How Do You Welcome a New Year?
“And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been” Rainer Maria Wilke
From standing before the altar of the Almighty, to sharing drinks with friends or watching a shiny ball drop from the sky above, there are different traditions that people have adopted to welcome in a New Year. They range from the superstitious to the hilarious to the charmingly cozy.
In Sweden, the last day of the year falls during the coldest period in the country, this does not stop families from traveling to the Skansen Open Air Museum in Stockholm, where a translation of the English poem by Tennyson – Ring Out, Wild Bells – is read out to the sound of actual bells ringing in the New Year.
The Italians thrive on tradition and families in that country celebrate La Festa di San Silvestro on New Year’s Eve with huge feasts which feature lentils (a famed source of good fortune), festivals in local villages or town squares and plenty of dancing.
In Russia, the symbol of the New Year is the Novogodnaya Yolka which is topped with a star and covered in sweets
In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the New Year is welcomed by throwing flowers into the ocean at midnight
The Chinese New Year, which will start in 2013 on February 10, is probably the longest and most important festivity on the Chinese calendar and while the celebrations last for days into the New Year, families in China traditionally celebrate New Year’s eve with a reunion dinner
In the Philippines women usually welcome the New Year by wearing polka dots, the roundness of which represent coins and wealth
In Denmark, friends smash dishes on each others doorsteps, those with the most broken plates are considered to have the most friends