New Year is practically one of the holiday where everyone feels ecstatic and celebrate this event with family and friends. It is in remembrance of the fulfilling past year and an outgoing spirit for the upcoming one. But different countries ring in the New Year with their own unique cultural traditions.
New Year's Day is a national holiday celebrated on January 1st all over the world. All people on the walks of life spend this occasion one way or another. Whether you’re having New Years' in your house with your family or friends, there is surely some unique way to celebrate tradition from different cultures all over the world.
Here are some famous practices around the world:
Common traditions throughout the United States include singing “Auld Lang Syne” to greet the New Year, eating black-eyed peas for good luck, watching the famous ball drop in Times Square and the New Years kiss that is believed to be sign of good luck and ward off evil spirits.
It is customary to eat 12 grapes in Spain to represent luck for each month of the year. Bigger cities like Madrid and Barcelona gather around in the main square and eat their grapes together. If you don't manage to eat all 12 grapes, it's considered bad luck.
The Chinese are well known to celebrate New Year during the month of February. They usually wear red to attract good fortune, loud noises and music are heard in the streets as they have the traditional Dragon dance, they also give out red envelopes called “ampao” with money inside them as to share their blessings to other.
Have you ever heard the Portuguese expression Ano novo, vida nova? It means “New year, new life!” Brazilian Reveillon (New Year’s Eve) is arguably one of the best in the world. Not only do they have the world’s biggest fireworks show in Rio de Janeiro, but it also happens to be the middle of summer (perks of living in the Southern Hemisphere) so you can spend a sunny week basking in the gorgeous waters of the Brazilian coastline.
Italians also have their own customs on how to celebrate New Year. They believed that wearing red under ware for both men and women will bring good luck : red is also the color of fertility and those hoping to conceive in the following year also wear red. They also bring new things (change old pots and pans for new ones) in their house to banish bad luck. It is also customary to smash or throw old things from the upstairs window as a sign of a new beginning of the year.
Danish people also have their own ways to celebrate this day. They are accustomed to throw plates or porcelain at the homes where their friend lives. It is a good sign if you find your door with heaps of broken dishes because they symbolize that you got lots of friends the more popular you are.
Philippines comes from a wide variety of traditions and customs from all around the world as they have experienced different kinds of cultural immersion since the dawn of time. Some of their popular New Year traditions includes: every Filipino dining table must have 12 different kinds of round-shaped fruits as a sign of prosperity, family members should also wear their best clothes as they celebrate this time of the year. They also like to have gift-giving activities as a symbol of sharing their blessing to other people.
8. Latin America
Santa Claus may have gone back to North Pole to rest but it doesn't mean that the celebration and gift-giving is over. For many people in Spain and Latin America the holiday season officially ends every January 6, which is the 12th day of Christmas known as the Feast of the Epiphany, or Three Kings' Day
(El Dia de los Reyes).
According to the Bible, this event happened after Jesus was born. The three Kings, named Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar traveled to Bethlehem to bring gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus. The three gifts meant to be symbolic. Gold signifies that Jesus was the King of Jews, Frankincense is often burned in churches and meant to represent the divine nature of Jesus, and myrrh represented the fact that He would eventually suffer and die. The gifts are considered symbols of the destiny of Jesus.
It’s also traditional to eat a special cake called ‘Rosca de Reyes’ (Three Kings Cake). A figure of baby Jesus is hidden inside the cake and whoever has it in their piece of cake is considered to the ‘Godparent’ of Jesus for that year.
Hispanic families will usually celebrate Three Kings Day with a delectable dinner that is topped off with the King’s Bread (Rosca de Reyes) for dessert. Children also sometimes make crowns to wear at the table in honor of the kings.
This event also marked the end of the Christmas Season and the time to take the decorations down.
Are you surprised with these practices? As these nation honor their own traditions, they still have one or two things in common. Most of these countries let the sparks fly and have fireworks display or lit any kind of firecrackers to ward off bad spirits and misfortune from their home and family. They also make New Years Resolution to mark the coming of new beginnings. These are the new goals and objectives to be achieved for the current year.
Although we have different perspective, we still have to respect each others differences and cultures. That will make us socially responsible individuals and a good role model for the future generation.
We are sure that you also have your own unique custom, we’d love to hear from you and share it with us in the comments!
Happy New Year!