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Celebrating New Year’s Eve Around the World

By Lori Perkins

Ok, so I am staying in with my son and we are drinking champagne and eating Monte Christos sandwiches fried in duck fat for our second New Year’s Eve where we don’t want to leave the house. Just to let you now how contagious Omicron is in New York City (where they are still having the ball drop), a friend of mine tested positive after accompanying her husband to the hospital.

But I received a lovely New Year’s card from a friend which featured a list of New Year’s Eve traditions around the world, and it captivated me, so I will share some of these quirky and charming traditions with you.

Quite a few countries celebrate the New Year by wearing different colored underwear. Argentinians wear pink underwear to increase romance (and eat beans for prosperity?); Bolivians don yellow underwear to bring increased fortune and health; and Italians wear red underwear as they gather for a group kiss in St. Mark’s Square in Venice.

Many countries have traditional food or meals that they eat, or display for the New Year. Greeks hang onions on their front doors for rebirth; many Spanish and Latin American people eat 12 grapes as the clock chimes midnight; and in Norway there’s a layered cake called Krankeskeke made with marzipan and decorated with flags with a bottle of wine inside!

Other traditions are unique (and even out there). In Siberia a log is plunged into the frozen river so that over zealous revelers will have something to hold on to if they fall in. Puerto Ricans are said to ride the waves and in Denmark they smash plates. In Iceland cows are said to gain the ability to talk and the dead rise from graves.

And in a true out with the old and in with the new spirit, South Africans through out their old appliances.

So, happy New Year however you celebrate!


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