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World-wide New Year Customs

World-wide New Year Customs and TraditionsWorld-wide New Year Traditions

Here is Will and Guy's collection of interesting traditions to start the New Year.

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The Top Twenty Funny, Fascinating, and Unusual World Wide Customs To Celebrate New Year

  1. Baby New Year Tradition - The tradition of using a baby to signify the New Year was started around 600 BC by the ancient Greeks, who, at the start of a year would carry a baby around in a basket. The purpose of it was to honour Dionysus, the God of Fertility and symbolize his annual rebirth. This custom is still practised in parts of Greece.
  2. Hogmanay - The New Year in Scotland is called Hogmanay. Some people in Scotland follow a ritual that appears quite strange but it actually has a great significance. One can find barrels of tar set on fire and gradually rolled down the streets in the villages of Scotland. This ritual symbolizes that the old year is burned up and New Year is going to begin.
  3. Burning "Mr Old Year" - In Columbia, Cuba and Puerto Rico families stuff a life-size male doll with things and then they dress it up in old clothes donated from each family member.

    At the stroke of midnight, this "Mr Old Year" is set on fire. This is done with the simple belief that a doll thus stuffed have bad memories or sadness associated with them, and that the burning of these will help one to do away with past unhappiness and usher in happiness in life with the coming year.
  4. Eating Noodles - Late on the evening of December 31st , people from Japan might eat a bowl of buckwheat noodles called "toshikoshisoba" [year-crossing noodles] and listen for the sound of the Buddhist temple bells, which are rung 108 times at midnight.  The sound of these bells is said to purify the listeners of the 108 sins or evil passions that 'plague every human being'.
  5. Eating 12 Grapes - In Spain people eat 12 grapes as the clock strikes midnight (one each time the clock chimes) on New Year's Eve.

    This peculiar ritual originated in the 20th century when freak weather conditions resulted in an unseasonable bumper harvest of grapes. Not able to decide what to do about so many grapes at Christmas time, the King of Spain and the grape growers came up with the idea of the New Year ritual.
  6. Gifts in Shoes - In Greece children leave their shoes by the fireside on New Year's Day, which, incidentally, is also the Festival of Saint Basil in Greece, with the hope that Saint Basil, who was famous for his kindness, will come and fill their shoes with gifts.
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  7. Carrying a Suitcase - In Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, and Mexico, those with hopes of travelling in the New Year carry a suitcase around the house at midnight.  Some people may even carry it around the block to ensure travelling at greater distances.
  8. Burning Crackers - People in China believe that there are evil spirits that roam the earth. So on New Year they burn crackers to scare the evil spirits.

    The doors and windows of many homes in China can be seen sealed with paper.  This is to keep the evil demons out. See more Chinese New Year stories here.
  9. Foods - It was thought that one could affect the luck they would have throughout the coming year by what they did or ate on the first day of the year.

    It is still held, for example, in some regions that special New Year foods are the harbingers of luck. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year's Day will bring good fortune. The hog, and its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another "good luck" vegetable that is consumed on New Year's Day by many. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year's Day.

    The ancient Persians gave New Year's gifts of eggs, which symbolized productiveness.

    Here is the second half of our World-wide New Year traditions.  New Year Traditions
  10. American resolutions - We learn that 40% to 45% of American adults make one or more New Year's resolutions each year.

    These range may from debt reduction to giving up bad habits. The most common resolutions appear to deal with weight loss, to exercise more and to giving up smoking.
  11. New York Times Square Celebrations - The first Ball lowering celebration atop One Times Square in the USA was held on December 31st , 1907 and is now a worldwide symbol of the turn of the New Year, seen via satellite by more than one billion people each year.

    The original New Year's Eve Ball weighed 700 pounds and was 5 feet in diameter. It was made of iron and wood and was decorated with 100 25-watt light bulbs.
  12. Black-eyed peas - Many parts of the USA celebrate the new year by consuming black-eyed peas. These legumes are typically accompanied by either hog jowls or ham. Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures.
  13. Rings - Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes "coming full circle," or completing a year's cycle.
  14. Wearing new slippers - In China, many people wear, in the new year, a new pair of slippers that were bought before the new year, because it suggests stepping on the people who gossip about you.
  15. Sealed doors and windows - During new year, the doors and windows of every home in China can be seen sealed with paper. The Chinese think that this will succeed in keep the evil demons out.
  16. Jewish New Year - is known as Rosh Hashanah. It is a holy time when Jews recall the things they have done wrong in the past, and then promise to do better in the future. Special services are held in the synagogues, children are given new clothes and New Year loaves are baked to remind people of harvest time.  See here for more Rosh Hashanah jokes.  Also note the Jewish festival of Hanukkah which occurs each December.
  17. Japanese New Year - On New Year's Day in Japan, everyone gets dressed in their new clothes. Homes are decorated with pine branches and bamboo, both of which are considered to be the symbols of long life.
  18. New Love - Apparently, in Mexico, wearing red underwear on New Year's Eve is said to bring new love in the upcoming year.
  19. First city to celebrate - Sydney, Australia, hosts the first major New Year's Eve celebration each year.
  20. "Auld Lang Syne" was written by Robert Burns in 1741 and literally means 'old long since,' or 'days gone by.' This song is traditionally sung in many countries at midnight on January 1st , signalling the beginning of the New Year. See here for the words: http://www.guy-sports.com/humor/christmas/new_year.htm
    Please send Will and Guy details of your traditional New Year celebration so we may add it to our list.

Here are the lyrics: however, many people seem to remember only the first verse. 

