NEW YEAR HISTORY - Send New Year Gifts, flowers, Cake
Year's traditions are similar, but some are different. Here
are some interesting customs, past and present, around the
Australian: New Year's is celebrated on January 1. This is a
public holiday and many people spend it having picnics and
camping on the beach. Their parties start on December 31. At
midnight they start to make noise with whistles, rattles,
car horns, and church bells to ring in the New Year.
Austria: New Year's Eve is called Sylverterabend, which is
the Eve of Saint Sylvester. they make a spiced punch in
honor of the saint. Decorations and champagne are part of
the celebration. Evil spirits of the old year are chased
away by the firing of moroars, called boller. Midnight mass
is attended and trumpets are blown from church towers at
midnight, when people kiss each other.
Belgian: New Year's Eve is called Sint Sylvester Vooranvond,
or Saint Sylvester Eve. People throw parties and at midnight
everyone kisses and exchanges good luck greetings. New
Year's Day is call Nieuwjaarrsdag. children write letters on
decorated paper to their parents and god parents, and read
the letter to them.
Great Britain: the custom of first footing is practiced. the
first male visitor to the house, after midnight ,is supposed
to bring good luck. The man brings a gift like money, bread,
or coal, to ensure the family will have plenty of these in
the year to come. The first person must not be blond,
red-haired, or a women, as these are supposed to be bad
luck. In London, crowds gather in Trafalgar Square and
Piccadilly circus to hear the chimes of London's big Ben as
it announces the arrival of the New Year.
France: The French New Year is Jour des Etrennes, or Day of
New Year's Presents. Dinner parties are thrown for the
entire family, where presents are exchanged.
Germany: People drop molten lead into cold water to tell the
future from the shape it makes. A bit of food eaten on New
Year's Eve is left on their plate until after Midnight, as a
way on ensuring a well stocked larder in the coming year..
Greece: January 1 is an important date in Greece because it
is St. Basil's Day, as well as the first day of the year.
St. Basil was known for his kindness to children. Stories
tell how he would come in the night and leave gifts for
children in their shoes. People gather, have special meals
and exchange gifts.
Hungary: In Hungary the people burn effigies, or a scapegoat
known as "Jack Straw". The scapegoat represents the evils
and misfortunes of the past year. Burning the effigy is
supposed to get rid of the bad luck.
Indian: The Indian New Year's is started with a festival of
lights called Diwali. Cards and gifts are exchanged and
people finish off any uncompleted work.
Japanese: Oshogatsu in an important time for foamy
celebrations when all business are closed. To keep out evil
spirits they hang a rope of straw across the front of their
houses. The rope stands for happiness and good luck. When
the New Year begins, the Japanese people begin to laugh,
which is supposed to bring them good luck in the New Year.
Netherlands: People burn Christmas Trees in street bonfires
and let fireworks ring in the New Year,
Polish: Knows as St. Sylvester's Eve., in honor of Pope
Sylvester I. Legend is that Pope Sylvester foiled the plans
of a dragon to devour the world in the year 1000.
Portugal: The Portuguese pick and eat twelve grapes from a
bunch as the clock strikes twelve on New Year;s Eve. The
twelve grapes ensure twelve happy months in the coming year.
Russia: Grandfather Frost, who wears a blue suit instead of
Santa's red, arrives on New year's Eve with his bag of toys
for the children.
Scotland: Night of the Candle. People prepare for New Year
by cleaning their home and purifying it with a ritual or
burning juniper branches carried through the home. The First
Footer says that whoever the first person to set foot into
your home on New Year's Day decides the luck of the family
for the coming year.
South Africa: The New Year is rung in with church bells
ringing and gunshots being fired. On New year's Day there is
a carnival atmosphere.
South America: A dummy or straw person is ofter placed
outside the home and burned at midnight..
Spain: Everything, including theater productions and movies,
is stopped at Midnight on New Year's. The clock strikes
midnight and everyone eats twelve grape. They eat one grape
for each toll to bring good luck for the next twelve months
of the New Year. Sometimes the grapes are washed down with
United States: The New Year is often rung in with festive
dancing parties and meals. People kiss each other at
midnight and wish each other a "Happy New Year".
Wales: At around 3:00 to 4:00 am on New Year's morning, the
boys of the village go from house to house with an evergreen
twig to sprinkle on the people and then each room of their
house, to bring good luck. On New Year's Day the children
travel the neighbourhood singing songs are are rewarded with
coins and sweets.
General Enquiries & Customers Support: