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.
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.
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
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'.
Eating 12 Grapes - In Spain people eat 12 grapes as the
clock strikes midnight (one each time the clock chimes) on New Year's
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
New Love - Apparently, in Mexico, wearing red underwear on New
Year's Eve is said to bring new love in the upcoming year.
First city to celebrate - Sydney, Australia, hosts the first major
New Year's Eve celebration each year.
"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
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.
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
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
Mari Lwyd 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.
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.
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.