New Year's Eve Traditions - How Different People Celebrate
Do you wish to learn a little about different New Year's Eve traditions in different places in the world?
People have many different ways of ringing in the New Year, celebrating the passing of the old and ushering in the new. Certain traditions have lasted decades and often centuries to be still observed today.
One of the more famous New Year's Eve traditions is the dropping of the ball in New York's Times Square, which has been going on since 1907. The granddaddy of all traditions, the New Year's resolution, is an exercise in self improvement. The goal is often weight loss or freedom from nicotine. Sadly, studies show that over 85% of all resolutions are not kept.
It is known that the ancient Babylonians and Greeks celebrated the New Year over four thousand years ago. Once the Gregorian calendar became the accepted standard for measuring the years, January 1st was designated as the official beginning of the New Year. Its appointment had no real significance and appears to have been an arbitrary choice.
Some believed that it corresponds with the Jewish tradition of circumcising males eight days after birth, and if Jesus was born on the 25th of December, then eight days later would have been the 1st of January. This has since been proven untrue.
The get together is a New Year's Eve tradition. It is the gathering in one place such as a friend's house, a church function or perhaps Times Square to countdown the last remaining hours of the old year. Neighborhood gatherings generally include the consumption of alcohol and eating traditional foods.
In the southern US, this "lucky" meal normally consists of black eyed peas, collard greens with ham hocks and cornbread. The residents of Spain and Cuba eat 12 grapes at midnight, while the Dutch eat sweet dough breads called Oliebollen. Talk about differing New Year's Eve traditions! Expect to find last minute shoppers in Greek shopping malls on New Year's Eve, as the following day is like Christmas here in the States.
Travel is in the plans for many people, mostly to witness New Year's Eve celebrations in other lands. Due to their position on the globe, the very first place to celebrate the New Year is Kiribati, a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean. Then, it is on to New Zealand, Russia and Australia. Some people have even tried to jet to as many New Year's Eve celebrations as possible in one evening. One of the more exhaustive celebrations occurs in China, where the festivities last for 15 days (although that New Year is based on the Chinese Lunar calendar).
Although New Year's Eve traditions and celebrations around the world vary from country to country, the basic premise is the same. It is an opportunity to be rid of the old and bring in a new fresh start.
And don't think New Year's resolutions are strictly an American custom. Even though different cultures have differing New Year's Eve traditions, the inhabitants of countries around the world make commitments to improve some character flaw or rid themselves of some bad habit. When choruses of Auld Lang Syne (Old Long Ago) ring out, hangovers may be cultivated in record time, but this celebrating of the coming year is, however, one of the few traditions that the world celebrates together.
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