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I always have fun celebrating New Years Eve. I especially love celebrating it with my little crew and some of our favorite families. And of course, we love to get a little crazy, well as crazy as you can with a lot of little kids and only drinking sparkling Martinelli’s (as no one drinks alcohol). But we do have fun. This year we headed up to our cabin in Mount Pleasant. Being out in the middle of nowhere is fabulous because we could make as much noise as we wanted. Did you know that making loud noise and fireworks on New Years Eve has been around since ancient times? It was the belief that loud noises and fireworks or fire would help get rid of evil spirits and help usher in a year of luck. So for all of you who banged those pots and pans, blew some horns, and ran around with sparklers, your year should be good as the evil spirits are gone and good luck is on its way!
Here are 10 of my favorite ways (not in any particular order) that New Years Eve is celebrated. I love each of these ways of celebrating because most of these ways are really crazy and fun (or funny). While others are very meaningful.
- Japan. Weeks are spent preparing for the New Years Celebration. Many special food dishes are prepared that represent having a long life or a good New Year. Houses and shops are cleaned out, and the entrances are decorated with pine and bamboo decorations. One of my favorite things that they do in Japan (something I feel everyone should do) is forgive all of their families and friends for any misunderstandings for arguments. At midnight, they ring bells 108 times. This is to help chase away 108 troubles. Laughter is followed after the gongs to drive away any bad spirits. How fabulous to begin the new year with a clean home, no disagreements or bad feelings, all your troubles gone and no bad spirits in your life.
- Ireland. There are many different celebrations that the Irish do, but one that I thought was fun is that they would bang on the doors with loaves of bread to chase out the bad luck in the home and let the good luck in. At midnight, many would also walk out their house using the back door and then re-enter in the front. This was also for good luck.
- South Africa. This tradition is a little crazy, and many authorities are trying to stop this way of celebrating. On New Years, people will throw out their windows furniture as well as other items that they don’t need or use anymore. The problem is people were getting hurt in the process. Probably not a good idea to be walking the streets of Johannesburg on New Years Eve.
- Spain. The tradition is at midnight you must eat 12 grapes. However now it has become a contest on who can shove those grapes in the fastest.
- Denmark. To celebrate here, you need to save all of your old dishes. That night people throw dishes at their friends and families doors. So, as crazy as it sounds it is actually a good thing to wake up to a pile of broken dishes on your doorstep. They also jump off chairs at midnight (a leap into the new year).