it away in a box. Then the next year at the same time they open up the envelope to see if they reached their goal and replace the envelope with a new goal or a new hope.
· Setting resolutions is another tradition for people and it can involve the intention to live a healthier life or something else that will enhance their life. Writing down the resolutions and reviewing them again at the close of the year is expected to keep the person motivated to complete the items on the list.
· Since journaling is considered a habit that can lead to success and the fulfillment of goal planning, some people begin to keep a journal or start a new one at the stroke of midnight.
· Some families keep a memory book and everyone is asked to write a thought or share a picture of a special moment from the past year. The memory writings or photos are stored in the book. Each year the memories from the past are revisited as the hours click down to the New Year.
· Another tradition is the making of a blessing jar or hope jar. A large jar with a lid is placed in a prominent area of the home where guests gather. As guests enjoy themselves during the evening they write down blessings or hopes and put them in the jar. At midnight the jar is opened and the blessings read that can be claimed. People are allowed to claim the ones they want for the year ahead. The person that wrote the blessing is supposed to pray or mediate throughout the year that the blessing occurs for that person.
· Some people will curl up on the couch and marathon watch a new show or an old favorite.
· Eating something sweet at the stroke of midnight is supposed to bring you a sweet year ahead which is why some people give gifts of candy or sweet treats to family and friends on New Year’s Eve to wish them well.
With the going out of the old and the coming in of the new, there are many symbolic and hope filled traditions that could be adopted, adapted, or created to make the celebration exciting. What you choose should be positive and focused on the good, the hope, and the opportunities that a new beginning brings. It’s important to celebrate the milestones in our lives, the big and the small, and watching a new calendar year unfold into our lives is fun and exciting. Celebrate New Year’s Eve for all that it truly is — recognition that there were 365 days of 2015 that you were alive with possibilities available for you and that in the New Year of 2016 you will have 366 days (yes, a bonus day!) — which is all the more reason to make this celebration the best yet for a fabulously prosperous and healthy New Year. Make it happen.
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