On New Year’s Eve many of you will celebrate with Champagne, dancing and kissing your loved ones when the clock strikes Midnight. Have you ever thought about what happens around the world? January 1st may be the beginning of the New Year in the Western hemisphere thanks to the Gregorian calendar but some cultures believe the New Year takes place at a different time altogether.
The Chinese New Year is in late January or early February and Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year is in the Autumn, whilst other cultures follow the Julian lunar calendar and celebrate in mid-January.
How people start off a brand new year varies regionally from country to country, although many include an amazing fireworks display! What a way to start the New Year off as husband and wife!
In Spain they eat 12 grapes for luck! That’s a grape with each of the twelve chimes of the midnight countdown while making a wish. The tradition dates back to 1895 when some vine farmers realised they had a surplus of grapes and started the tradition to get more customers.
In Greece, it’s believed that hanging an onion, or “kremmida” on your door on New Year’s Eve is a symbol of rebirth in the coming year. The following morning, parents traditionally tap their children on the head with the kremmida to wake them up before church. Greeks also commonly break a pomegranate on their doorstep before entering their houses on New Year’s Day, another symbol of prosperity and good luck.
In Denmark, they eat a really huge cake and throw dishes. The Danish prepare an evening meal that ends with a special dessert known as Kransekage, a steep-sloped cone-shaped cake decorated with fire crackers and flags. It is thought that throwing dishes on someone’s doorstep on January 1st assures they will have many friends in the year ahead.
In Estonia, they believe that they should eat seven, nine, or twelve meals on New Year’s Eve. With each meal consumed, it is believed that the person gains the strength of that many men the following year. They leave part of the meal unfinished for the spirits or ancestors who visit the house on New Year’s Eve.
In Ireland, single women put mistletoe leaves under their pillows on New Year’s night in the hope that it will bring them better luck and a future husband. According to Irish superstition, be wary of who enters your home after the 31st. If the visitor is a tall, dark handsome man, your year will bring good fortune, a red-headed woman will bring a lot of trouble.
In Germany, they eat pigs made of marzipan, jam filled doughnuts made with or without liquor fillings as a token of good luck. Many also love to watch the 1920s British Cabaret play Dinner For One, which is so popular it is broadcast on German television stations in black and white each year.
No matter where you are in the world, we believe that New Year’s eve should be spent with all your loved ones around you. It is the beginning of new starts, families and new aspirations! A sparkler send off is a lovely way to wish the Bride and Groom love and happiness in the following years to come.
Jessica at Gosfield Hall