When we think of New Year's Eve, it conjures images of a great glistening ball dropping on the frigid cold of New York City square that we have all watched on television since infancy. In America, this night is filled with champagne, confetti and a whole list of resolutions(that won’t make it past Valentine’s Day) but these traditions don't make it much further past our country's borders. We want to send you to your New Year’s Eve party with some facts to share with your loved ones and friends about New Year's Eve around the world. Some are bizarre, some historical and some traditional but all very interesting.
- America’s past time is to kiss at midnight, but why? Are we just happy to have a cutie on our arm? This tradition is actually supposed to bring those who kiss true love and help get rid of the bad memories of the past. So pucker up and make sure you kiss the right someone!
- January is named after the Roman god, Janus. He is the god of beginnings and transitions and is always depicted with two faces, one looking to the past and one to the future.
- It is believed that the ancient Babylonians celebrated the first New Year’s over 4000 years ago.
- In Japan, the New Year is seen as very important is a time of renewal for all. Throughout the month of December, the Japanese people will hold Bonenkai or “forget-the-year parties” to bid farewell to their past problems and concerns and to prepare for the new beginning
- In Italy, it is tradition on New Year’s Day to wear red underwear to bring good luck all year long. So you guy’s had better think before you get dressed that morning! By contrast to the Italians though, in some South American countries, the color of your underwear determines what you’re wanting to attract in the New Year, such as yellow for luck and red for those seeking success in love.
- In Turkey, it is a tradition to spend New Year’ Day conducting community services and fundraisers to in hopes of bringing happiness for the entire year.
- In Columbia, Cuba, Ecuador and Puerto Rico, it is traditional to create and stuff a scarecrow (sometimes referred to as “Mr. Old Year”) and to set him ablaze at midnight. Sometimes burning old photographs and other mementos as well in hopes of bringing good fortune.
- For those with stacks of old dishes that you just don’t know how to get rid of, Denmark is calling for them. Tradition dictates that you take your old and used dishes and smash them on the doors of friends and family. This is said to show the integrity and loyalty felt towards loved ones, but it is also thought that the person with the most broken dishes on their door step is the most popular and loved.
- If you ever played chubby bunny as a child (trying to see how many marshmallows you can stuff in your cheeks), then Spain has a tradition for you! You must eat one grape at every toll of the clock when midnight strikes, 12 grapes for 12 months of good luck and happiness.
- In Germany and Austria, to determine the fate of your coming year, they will pour molten lead into a bowl containing water. The shape that is formed can be interpreted as your coming fate, for example if it takes the shape of an anchor, the pourer is in need of help in the coming year, the shape of a ball is good fortune, a heart brings marriage and the shape of a cross implies death.
- Irish tradition puts the left over Mistletoe from Christmas to good use. By exchanging mistletoe leaves it is meant to wash away the bad luck but there is another use for all you single ladies! It is believed that if a single woman puts mistletoe under her pillow before going to sleep on New Year’s, it will bring her a handsome husband in the New Year.
We all have our own traditions for the New Year and for some, that will include munching on a lot of grapes and smashing some plates! No matter what you do, where you are or who you're celebrating with, we wish you a wonderful New Year and hope that we will see you at some of our favorite places to celebrate.