New Year’s Rituals Around the World

New year's eveWhat is your New Year’s ritual?  Is it to make a list of resolutions, eat special foods, or party like it’s 1999? Since we are a melting pot, several traditions have been carried over to the states that are celebrated in Myrtle Beach and the US.

So I did some research to see how others around the world celebrate and to see if it would be fun to join them.

The Greeks hang an onion on the front door on New Year’s Eve to make sure the following year will be one of happiness and prosperity but also new growth. Another tradition is the Kalo Podariko, or Good Footing; right before midnight on New Year’s Eve, families turn off all the lights in the house and go outside. One person, considered good or lucky, is chosen to reenter the house with their right foot first. The whole household follows suit, entering also with their right foot first. Traditionally, children are chosen for this honor as they are considered to be innocent and have a good heart. This gesture is meant to bring the whole family luck for the new year ahead.

The Spanish ritual on New Year’s eve is to eat twelve grapes at midnight, which is meant to secure twelve happy months in the coming year. If you manage to eat all the grapes in time, you are in for a year of prosperity and good luck.

On New Year’s Eve, a traditional ceremony is organized in France, as a part of which, a special festive cake with the name of la galette des rois is cut. A special feast, called as le Réveillon de Saint-Sylvestre is planned, which have traditional dishes such as pancakes and foie gras (flavored duck or goose) on the platter which is said to bring in prosperity and good luck to the lives of all those attending the feast.

In the US, we eat a traditional southern New Year’s dish of black eyed peas and ham hocks. An old saying goes, “Eat peas on New Year’s day to have plenty of everything the rest of the year.”A special soul food with rice which is popularly called Hoppin’ John is consumed with black eyed beans. During the party people also, have cakes and champagne which is considered very auspicious.

In South America, New Year is known as ‘Ano Viego’. People create fake person or dummies and it is placed outside the home. This scarecrow looking toy is stuffed with waste papers and fire crackers. The dummy is dressed like human and it is believed that this symbolized last year. At the midnight, all the elders of the family set the dummies on fire. This depicts the wading off the old year and evils to welcome the new year.

And speaking of food, we know about the US custom of eating black eyed peas and collard greens to bring luck through the year. According to Women’s World, there is another list to eat:

  • 1 Long Noodles. In China, Japan and other Asian countries, it’s customary to eat long noodles, signify longevity, on New Year’s Day. …
  • 2 Cornbread. …
  • 3 Pomegranate. …
  • 4 Round Fruits. …
  • 5 Greens. …
  • 6 Pickled Herring. …
  • 7 Whole Fish. …
  • 8 Pork.
  • 9 Lentils
  • 10 Black Eyed Peas

So if you are looking for some fun things to do in Myrtle Beach, how about cooking up some luck?

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2017-01-02T15:46:42+00:00 December 28th, 2016|