The Torch

New Year Celebrated in Diverse Ways

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As the months pass by, 2019 come closer and closer. New Year’s Day is one of the oldest holidays celebrated, it is said that the Babylonians were the first people to make New Year’s resolutions around 4,000 years ago.

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day include many different traditions that vary with different families and people.

At the beginning of the new year, most people make New Year’s Resolutions. The Resolutions are a promise someone makes for the New Year, regardless of what type of resolution you commit to. The goal is usually meant to improve your life in the coming year.

Some people make a promise to change a bad habit. Many take on quitting smoking, eating less junk food, and watching less television. Others may make their resolution a goal like losing weight or exercising more.

Another tradition some people take on is gathering their loved ones and having a huge joyous party. Most of those parties tend to include confetti, having a feast, drinking champagne or a flavor of cider. Party-goers often play with noise poppers, watch fireworks, and watch the ball drop on the countdown to New Year’s Day.

“We usually go up to Lake Tahoe a few days after Christmas with my family and grandparents spending through New Years up there,” Caitlyn Foster (10) said. “We also have a big dinner and watch the ball drop in NYC.”

Although my family and I usually stay home for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, my mom and I usually stay up watching different movies while my grandparents are in the other room watching the New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

Ten minutes before midnight we join my grandparents with sparkling cider and ice cream sundaes to watch the ball drop. On New Year’s Day, it’s simply a lazy day for my family.

“We travel to Utah for Christmas, and then up to Idaho for New Year’s,” Abigail Harrison (10) declared. “We usually just hang around with family, and maybe watch a movie or play games.”

“We drink and celebrate,” Tatiana Amador (9) said. “We usually just stay up all night binging shows until midnight.”

Famous parades on New Year’s Day include London’s New Year’s Day Parade and the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.

London’s New Year’s Day Parade has been going on for the past thirty years, it is more fondly known as LNYDP. Running alongside the parade is the LNYDP Concert Series. The Grand Finale of the London International Choral Festival performed in internationally acclaimed music venues across the nation’s capital.

In 1890, Valley Hunt Club members, led by Charles Frederick Holder, had sponsored the first Tournament of Roses. The abundance of flowers, even in the midst of winter, prompted the club to add a parade before the competition, where entrants would decorate carriages with hundreds of colorful blooms.

Not everyone celebrates New Years the same. Some countries such as France, the Philippines, Greece, and Spain celebrate it differently.

In France, New Year’s Day is typically celebrated with a feast and a champagne toast. French people often mark the first moments of New Year’s Day with kisses under the mistletoe, which most cultures associate with Christmas celebrations. The French also consider the day’s weather as a forecast for the upcoming year’s harvest, taking into account aspects like wind direction to predict the fruitfulness of crops and fishing.

In the Philippines, the celebrations are extremely loud, they believe that the noise will scare away “evil beings.” Often, there is a midnight feast featuring twelve different fruits that symbolize good luck for the twelve months of the year.

Other traditional foods include sticky rice and noodles, but not chicken or fish because those can be seen as bad luck for the next year’s food supply.

The Greeks celebrate New Year’s Day with card games and feasting. At midnight, all lights are turned off. Then the Greeks eat Basil’s Pie, which contains a coin, and whoever gets the piece of pie containing the coin wins good luck for the next year.

In Spain, the Spaniards celebrate New Year’s Day with the custom of eating twelve grapes, each of those grapes is eaten at the clock-stroke at midnight.

The Germans call New Year’s Eve “Silvester,” in honor of Pope Sylvester I, who died Dec. 31, 335. According to the legend, non-believers who were around him choked on fish bones. Some superstitious people therefore state that one should avoid fish that night, or eat it incredibly carefully.

Germans give their friends, family, and others little lucky charms. Those people are allowed to find it ugly, but the intentions of this little gift is to bring good luck for the new year. Lucky charms in Germany include: “Glückspilze” (lucky mushrooms), ladybugs, four-leaf clovers, and little pigs.

So, everyone has different traditions and different plans to celebrate the coming of the new year. Every person, every family, and all cultures are unique and different in their own ways.

About the Writer
Lilian White, Staff Writer

Lilian White is 15 years old and a Sophomore, she enjoys reading, listening to music, drawing, and writing to her heart's content. Some of her favorite...

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