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Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
And here's a hand, my trusty friend
And gie's a hand o' thine
We'll tak'A cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

Will and Guy's Recommended Recipe for New Year

Take twelve, fine, full-grown months, see that these are thoroughly free from all old memories of bitterness, rancour, hate and jealousy; cleanse them completely from every clinging spite: pick off all specks of pettiness and littleness.

In summary, ensure that these months are freed from all the past; have them as fresh and clean as when they first came from the great storehouse of Time.

Cut these months into thirty or thirty-one equal parts. This batch will keep for just one year.

Do not attempt to make up the whole batch at one time but prepare one day at a time, as follows:

Into each day put twelve parts of faith, eleven of patience, ten of courage, nine of work, eight of hope, seven of fidelity, six of liberality, five of kindness, four of rest three of prayer, two of meditation, and one well selected resolution.

Vigorously add in a teaspoonful of good spirits, a dash of fun, a pinch of folly, a sprinkling of play, and a heaped cupful of good humour.

Mix well and cook thoroughly in an honest heat; garnish with a few smiles and add a sprig of joy; then serve with quietness, unselfishness, and cheerfulness, and Will and Guy guarantee that a Happy New Year will be yours.

Mari Lwyd TraditionMari Lwyd - New Year Tradition

The tradition of the Mari Lwyd (Grey Mare) is unique to Wales.  What happened on or around New Year's Eve was this, a group of friends would dress up in costume with the star attraction being a real horse's head.  What distinguishes the Mari Lwyd celebrations from other types of New Year merriment is that the revellers challenge house-holders to a singing contest in Welsh.  In a nutshell the Mari Lwyd tradition is wassail singing par excellence, with mummer animal head costumes, coupled with trick-or-treat menace.

New Year Tradition: Time to Diet

New Year Diet

Well, well.  It seems that your weight is perfect.  It just happens that you are eleven feet too short.  See also Women's parts.

Dieting - New Year Resolutions

2007: I will get my weight down below 180 pounds.
2008: I will follow my new diet religiously until I get below 200 pounds.
2009: I will develop a realistic attitude about my weight.
2010: I will work out 3 days a week.
2011: I will try to drive past a gym at least once a week.

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A New Year's Wish

On New Year's Eve, Marilyn stood up in the local pub and said that it was time to get ready. At the stroke of midnight, she wanted every husband to be standing next to the one person who made his life worth living.

Well, it was kind of embarrassing.  As the clock struck - the bartender was almost crushed to death.

New Year's Day Quotes

  • New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.
    Mark Twain
  • One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things.
    John Burroughs
  • Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.
    Oscar Wilde
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Ring out the old, ring in the new

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson. (1849 --> 50)

How To Say 'Happy New Year' in Any Country

Language

Happy New Year

Afrikaans Gelukkige nuwe jaar
Arabic Sana Sa-eeda
Bengali Shuvo Nabo Barsho
Cambodian Soursdey Chhnam Tmei
Catalan Feliç Any Nou
Chinese (Mandarin) Xin Nian Kuai Le  謹 賀 新 年
Croatian Sretna Nova godina
Danish Godt Nytår
Dutch Gelukkig Nieuwjaar
Eskimo Kiortame pivdluaritlo
Esperanto Felican Novan Jaron
Finnish Onnellista Uutta Vuotta
French Bonne Année
Gaelic Bliadhna mhath ur
German Prosit Neujahr
Greek Kenourios Chronos
Hawaiian Hauoli Makahiki Hou
Hebrew L'Shannah Tovah
Hindi Naye Varsha Ki Shubhkamanyen
Hong Kong Sun Leen Fai Lok
Hungarian Boldog Ooy Ayvet
Indonesian Selamat Tahun Baru
Iranian Saleh now mobarak
Iraqi Sanah Jadidah
Irish Bliain nua fe mhaise dhuit
Italian Felice anno nuovo
Icelandic Farsælt komandi ár
Japanese Akimashite Omedetto Gozaimasu
Korean Saehae Bock Mani ba deu sei yo
Kurdish Newroz Pirozbe
Latvian Laimīgo Jauno Gadu!
Lithuanian Laimingu Naujuju Metu
Maltese Is Senat Tajba
Nepal Nawa Barsha ko Shuvakamana
Norwegian Godt Nyttår
Papua New Guinea Nupela yia i go long yu
Persian Saleh now ra tabrik migouyam
Philippines Manigong Bagong Taon
Polish  Szczesliwego Nowego Roku
Portuguese Feliz Ano Novo
Punjabi Nave sal di mubarak
Romanian An Nou Fericit
Russian С Новым Годом (S Novim Godom)
Samoa Manuia le Tausaga Fou
Serbo-Croatian Sretna nova godina
Slovak A stastlivy Novy Rok
Slovenian Sreèno novo leto
Somali Iyo Sanad Cusub Oo Fiican
Spanish Féliz Año Nuevo
Swahili Heri Za Mwaka Mpyaº
Swedish Gott nytt år!
Sudanese Warsa Enggal
Tamil Eniya Puthandu Nalvazhthukkal
Thai Sawadee Pee Mai
Turkish Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Ukrainian С Новым Годом Z novym rokom
Urdu Naya Saal Mubbarak Ho
Vietnamese Chuc Mung Tan Nien
Welsh Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

Footnote:
Please write to Will and Guy with your world-wide New Year customs and traditions.

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See more New Year jokes and funny pictures:

New Year    • New Year Jokes    • Traditions    • Funny New Year Resolutions    • Key Questions

Chinese New Year Jokes    • Chinese New Year Stories    • New Year quotes    • Mari Lwyd

Happy New Year different languages    • Chinese New Year Masks    • World-wide New Year customs