Now that the Christmas festivities are over, people are getting ready to celebrate the arrival of 2013. While New Year’s Eve is a night of fabulous parties and food-filled activities for some, it is also a night linked to tradition for others. Take a look at some traditions of how people from different parts of the world ring in the New Year.
Carnival and Color
In some areas in South Africa, the arrival of the New Year is celebrated with a burst of color and a carnival atmosphere. People take to the streets wearing colorful costumes as they dance to the beat of the drums.
Many areas in Europe still practice the first-footing tradition wherein the first person to enter the house after midnight is a young male to give luck to the household. The young male carries coal, bread, and money into the house to ensure that the household would have enough of these for the entire year.
The 12 Grapes of New Year
If there’s a 12 Days of Christmas, there’s a 12 Grapes of New Year! To welcome the New Year, people from Spain and Portugal eat a grape for each toll of the bell at the stroke of midnight. Each grape signifies a month, thus eating 12 grapes ensures good luck throughout the year.
Light and Sounds
People in Asian countries use firecrackers and make noise to ward off bad luck and evil spirits. However, this custom is not limited to Asia. It is tradition for many societies to make noise when celebrating the New Year to keep evil spirits at bay.
New Year in the Great Outdoors
In Australia, New Year celebrations are held outdoors. People gather outside for picnics, surf carnivals, or parties, or to simply lounge at the beach and enjoy the magnificent sight of the rising sun.
Traditions for ringing in the New Year are as varied as the number of people who practice them. However, there is one element that is certainly present across all societies: the New Year is a cause for celebration since it begins a new cycle and brings hope for fabulous new opportunities for the next 12 months.
What traditions for ringing in the New Year can you share with us?