3, 2, 1…HAPPY NEW YEAR!
This holiday is celebrated by billions of people when the clock strikes midnight to the 31st of December. All of a sudden there’s a change in the environment when the dates on our phones change from the 31st of December 2018 to the 1st of January 2019. All the worries, stress and disappointments in 2018 suddenly vanish all away. And with 2019 bringing on a New Year to become a “better you”, some tend to have New Year’s goals such as improving their mental and physical health, improving organization skills, becoming more positive or tackling new skills they shied away from in 2018.
The New Year brings new hope and positivity to everyone all over the world. Each country and individual in this world have their own New Year’s Eve tradition which might bring them hope and happiness for the New Year. When I asked Junior Hyun Ju Lee about her New Year’s Eve celebrations, she explained: “I ate Shabu-Shabu with my friends and family, then, later on, we all stayed up till midnight watching movies”. But when I asked Junior Erin Fix, how she celebrates her New Year’s Eve she said: “I particularly do not celebrate New Year’s Eve with any insane annual customs. But in the past, I have attended New Year’s Eve parties and even watched the fireworks”. This joyful holiday being celebrated differently by SAS students means that various countries all over the world celebrate their unique New Year’s Eve traditions.
The New Year brings new hope and positivity to everyone all over the world with each country having their unique New Year’s Eve celebration.
In Colombia, people take a leisurely stroll around the block carrying empty suitcases with them at midnight. This tradition is celebrated with the possibility that their New Year would be filled with loads of traveling. Another tradition, that the Colombians celebrate is burning the ‘old year’ doll, also called El Año Viejo (which means The Old Year). This ‘doll’ is stuffed with tons of fireworks and at the stork of midnight, it is set on fire resulting in the “old year” exploding/burning away.
The residents of Denmark celebrate their New Year with the tradition of saving all their unused dishes and plates until the 31st of December. With these unused dishes, they proceed to throw them against the doors of family and friends to banish bad spirits of the Old Year. It is believed that the more plates a person breaks, the more friends they will gain in the New Year. Another tradition is standing on chairs with their friends and family and jumping off these chairs together at midnight to symbolize “leaping” into January with hopes of good luck.
In the Philippines, people believe that everything such as food and even clothes should be round in shape. Since the round shape represents coins, it is believed to bring prosperity to people’s lives in the New Year. Families display piles of fruits on their dining tables and some people even eat exactly 12 round fruits, like grapes, at midnight. This tradition of eating grapes at midnight is similar to Spain’s New Year’s Eve traditions, where people have 12 grapes and eat a grape at each stroke of the clock at midnight.
People in Greece celebrate New Year’s Eve with onions. It might seem strange to you but to the residents of Greece, the onion is the “centerpiece” of a traditional Greek New Year tradition. It is believed that onions are a symbol of rebirth in the New Year. People traditionally hang an onion on the front door of their homes, to ensure happiness, prosperity, and new growth in the New Year. Also, on New Year’s Eve parents wake up their children by tapping their head with an onion, just to poke fun during the New Year.
Brazilians celebrate their New Year by wearing special undergarments and clothing on New Year’s Eve. This tradition is similar to other Central and South American traditions in Educador, Bolivia, and Venezuela. The most popular undergarment colors are red and pink which is believed to bring love, while yellow is believed to bring money during one’s New Year. There are other colors such as blue for good health, white for happiness and green for luck. Another tradition commonly celebrated by people in Brazil is celebrating the New Year’s Eve at the beach. When midnight arrives, people would jump over 7 waves and throw white flowers on the beach to start the New Year with luck, happiness, and prosperity.
In conclusion, all these different countries and even individuals have their own New Year’s Eve traditions. But with the common goal of wanting prosperity and happiness in the New Year. Even though we all live in different parts of the world and celebrate our own traditions, it always comes down to the same end goal. By being knowledgeable about different New Year’s Eve traditions, even though some may be strange to you, it is a great way to have a fresh insight into different cultures. And if one day you were celebrating New Year’s Eve in Greece, you wouldn’t forget to place onions on the front of your door.