In Florida, and pretty much the whole USA, New Years Eve is celebrated with friends and family, food and drink, a toast to ring in the new year, A kiss to commemorate what will be and watching the countdown at Times Square.
I thought it might be fun to see how the rest of the world celebrates New Years!
- In China, firecrackers were believed to rout the forces of darkness and so they continue the tradition.
- Italians let their church bells peal.
- The Swiss beat drums and drop dollops of whipped cream on the floor (and allowed to remain there), symbolizing the richness of the year to come.
- The tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight comes from Spain.
- The Dutch eat fritters called olie bollen, or any ring-shaped treat (such as a donut) to symbolize “coming full circle” and leads to good fortune.
- In England a mulled cider type drink, called Wassail is a holiday tradition. It usually contains fruit juices, cinnamon, cloves and other spices
- The spiced “hot pot” is the Scottish version of Wassail. It’s customary to drink a glass or two at home before sharing with neighbors. They also follow the custom of first-footing which is an important part of the celebration of Hogmanay, or New Year’s Eve Day.
These traditions still carry on:
- Christian churches hold “watch-night” services, a custom that began in 1770 at Old St. Georges Methodist Church in Philadelphia.
- The practice of making New Year’s resolutions, is said to have begun with the Babylonians as early as 2600 B.C. It is another way to reflect on the past and plan ahead.
And what would a blog like this be without uncovering a few rather odd New Years Traditions:
- In downtown Johannesburg, South Africa, locals throw old appliances out the window.
- Columbia, South America, hoping for a travel-filled year, residents tote empty suitcases around the block.
- In Japan the faithful wear a costume of the next year’s zodiac animal to the local temple, where bells chime a sacred 108 times
- In Denmark locals ring in the New Year by hurling old plates and glasses against the doors of friends’ and relatives’ houses. They also stand on chairs and then jump off them together at midnight. Leaping into January is supposed to banish bad spirits and bring good luck.
- In the south american countries of Brazil Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuala it is considered lucky to wear special underwear on New Year’s Eve; in some large city markets, vendors start displaying brightly colored underpants a few days before the holiday. The most popular colors are red and yellow: red is supposed to bring love in the coming year, and yellow is supposed to bring money.
Whichever way you celebrate and whatever your traditions, We girls at Brides N Blooms, Wholesale & Designs will raise a glass and toast to the New Year, wishing everyone a year of joy, happiness, peace, prosperity, good health and good cheer.
Listen to Auld Lang Syne – a beautiful version by Mairi Campbell
Now go out and have yourself a flower-filled New Year!