|1) Hogmanay :
The New Year in Scotland is called Hogmanay. The people in Scotland follow a
ritual that appears nutty but actually has a great significance. One can
find barrels of tar set afire and gradually rolled down the streets in the
villages of Scotland. This ritual symbolizes that the old year is burned up
and New Year is going to begin.
2) Baby New Year Tradition :
The tradition of using a baby to signify the New Year was started around 600
B.C by the ancient Greeks, who, at the start of a year would carry a baby
around in a basket. The purpose of it was to honor Dionysus, the God of
Fertility and symbolize his annual rebirth.
3) Burning "Mr. Old Year" :
In Columbia, Cuba and Puerto Rico families stuff a life-size male doll with
things and then they dress it up in old clothes from each family member. At
the stroke of midnight, this 'Mr. Old Year' is set on fire. This is done
with the simple belief that a doll thus stuffed have bad memories or sadness
associated with them, and that the burning of these will help one to do away
with all past griefs and usher in happiness in life with the coming year.
4) Eating 12 Grapes :
In Spain people eat 12 grapes as the clock strikes midnight (one each time
the clock chimes) on New Year's Eve. This peculiar ritual originated in the
twentieth century when freak weather conditions resulted in an unseasonable
bumper harvest of grapes. Not able to decide what to do about so many grapes
at Christmas time, the King of Spain and the grape growers came up with the
idea of the New Year ritual. Now, if only this happened all around the
5) Eating Noodles :
Late on the evening of December 3 1, people of Japan would eat a bowl of
buckwheat noodles called "toshikoshisoba" ("year-crossing noodles") and
listen for the sound of the Buddhist temple bells, which were rung 108 times
at midnight. The sound of these bells is said to purify the listeners of the
108 sins or evil passions that plague every human being.
6) Gifts in Shoes :
In Greece children leave their shoes by the fireside on New Year's Day (also
the Festival of Saint Basil in Greece) with the hope that Saint Basil, who
was famous for his kindness, will come and fill their shoes with gifts.
7) Carrying a Suitcase :
In Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, and Mexico, those with hopes of traveling
in the New Year carry a suitcase around the house at midnight. Some even
carry it around the block to ensure traveling at greater distances.
8) Burning Crackers :
The people in China believe that there are evil spirits that roam the earth.
So on New Year they burn crackers to scare the evil spirits. The doors and
windows of every home in china can be seen sealed with paper. This is to
keep the evil demons out.
9) Times Square Celebrations :
The first Ball Lowering celebration atop One Times Square was held on
December 31, 1907 and is now a worldwide symbol of the turn of the New Year,
seen via satellite by more than one billion people each year. The original
New Year's Eve Ball weighed 700 pounds and was 5 feet in diameter. It was
made of iron and wood and was decorated with 100 25-watt light bulbs.
10) Foods :
It was thought that one could affect the luck they would have throughout the
coming year by what they did or ate on the first day of the year. It is
still held in some regions that special New Year foods are the harbingers of
luck. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year's
Day will bring good fortune. The hog, and its meat, is considered lucky
because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another "good luck" vegetable
that is consumed on New Year's Day by many. Cabbage leaves are also
considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In
some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year's Day. The
ancient Persians gave New Year's gifts of eggs, which symbolized
11) Rings :
Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck,
because it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing a year's cycle.
12) Black-eyed peas :
Many parts of the U.S. celebrate the new year by consuming black-eyed peas.
These legumes are typically accompanied by either hog jowls or ham.
Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many
13) Wearing new slippers :
In China, many people wear in the new year a new pair of slippers that is
bought before the new year, because it means to step on the people who
gossip about you.
14) Sealed doors & windows :
During new year , the doors and windows of every home in china can be seen
sealed with paper. The Chinese think that this will succeeed in keep the
evil demons out.
We hope you have enjoyed these minutiae on New Year celebrations. New year
is simply the perfect time to take resolutions and make for a fun-filled
day. Invite the coming year with open arms. Have a blast!
Back to New Year Main
Refer this page