The New Year is upon us. The annual practice of shedding the old and beginning anew unites us together all over the world. It’s a time to take stock of our lives and turn over a new leaf. Many people believe that our actions on this exciting night can influence the year ahead. In addition to fireworks and get-togethers, people around the globe celebrate the New Year with rituals to ensure the days ahead are filled with good fortune and the problems from the past year are put to rest.
In Denmark, people literally leap into the New Year by jumping off chairs to get rid of evil spirits and bring good luck. The Italians throw old things away (traditionally thrown right out the window) to get rid of problems and troubles. The English decorate with spruce trees and mistletoe twigs to symbolize renewal of life after the winter solstice and the Dutch burn their Christmas trees to purge the old and welcome the new.
In Mexico, if a travel-filled year is desired, it is good luck to walk around the block with an empty suitcase (or walk circles around a pile of empty suitcases in the middle of the room). Because round, circular foods are thought to bring good luck, people in Mexico and Spain eat 12 grapes at midnight, bringing good fortune for each of the upcoming months. Americans celebrate by watching the Ball Drop in Times Square (since 1907) and in southern parts of the United States people eat peas to ensure a life of plenty in the upcoming year.
How do you celebrate the New Year? We’d love to hear how you and your family take stock of your lives and turn over a new leaf!
Happy New Year from Coolibar!