Penpalling & Letters

Thursday, 30 December 2010

New Year's Celebrations

January the 1st represents the fresh start of a New Year. This day was, traditionally, a religious feast, but since the 1900s has become an occasion to celebrate the night of December 31, called New Year's Eve. There are fireworks at midnight at the moment the New Year arrives in many countries of the world, but there are some other traditions. Let's see how some people are celebrating the arrival of the New Year:

Deirdre in the Netherlands: On the 31st most people work but if you have a nice boss you'll quit work early in the afternoon. In the afternoon we make "oliebollen" and "appelbeignets" and eat them! :) In the evening we watch TV (loads of standup comedians and special New Year's Eve programs on TV) and wait till it's almost 00:00. Then, we toast with champagne and run out to light fireworks and chat with the neighbors.

Angie in Germany: Here, in Germany (although I can talk only for my family, of course), we do celebrate usually with family or friends. Usually we prepare "Fondue or Raclette" for food, but this year I do something which doesn't need so much time to get prepared at all. ;) We do play games until midnight arrives and when it is 00:00 we are going to wish each other a Happy New Year. Most people do drink champagne and also we do watch the firework we bought some days before. Usually, after beeing stiff and frozen we eat "Goulash soup" and do lead pouring afterwards, to see what the New Year brings. :) "Lead pouring" (das Bleigießen) is an old practice using molten lead like tea leaves. A small amount of lead is melted in a tablespoon (by holding a flame under the spoon) and then poured into a bowl or bucket of water. The resulting pattern is interpreted to predict the coming year. For instance, if the lead forms a ball (der Ball), that means luck will roll your way. The shape of an anchor (der Anker) means help in need. There are of course even more meanings. It is a lot of fun. :)Well, this was a brief overview about how we celebrate here. ;)

Erika in Mexico: Here, in Mexico, it's maybe a bit different than in other countries since New Year is similar to Christmas. We have lunch with family and by night, in many clubs and bars, there are parties to say HELLO to the New Year. As for my family, we have lunch and by night we just have a small dinner and watch TV while we wait for midnight to make our twelve wishes by having twelve grapes :) This year I'm planning to make some Asian style noodles for New Year's eve :) hehe I think New Year's dinner is more casual and there are not very specific meals, but the MUST have are the GRAPES :) and some apple cider for the toast. :)

Kristi in Washington, USA: Here in Seattle there are many celebrations. There is a very large one at the "Space Needle" where they have traditional New Year's Eve fireworks. Thousands of people gather to watch the fireworks. In my family we stay off the streets due to the many drunk drivers. We just have a quiet evening at home.

Mary in Illinois, USA: We eat ham, beans, corn bread, fried potatoes, cabbage... Me and my hubby are going to watch the "Ball drop" at home.

Louise in Australia: My hubby is working at New Year's Eve so I will be home alone. :(

Karen in United Kingdom: I was going to go to a party but we are all ill, so we are going to stay in. Usually, people celebrate here partying and really drinking too much!

Ami in Thailand: I usually celebrate it in the "Gurudwara" (Sikh Temple). This year I'm travelling to Mae Sot (a town in western Thailand that shares a border with Myanmar to the west).

Thanaphon Bamrungkarn in Thailand: I will be watching the fireworks in the sky!

Lisa in Florida, USA: At home safe and warm with my daughter! Boy, am I getting old! LOL!

Teresa in Czech Republic: This year, me and my husband will go to our friends' place and celebrate - a bunch of people at a home-party. Nothing too wild. :) We will also watch fireworks at midnight over Prague! :)

Kris in Michigan, USA: At home relaxing!

Heather in Arizona, USA: Get drunk at a house party with my boyfriend and other friends! :)

Misae in Japan: About New Year's Eve... In Japan we are pounding steamed rice into the dough used for rice cakes (haha!). It's a traditional custom... It sounds funny, right!? Have a good New Year everyone!

Ramona in the Netherlands: We spend it at home... Some food on the table and blow some fireworks in the air!

Anita in the Netherlands: I will go to my sister-in-law and have dinner with her and her son while my boyfriend has to work till 23:00. :( After dinner we will go to a party of my boyfriends' uncle where a lot of other family members are comming, too. :D And as for New Year's Day I just don't know.

Aya in Japan: I celebrate it by eating noodles on New Year's Eve to wish for a long lasting healthy New Year (it's a Japanese tradition) and spend the New Year's Day with my family. :)

Darja in Germany/from Russia: It seems that in Germany people like to spend New Year's Eve quietly at home or go out to a big and loud party, but the most important thing is that around 12:00 pm people will go out and make fireworks! Russians also got to love this activity... Go on reading more about it by visiting Darja's Blog: "Starshine whirls make my head spin" where she explains about New Year's Traditions in Germany, Russia or even Japan!

If you are interested in reading more articles related to the Christmas time and New Year's, check the following:

- Sinterklaas
- The Saint Nicholas tradition
- The Christmas Season in Spain
- New Year's Celebrations
- The Three Kings Day or "Día de Reyes"

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