As the clock strikes 12 the world welcomes in a New Year with zest and enthusiasm. The traditions, customs and rituals vary from deeply meaningful to outlandishly funny! In America, the usual custom is to go to a party, get sloshed and kiss someone (even a stranger) at the stroke of midnight. For those who are more family oriented like myself, we tend to stay home and have a meal with our loved ones and then watch the ball drop from the big NYC.
People from around the world have some VERY different ideas on how to ring in the New Year! Even though they may differ from our way I think it’s a great idea to incorporate any that stand out to you to add variety and flavor to your night! There’s always room for trying new things with us and I hope there is with you too!
GERMANY- There is an ancient custom of fortune telling alive and well today called Bleigießen (bleigiessen), which is lead pouring. This tradition dates back thousands of years! You melt lead in a spoon over a candles flame and then pour the molten lead into room temperature water. It’s takes a unique shape and solidifies immediately. Depending on what the figure looks like depends on your fortune for the upcoming year! You can buy a kit and it comes with a sheet that shows you what the symbology behind each image is. I plan on doing this unique New Year’s activity this year!
DENMARK- This interesting custom feels counterintuitive to luck but these Danes swear by it! On New Year’s Eve they go around the neighborhood to people’s homes that they love or think fondly of and throw plates at their homes! They smash them at the front door and in the morning the more shards of plate you have at your door step the more popular you are and the more luck you will be blessed with in the upcoming year.
SCOTLAND- Hogmanay in Scotland is a huge 3 daylong event across the country. It kick starts with over 8,000 torch carrying carousers lining the towns river and walking to the heart of the city. It is referred to as the “river of fire” because that’s exactly what it looks like from an aerial view. Accompanied by pipers, the bodhran, traditional dancing and of course, whiskey. Makes me want to hop on a plane to Scotland!
SPAIN- These festive peoples celebrate in a super cute way. They eat 12 grapes for each stroke of midnight and this is much harder than it sounds! They do this because the Spanish make their health a top priority and if you do not have your health, then you have nothing! So they start their year out with nutritious grapes as a good omen to health and prosperity.
ITALY- All over Italy people put on their best and their brightest red underwear to welcome in the New Year. Yep…you read that right. Red underwear. Most of us are familiar with the reputation of Italians. Their passionate outlook on life and devotion to all things related to love and desire. So it makes sense that they would choose the color red to start off the New Year. For them it is the color of blood and of our heart and represents the emotional side of life. It is their superstitious belief that by not wearing red for the upcoming year is to will bad luck in passion and love.
BRAZIL- I love this one! Brazilians take to the sea and at midnight jump 7 seven waves for luck, wear white (oh dear…) while doing so to symbolize peace, and bring a bouquet of flowers to throw into the ocean as an offering to the Goddess of the sea.
From all of us at the Wildberry we wish you a Happy New Year! We wish you good health, luck, abundance and positivity for the upcoming year.