We’ve made it through the holidays in once piece, or at least close enough to one piece. The new year is right around the corner. We often take this time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the new. Most people start to wonder what their resolution will be. I’ve had a few resolutions over the years, but sometimes I decide not to do one because I don’t want to set myself up for failure. I’ve decided to give it a try again this year, but with something simple. And the resolution is to try to use my reusable bags more often. Now I say more often because I don’t want to set the standard too high. The importance is to improve, so I think this is feasible.
With the New Year approaching, I also wondered what other countries' traditions are, so I did some research. We all hope for a great year ahead and in some countries they take specific actions to help influence this. In the Philippines, they wear polka dots and eat round fruit to ensure a prosperous year. In Spain, they eat handfuls of grapes when the clock strikes 12 for the same effect. In several other countries they try to drive away the bad spirits from the previous year. This way they can have a fresh start to the New Year. Many use fire to do this in the form of dancing with fireballs and bonfires. Then there is a less fiery version, like jumping over chairs at midnight like the Danish.
Here are a few more odd, but interesting traditions:
Jo-burg, South Africa • Throw old appliances out the window
Denmark • Throw old plates and glasses against the doors of friends’ and relatives’ houses
Scotland • The first person to cross the threshold of a home in the New Year should carry a gift for luck.
Central and South America • It’s considered lucky to wear special underwear on New Year’s Eve. Red is supposed to bring love, and yellow is supposed to bring money.
New Zealand • Bang pots and pans as loud as you can.
Russia • Write down a wish on apiece of paper, burn it, throw it into a champagne glass, and drink it before 12:01.
Brazil • Jump 7 waves for good luck.
So if you see me throwing plates and glasses around I’m just trying out a new tradition! Wishing you the best in the New Year.
-Ashlee Suker, Design