Get ready for the New Year: learn foreign traditions and take a quiz!
The coming of the New Year is a very important event for many cultures, since it is believes to be the starting point from which any good or bad luck will come your way. Every culture has its own traditions and rituals that ensure the favors of Dame Fortune. Check out the list of interesting New Year traditions Zadavaka has prepared for you! And don’t forget to play New Year quiz to get all ready for the celebration!
Babylonians are believed to be the first to make New Year resolutions. Every country spends the first day of the New Year reflecting on the mistakes they made and thinking of the ways to avoid them next year.
The tradition of making loud noises on New Year’s Eve dates back to ancient times, when fire and noise were believed to bring good luck and banish away the evil. Nowadays, fireworks successfully fulfill both functions. One of the biggest firework shows in the whole world takes place in Sydney, Australia, where over 80,000 fireworks are set off to mark the beginning of the New Year.
In Japan, people hold parties called Bonenkai in order to say goodbye to all problems and get ready for a fresh start. People clean their houses and forgive grudges. Nobody works on New Year’s Day; children are presented with otoshidamas (small gifts with money). Another popular tradition is sending New Year’s cards. Common home decorations are pine branches, a bamboo stalk and a plum blossom – as symbols of longevity, prosperity and nobility respectively.
In Spain, people eat twelve grapes on New Year’s Eve to ensure happiness in every month of the year to come.
In Greece, a traditional New Year’s dish is Vassilopitta or St Basil’s cake named after one of the founders of the Orthodox Church. It has a coin baked inside. The person who gets the coin in his or her piece will have extra luck in the year to come. Also, if the coin is found in the third piece, the spring is believed to start early in the coming year.
In Norway, they have a similar tradition of making rice pudding with a whole almond. The person whose serving hides the almond will be especially wealthy in the year to come.
In England, the first person to arrive as guest is believed to bring good fortune. The guest should be bearing gifts: a coal for the fire or a loaf of bread for the table. He or she should also enter through the front door and exit though the back. If a quest arrives empty-handed, he or she will not be allowed into the house first.
In Italy, red underwear is believed to bring good luck for the year to come, so everyone wears it on New Year’s Eve. In Sicily, any kind of noodle served on New Year’s Eve is believed to bring bad luck; this is why the main dish on the New Year’s table is lasagna.
In China, they celebrate the coming of the New Year on the second full moon after the winter solstice. But on January, 1 they still celebrate the start of a new life. They paint their doors with fresh red paint and put away all the knives for 24 hours in order not to cut themselves, since cuts are believed to cut the family’s good luck for the year to come.
In Cuba, Colombia and Puerto Rico, families make a big stuffed doll named Mr. Old Year; they dress the doll in clothes from the departing year and burn it at midnight. This ritual is believed to burn away all the bad memories.
Play our New Year quiz questions online, earn WisePoints, raise you score and get to the top of the weekly rating! Happy New Year!