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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tips on Tuesday: Celebrating the New Year

With New Year's Eve only a few days away, I began to wonder about New Year's Eve traditions. I looked around the web and some fun (and absurd) information about the traditions and customs of New Year's celebrations.

Foods of New Year's:
Spain: In Spain, it is considered good luck to host/attend a New Year's Eve dinner at a friend's home. The dinner doesn't start until 9pm or later and just before midnight, dessert is served. Dessert is grapes and one is eaten on each toll of the bell at midnight. This is thought to bring twelve happy months in the new year.
American tradition (from the south): Black Eyed Peas eaten on New Year's Day is thought to bring fortune and prosperity in the new year.
Holland & The Netherlands: The Dutch eat donuts because the circular shape symbolizes coming full circle and completing a year's cycle. Eating donuts on New Year's is thought to bring luck. The Dutch also burn their Christmas trees on New Year's to purge the old and welcome the new.
Many other cultures also eat anything round/circular. Again, the round shape symbolizes a full circle and is thought to bring luck.
Other traditions include using a baby to symbolize the new year. The tradition of using a baby to signify the new year began in Greece around 600 BC. They celebrated their god of wine, Dionysus, by parading a baby in a basket, representing the annual rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility. Early Egyptians also used a baby as a symbol of rebirth. Although the early Christians denounced the practice as pagan, the popularity of the baby as a symbol of rebirth forced the Church to reevaluate its position. The Church finally allowed its members to celebrate the new year with a baby, which was to symbolize the birth of the baby Jesus.

Fireworks are another common way most cultures celebrate the New Year. This stems back to ancient times. In ancient times, noise and fire were thought to dispel evil spirits. So lighting off fireworks would dispel evil spirits bringing good fortune to the new year.
Americans are known around the world for both the dropping of the ball in Time Square on New Year's Eve and the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's morning.
However you choose to celebrate, be safe! Happy New Year's from our house to yours.

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