Out with the old and in with the new – from sending candles out to sea to wearing yellow underwear and eating 12 grapes at midnight, here’s why you should celebrate new year away from home this year.
Fireworks at midnight to oust bad spirits, resolutions (gute Vorsätze) written on paper and then burned to make them come true, the exchange of marzipan pigs (Glücksschwein) to bring good luck for the new year…German traditions at New Year are touching, wistful and fun.
Expect to eat zampone, or stuffed pig’s trotter, if you’re celebrating new year in Italy. In true Italian style, the bigger the gathering the better – this is a time for friends, family, celebrations and lots of prosecco.
One of the best-known New Year’s Eve celebrations in the world, at Hogmanay you’ll be treated to concerts, processions, fireworks and people bursting with pride singing Auld Lang Syne.
Beware of ‘first footing’! If you’re the first person to visit a house after midnight, you must take coal, whisky, salt or shortbread to bring good luck. In preparation for the chimes at midnight it’s also customary to clean your house, take out the ashes from the fire and clear your debts.
For all the partying that has made Brazil so famous – and there’ll be plenty of this at ‘Reveillon’, or new year – there is one heart-warming tradition. Crowds gather along Brazil’s beaches, dressed all in white, to celebrate the Festa de Iemanja, the Goddess of Water, and little boats are sent out to sea carrying flowers, candles, rice and gifts to ensure a good year to follow.
As you would expect in Spain, celebrations for Noche Vieja, or New Year’s Eve, continue all the way through to the morning! Wherever you are, welcome in the near year by eating 12 lucky grapes at midnight, one with each chime of the clock. Eat them all and good luck will come your way the following year.
Get rich eating cake? You might just do so in Greece. Amongst the many special dishes that are prepared at New Year, the Vassilopitta, or St Basil’s cake, has a silver or gold coin buried within. Bite with caution.
In a country known for its mysticism and spirituality, new clothes are perhaps not the first thing you would think of at new year. Yet don your best pair of yellow undies and you will be granted happiness and luck for the coming year. Alternatively, red underwear will bring you love and green underwear will bring you money. Easy…and no-one will ever know!
Wherever you are celebrating, a very happy new year from us all at Cactus.
If you have experienced New Year celebrations in other countries across the globe, please leave your comments below!