UWindsor Lance: New Year’s Eve around the globe

UWindsor Lance
Issue 25, Volume 85
Dec. 19, 2012
Jon Liedtke

Are you prepared for the New Year? While 2012 has had its fair share of both ups and downs, and we have (presumably) survived the Mayan apocalypse, the end of the year marks a new start.

Starting anew is a useful means of clearing your conscience, resolving Issues (both
internal and external) and setting goals and aspirations. But before you go and place all of that 2012 negativity in the past, make sure you send 2012 out the right way: with a hell of a New Year’s Eve party.

Whether or not you have a quiet and relaxed party with family and friends. or if you
throw an all-out-rager culminating with a burning couch on the front yard, here are
some New Year ‘s Eve traditions from around the globe that are sure to liven up the

NORTH AMERICA: While most North Americans take part in traditional parties to
ring in the New Year, the archetype New Year’s celebration is to venture to New York to take part in the ball drop at Times Square.

MEXICO: Mexicans celebrate the New Year by eating a grape with each chime of
the clock as it strikes twelve, while making a wish for each one. Another Mexican tradition is to create a list of the negative events that occurred during the year and. before midnight, throw the list into a fire to symbolize the removal of negative energy.

BELGIUM: While the majority of Belgians celebrate New Year ‘s Eve the same way
as North America, tradition among Belgian farmers is to wish animals and livestock a Happy New Year.

ESTONIA: There is a belief among Estonians that people should eat seven, nine, or 12 times on New Year ‘s Eve as they are all lucky numbers in Estonia. According to tradition, for each meal consumed, the eater gains the strength of that many men in the New Year. It should be noted that meals should not be completely consumed as there needs to be some food left for ancestors and spirits who visit the house on New Year’s Eve.

FINLAND: Molybdomancy is an old tradition in Finland in which fortunes are devised by melting ‘tin” (actually lead) in a tiny pan on the stove and then quickly tossing it in a bucket of cold water. The hardened blob of metal is analyzed (much like reading tea leaves or coffee grounds). However, these predictions are however never taken too seriously.

ITALY: A tradition still celebrated in Italy is to wear red underwear on New Year’s
Eve, whereas an old tradition had Italians disposing of old or unused items by dropping them from the window.

SCOTLAND: In Scotland, New Year’s is called Hogmanay and comes with different customs, such as First-Footing in which friends and family exchange gifts of whisky and sometimes a lump of coal.

UWindsor Lance
Year’s Eve around the globe
Issue 25, Volume 85
Dec. 19, 2012
Jon Liedtke
Page 6

Jon Liedtke was the Features and Opinions Editor, Advertising Manager and Deficit Consultant at the UWindsor Lance.






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