Friday, December 29, 2017

New Year’s Celebrations

It’s almost New Year’s Eve, and many of us are getting ready to celebrate with our friends and/or family. There is no real “tradition” in Canada other than wishing each other all the best at the stroke of midnight. Maybe kissing those we love, or toasting good fortune with a glass of champagne. But that is simply not the case in other countries. So I thought it would be fun to see how other parts of the world celebrate the New Year’s Eve, and what traditions they may have.

Japan – They literally ring in the New Year by ringing their bells 108 times. In Buddhist beliefs this is the same number as are human sins, and it will cleanse them of the previous year’s sins.

Denmark – These people probably save all their unwanted dishes throughout the year so they can smash them on their friends/family and neighbour’s doorstep. The more broken dishes you find at your door, the better your luck for the coming year.  

Spain – In the 12 chimes of midnight of New Year’s Eve, Spanish people try to eat 12 grapes in unison with the bells. This will secure them a most happy year to come.

Brazil – Thousands of people throw white flowers into the ocean every year at New Year’s Eve. Hoping the Goddess of the sea will grant their wishes for the coming year.

Puerto Rico – It is believed that by throwing pails of water out their windows at the stroke of midnight, will ward off evil spirits.

Columbia – On December 31, you will see many Colombians carry around an empty suitcase. They believe by doing this, they will have a travel – filled year ahead

Peru – In one particular village, the people get together on December 31 for an old fashioned fist fight. They believe that by settling their differences they can start the New Year with a clean slate.

Chile – This is a relatively new tradition, where people, after a mass, enter in the New Year with their lost loved ones in the graveyard.

Ireland – It is tradition to bang bread against the wall to drive away evil spirits.  Or if you are a simple lady looking for love, some women will sleep with mistletoe under their pillows, in hopes it will bring them a husband

Netherlands – On New Year’s Eve, large bonfires of Christmas trees are lit, and fireworks are let off in order to purge the old and welcome the new.

Turkey – At the stroke of Midnight on New Year’s Eve, it is tradition to sprinkle salt on your outside doorstep. It is believed it will bring you peace and prosperity.

Romania – On New Year’s Eve the Romanian farmers try to communicate with their cows or sheep. If they are successful, it is believed they will have good luck in the New Year. (how would you know if it worked?)

Greece – An onion is hung on the front door on New Year’s Eve to signify rebirth and regrowth. 

Armenia – Pomegranates are thrown on the ground, the more pieces and seeds spread out on the ground, the more successful the New Year will be.

Estonia – It is considered good luck if a person eats, 7, 9 or 12 times on New Year's Eve (Those are considered lucky numbers). If they do, they will have the prosperity and strength of 7, 9 or 12 people

Italy – Red is the colour of love and fertility, so in Italy, both men and women wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve.

So maybe you found yourself a new tradition you would like to start here in Montreal, or perhaps you simply enjoyed reading about them. Either way, I hope you all have a great New Year’s Eve, and that 2018 will find you healthy, wealthy, happy and wise!!!!