|Looks insane, doesn't it?|
I can hear you thinking it. Another New Year's post? Don't worry, I'm going to run out of material one of these days. I remember when I was a teenager, staying up with my parents to watch the New Year's festivities on TV. Times Square dropping the ball, different concerts from around Canada. I remember one year, I must have been somewhere between 8 and 11. My cousins had come out from the city to celebrate New Years with us. My parents set the clocks so that we thought we were staying up late with the grown ups, but we really went to bed at 8pm. When I found out some years later I was a little ticked off, but now I plan on doing that with Brianna. I now fully realize what dealing with a grump child is like.
Traditions around the world can be incredibly different. Everyone knows about Chinese New Year, celebrated between January 21 and February 20. We've all seen on TV the colourful celebrations, meant to bring luck, health, wealth and happiness until next year. The firecrackers set off are meant to scare evil spirits away. When feasting, if the New Year is the year of any particular animal, they will not eat that meat during the feast.
Australian New Year is a day for outdoor activities, camping and picnics. During the countdown, bells are rung to “ring in” the New Year. In Korea, they celebrate the Lunar New Year, called Sol-nal. They wear new clothes, to symbolize a fresh start. Younger generations bow and wish health to older generations, and in return are given gifts or newly minted coins. In Scotland, the first person to get up New Year's morning had to bring spiced ale to those still in bed. Traditional gifts given are symbols of life: Bread, Salt, or Coal for stoves. I don't think we really need to delve into Celtic New Year, we all know about Samhain.
In Germany, it's common to leave a small amount of every food eaten on New Years on a plate in the pantry, to be sure it will be full in the coming year. An old Sicilian tradition states that those who eat Lasagna noodles on New Year's will be lucky, but to eat any other noodle brings bad luck. In Norway, rice pudding is served with a whole almond hidden in one bowl. The person who finds the almond is guaranteed good luck in the coming year.
Our family doesn't really have any traditions we follow. We just spend time together and eat lots of food! What does your household do?