So what are you doing New Year’s Eve? Going out to a party somewhere or staying home like us? We will most likely be spending our night tending to chickens, goats, ducks, dogs and cats as usual! I do love holidays and traditions though and New Years is full of fun activities and traditions.
Some of the traditions that we take for granted actually came from ancient times. So while you are celebrating this year you might want to take a look at where your traditions come from or add a new one or two. (Source: The Farmers Almanac)
Get loud and Noisy!
In ancient Thailand they fired guns to frighten off demons.
In China, people use firecrackers to ward off the forces of darkness.
In the American colonies gun shots were heard throughout the night.
Shooting shotguns is still done in many Southern rural areas today! We did this as kids at my Grandma’s!
In Italy church bells ring, people of Switzerland beat drums; sirens and party horns blast loudly to ring in the new year in North America.
Eat,and be merry!
In the United States, down South we eat black-eyed peas and pork for good luck.
Mustard, turnip or collard greens are also eaten for wealth, although it hasn’t helped me yet!
Another treat for good fortune is anything in the shape of a ring or circle, such as a doughnut. This symbolizes the year coming to coming full circle.
The Dutch serve fritters called olie bollen.
The Irish eat bannocks, or pastries.
In Spain 12 grapes are eaten at midnight.
In India and Pakistan,eating rice is believed to bring a person prosperity.
Honey dipped apples are a Rosh Hashanah tradition among Jewish people.
In homes in Switzerland,spoonfuls of whipped cream are dropped on the floor and stay there symbolizing the richness of the coming year! This is not happening at my house, the dogs eat everything that hits the floor!
Pop the champagne cork!
A lot of countries celebrate midnight by popping the cork on the champagne, but a few do things just a little differently.
In England Wassail, which is Gaelic for “good health” is served.
The Scottish serve “hot pot” which is a spiced version of Wassail.
It’s the custom to drink a glass or two at home before you share with your neighbors!
I like that idea!
In Holland toasts are given with hot, spiced wine. Hm, another idea is brewing!
More presents? I think I could live with that!
In Rome, it’s gifts of gilded nuts or coins.
The Persians exchanged eggs, the symbol of fertility. Hm, maybe those of us who still have hens laying in the cold weather can share farm fresh eggs!
In early Egypt flasks made of earthenware were exchanged.
In Scotland to bring a person good luck, coal, shortbread and silverware are given.
Reflect on your life and the New year ahead.
A new year on the rise is a prime opportunity to take a look at life.
Making a New Year’s resolution is a way to reflect on the past year and plan on the future. This practice may have begun as early as 2600 B.C.
During the observance of Rosh Hashanah Jews have a time for personal introspection and prayer, as well as visiting graves of loved ones.
Since 1770 Christian churches have held a Watch-night service a custom that began in Philadelphia at Old St. Georges Methodist Church.
Other beliefs and customs.
Some beliefs and customs are just sayings or proverbs passed down from family to family, region to region, country to country.
Here is a couple of my favorites!
On New Year’s Eve, kiss the person you hope to keep kissing. – This one Mr.Cheese and I will practice every year at midnight, if we can stay awake that long! 😉
If the old year goes out like a lion, the new year will come in like a lamb.
Begin the new year square with every man. (i.e., pay your debts!) –Robert B. Thomas, founder of The Old Farmer’s Almanac –
And finally my personal favorite: What ever you do New Year’s Day, you will be doing all year-long! With that said, you better make it a good day!