how the world celebrates NEW YEAR'S
It’s that time of the year again, when we stay up until after midnight, watch Ryan Seacrest introduce the festivities from Times Square and make all those New Year resolutions that most of us don’t bother to keep for more than a few days. But have you ever wondered how other countries welcome the arrival of the New Year?
Most countries celebrate the New Year in one way or another, even though the holiday doesn’t always fall on January 1st. Chinese New Year falls anywhere between mid-January and mid-February; several countries, including Thailand and Cambodia observe New Year sometime in April, depending on the local calendar.
Brazilians see in the New Year on the country’s famous Ipenama Beach by pushing a boat out to sea, laden with candles, flowers and jewelry.
In Denmark, finding piles of broken dishes outside your front door is considered a sign of good luck and friendship.
The Japanese say you should start laughing as soon as midnight chimes; this will ensure good luck for the coming year.
Most of us enjoy a glass of champagne when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, but around the world, some other delicacies are customary. If you are celebrating New Year in Germany, you will almost certainly be given a jelly donut, but you should not eat poultry – this may cause your good luck to fly away.
Perhaps nobody takes New Year quite as seriously as the Scottish, who also know this holiday as Hogmanay. Most Scots celebrate by feasting upon local delicacies such as scones, shortbread and oatcake and cleanse their homes for the coming year with water and juniper. The most important tradition is first footing – if the first person to set foot in your home on January 1st is a dark haired man bearing gifts, it ensures good fortune for the coming year. Many people request their neighbor to call just after midnight, just to be safe. In some parts of Scotland, barrels of tar are set on fire and rolled through the streets, thus symbolically burning the old year and welcoming in the new one.
Actually, you don’t have to travel around the world to find some unusual New Year’s customs – there are plenty right here in the United States. Philadelphians wear strange costumes and march through the streets in the Mummer’s Parade – a tradition since 1840. In Fort de Chartres, Illinois, the locals don costumes made from cornhusks and go door-to-door singing French songs. People in New York and Michigan seem to delight in taking a dip in freezing water on New Year’s Day. And some Hawaiians offer practical advice, especially to those who may have been out partying late – never sweep your house on New Year’s Day!
However you decide to celebrate, your friends at Lee’s wish you all the best in 2018.