7 Countries and 7 New Year’s Traditions from Around the World
While you have your own celebration of the upcoming New Year 2023, you might be wondering how other nations are celebrating the New Year’s Eve. The traditional customs are very important as they represent the bridge between the past and the hope for the prosperous future.
I chose several favourite New Year’s traditions from the countries all over the world. Some of them may even become your new traditions.
Spain and Mexico: Eating 12 Grapes
On New Year the Spanish and the Mexicans eat 12 grapes, which symbolize every strike of the clock. The tradition started in the 19th century in France. It is believed to drive away dark evil forces and have a good and lucky new year. You need to eat all of the grapes very fast at the time the clock finishes striking midnight.
Italy: Wearing Red Underwear
Italians believe that the colour red is associated with fertility. Therefore, they wear it under their clothes in the hopes that it will help them conceive in the new year.
Japan: Eating Soba Noodles
People in Japan start the new year by eating a warm bowl of soba noodles. The tradition dates back to the Kamakura period and is tied to a Buddhist temple giving out the noodles to the poor. The noodles are eaten in a ritual known as toshikoshi soba, or year-crossing noodles. It is believed that the soba’s thin shape and long length symbolize a long and healthy life.
Germany: Pouring Lead
In Germany, the New Year’s Eve celebrations are around lead pouring. Every person melts a small piece of lead or tin over the flames of a candle, and pours it into a container of cold water. The shape that the lead or tin forms reveals a person’s fate for the new year.
Canada: Going Ice Fishing
Freezing temperatures give an opportunity to start the new year with Canadian winter favorite sport, ice fishing. Families rent heated huts with cooking equipment where they can enjoy their meal together.
Mexico: Giving Homemade Tamales, and Suitcases
In Mexico families gather to make New Year’s Eve food. Usually it is tamales – corn dough stuffed with meat, cheese, and vegetables all wrapped in corn husks. On New Year’s Day, tamales are served with menudo, a Mexican soup made from cow’s stomach.
In Mexico, it is believed that every person who grabs a suitcase at midnight and makes few rounds around the house, will travel a lot in the upcoming year.
Ireland: Banging Bread Against the Walls
To keep off evil spirits, families in Ireland make bang loaves of Christmas bread against the walls and doors throughout the home. It is believed it will bring prosperity in the new year.
Dear Akademos Students, we wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2023!
evil – the force in nature that governs and gives rise to wickedness and sin (zło)
strike – make sound exactly on the hour (wybijać godzinę)
conceive – to become pregnant (począć)
bowl – a rather deep, round dish or basin, used chiefly for holding liquids, food, etc. (miska)
noodles – a narrow strip of unleavened egg dough that has been rolled thin and dried, boiled, and served alone or in soups, casseroles, etc.; a ribbon-shaped pasta (kluski)
lead – something made of this metal or of one of its alloys (ołów)
tin – Chemistry. a low-melting, malleable, ductile metallic element nearly approaching silver in color and luster: used in plating and in making alloys, tinfoil, and soft solders. Symbol: Sn; atomic weight: 118.69; atomic number: 50; specific gravity: 7.31 at 20°C (cyna)
fate – something that unavoidably befalls a person; fortune (przeznaczenie)
dough – flour or meal combined with water, milk, etc., in a mass for baking into bread, cake, etc.; paste of bread (ciasto)
stuffed – filled with something (nadziewany)
wrapped – covered with (zawinięty)
corn husks – the dry external covering of an ear of corn (łuska kukurydzy)
bang – to strike or beat resoundingly; pound: (uderzać)
loaf – a portion of bread or cake baked in a mass, usually oblong with a rounded top (bochenek)