Some New Year’s Celebrations
In the UK, Christmas is usually spent with family, and New Year’s Eve is normally spent with friends. I have often gone to house parties with friends in South London, where we will eat late, and go on top of a hill or the roof of a building before midnight, so that we can watch the fireworks from the London Eye. After counting down and shouting “Happy New Year!“, people cross-arms and sing ‘auld-lang-syne‘ despite noone knowing the lyrics. Often people go out to a pub or nightclub after midnight until the early hours of the morning. Luckily, the 1st of January is a national holiday.
Because of time difference, people in Australia are often celebrating New Year when the rest of the world is still having breakfast or lunch. The celebrations and fireworks around Sydney’s Harbour Bridge are considered some of the biggest in the world. As it is the middle of the Summer, many Australians may also choose to ring in the new year on the beach, with a barbecue and cold beer.
The Chinese New Year follows the local Lunar calender – and so it changes every year depending on the moon. In 2019, it will be on February 5. In the days leading to the New Year, the Chinese often clean their houses – to symbolise the cleaning away of old problems and clearing the way for good luck! There is often a large family reunion dinner the night before, of which a common feature are dumplings. New Year celebrations last for 2 weeks, until the lantern festival, in which the streets are covered with red lanterns, many of which will have candles put inside and will lift into the sky.
Like Australia, Brazil also enjoys its New Year during the heat of the Summer, and so beach parties are a common way to celebrate. Brazilians make wishes to the Goddess Yemanja, by sending gifts and candles out on the sea. People are supposed to wear white to attract a clean start and peace, however they may wear different coloured underwear to wish for something else – such as green for luck, yellow for economic success, and, of course, red for romance.
It’s not only Brazil with an underwear tradition! Love-seekers in Spain should wear something red if they want to get lucky in the new year – albeit a bra, knickers or just socks! One of the most famous (and commonly practised) traditions in Spain is the eating of twelve grapes. After midnight all church bells sounds twelve times – once for each month – and during those (approximately) twelve seconds, twelve grapes should be stuffed into your mouth. If not, then no good luck for you! Either way, you can wash down your grapes with a nice glass of Spanish Cava.
Argentinians (like Brazilians) might wear white for New Year as a sign of rejuvination. Yet another country with an underwear tradition; some Argentinian women receive pink underwear for Christmas from another woman – she should then wear this new lingerie on New Years Eve if she wants to find love that year! Argentinians have some of the loudest New Years celebrations – with fireworks and other hand-thrown explosives being used long before and long after midnight. Throughout the weeks of Christmas and New Year, families eat a lot of turron and pan dulce, similar to the Italian panettone.
What do you do for new year? Are there any traditions in your local area? Let us know in the comments section below.