New Year Around the World

by, Jo Carol Hebert

This changing of the years is an exciting moment for people of all ages in all cultures. Local celebrations include festivals, food, costumes and the enactment of special traditions that are passed down to the next generation.

Denmark: Smashing old dishes and jumping off of chairs at midnight delights the Danish people. Kransekage is a delicious wreath-shaped cake eaten for good luck.

Greece: On this island country, residents hang an onion on the door of the home, symbolizing new life.  The parents wake the children on New Year day by tapping them on the head with the onion!

Japan: This culture celebrates by having a Bonekai, which means ‘a year-forgetting’ party. Oshogatsu is a New Year work in Japan that means renewal and farewell to past problems. Temples in the land ‘gong’ 108 times. They eat ‘soba’ noodles and give small gifts with money inside.

Netherlands: This lovely land of tulips celebrates the New Year with fireworks and explosions. They eat Oliebollen, ‘oil ball’, a bite-size donut dipped in powdered sugar.

Spain: Spaniards eat one grape for each midnight toll of the clock (12).

Switzerland: The Swiss love to wear traditional costumes. They have a ‘sweet tradition’ of dropping dollops of ice cream on the floor at midnight. This brings good luck, health and abundance for the New Year.

United States: In the early 1900’s, a ‘watching the ball drop’ tradition started, lowering a 700-pound ball down a pole, while the crowds counted down to the final second. Americans sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’, meaning ‘old, and long ago’. A traditional dish on New Year’s Day is ‘Hoppin John’, a dish of black-eyed peas with cornbread to represent prosperity for the future.

New Year Math

Did you ever wonder how many minutes in a year? 

(“Uh, actually, not really . . . “)

But we are excited to bring you these statistics about the passing of time in a year!

Did You Know? (approximately)

  • There are 365 days in a year.
  • 12 months in a year.
  • 52 weeks in a year.
  • 8,766 hours in a year.
  • 525,600 minutes in a year and 
  • 31,556,952 seconds in a year.

Wishing You a Happy New Year From A-Z!

Have an Absolutely Beautiful, Carefree, Delightful, Energetic, Fun Filled, Great, Happy and Healthy, Ideal, Joyous, Kind, Lovely, Magnificent, Nice, Orderly, Peaceful, Quiet, Rewarding, Successful, Thankful, Uplifting, Victorious, Wonderful, ‘X’-citing, Year.

‘Z’ ya next year!

Categories: Celebrations

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