We take the New Year’s Eve celebration in December for granted, however, it’s a relatively new addition to the western culture. The New Year celebration was set on January 1st in Rome in 153 B.C. (initially the Roman Calendar started in March, it was later changed to January due to political reasons). Find out how that happened here.
HOW THE NEW YEAR’S EVE LOOK IN THE WEST
The New Year’s Eve celebrations are colourful and eccentric; depending on which part of the world you live in, you might be familiar with some of these traditions:
- In Spain, where I live, dinners and parties (cotillones) are very popular. The most known Spanish tradition is the 12 lucky grapes, that we eat while the clock strikes at midnight (it requires some previous training though [sce emoji=”giggle”/]).
- Festive foods, lucky black-eyed peas and the Ball Drop in Times Square are some of the most famous American traditions (bear in mind, New York is a great travelling destination at any time of the year).
- First Footing is traditional in the United Kingdom: a dark-haired man must come through the front door of the house carrying bread, salt, money and coal.
- In France, this special night is known as “La Saint-Sylvestre”; dances, costume parties and fireworks are common. Fine French cuisine and champagne are a must.
- “Il Capodanno” in Italy is the perfect occasion for family and friends to reunite and celebrate. Some of the popular fortune-bringing foods are lentils, cotechino sausage and zampone (pork). And sparkling wine, of course.
- Fireworks and firecrackers are popular in Germany. Bleigießen or lead-pouring tradition is a form of fortune-telling. It consists of pouring hot lead into a bowl of cold water. Then, you must guess what the figures resemble with the new year in mind.
- Poland: open-air concerts and balls are popular. Some popular traditions are writing the problems in a red paper and burning it (making the problems disappear forever) and keeping some scales of the Christmas Eve carp on your wallet (for financial security).
NEW YEAR IN OTHER CULTURES
- Chinese New Year (“Spring Festival”) is determined by the Chinese traditional calendar: in 2017 it will be on January 28. It’s a major celebration for the Chinese population and other countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
- The Islamic New Year is based on their lunar calendar, it will be celebrated later in the year (after the month of Ramadan).
SOME CELEBRATION SUGGESTIONS
- If you are single and adventurous…try a change of routine.
- For families with kids: it sounds like a challenge, doesn’t it? Good organisation is the key; here I leave some practical ideas.
- Also, you can host your own themed party.