New Year’s Traditions Around the World

Hi, welcome back! Going completely off-topic for this post. Well, not really off topic, since this is my blog for whatever I feel like writing about. I’m going to write about December. Well, sort of. More about the new year we are on the brink of, and the current one, which we shall soon leave behind. The year that has been one “Stop thinking it can’t get worse,” after another. Because 2020 has never, not once, stopped getting worse. I know I am not alone in my fervent desire to be done with it.

I’m thinking the end of 2020 calls for a new and different tradition to be added to the celebration. Something big. Something that chases this year away and summons health and good fortune for 2021.

It will probably be an isolated celebration

I did a little research on different New Year traditions around the world. It was so interesting! In fact, the research delayed this blog post by a couple of days. Listed are just a few of the traditions from other countries I came across.

Hogmanay, celebrated in Scotland (Had to eliminate this, as I doubt social distancing guidelines will be lifted by Jan 1)
Immediately after midnight, neighbors visit each other to wish happy New Year. First footing means the first person to cross your threshold in the New Year brings the fortune, good or bad, to your home, for the coming year.
Note: It is considered particularly good luck if the first foot in to your house is a tall, handsome man. Well, obviously!

Nochevieja, celebrated in Spain (I’ll take my grapes in liquid form)
People stay home until midnight on New Year’s Eve. When the clock strikes twelve, they try to eat twelve grapes, one on each stroke. This, apparently is more difficult that it sounds.

Bisperas ng Bagong Taon, celebrated in the Philippines (I doubt we can chase Covid away if we are all really loud at the same time, but just shouting and beating on something would provide some satisfaction)
At midnight, everyone makes as much noise as they can banging pots and pans, revving engines, fire crackers, whistles – all the noise scares away evil spirits.

Oshogatsu, celebrated in Japan (Would one-hundred-eight rings be enough to cleanse 2020?)
Before midnight, they gather to listen to one-hundred-eight strikes on the temple bell. This dispels the passions and evil of the ending year, and invites the new year in.

Ano Viejo, celebrated in Ecuador (This is my favorite, but we are going to need a big fucking effigy!)
Ecuador celebrates by burning an effigy that represents the bad from the previous year.

The year that changed everything

Thank your for stopping by! While you’re here, why not sign up for my newsletter – Red Wine with Rowena? This month will talk about existing new year traditions!

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