Around the World at Midnight
Bring in 2014 with a brand new tradition from countries across the globe.
Around the world, people bring in the new year with many different traditions. One tradition that most countries have in common is a New Years Eve celebration including boundless amounts on liquor and champagne, and involves a pounding headache on the first day of the new year. In NYC, one tradition many people follow is to keep the celebration going into the next day for brunch. Richard Sandoval’s Maya Modern Mexican Tequileria (1191 First Avenue, 212.585.1818) is offering a bottomless hangover brunch to provide the perfect cure for your January 1st headache. From 10:30AM to 3:00PM, the restaurant will provide a brunch that includes unlimited small plates and free flowing brunch drinks (because they say the best way to cure a hangover is to keep drinking).
Other New Years Eve traditions in America involve the ball dropping at Times Square, kissing at midnight in order to prevent a year of loneliness, and eating a stew made of black-eyed peas to symbolize economic prosperity in the year to come.
In other countries, people bring in the new year with traditions that may seem strange to us. In Spain, it’s a custom to quickly eat 12 grapes (uvas) at each stroke of the clock at midnight. Each of the 12 grapes signifies good luck for each of the 12 months of the year. Bottles of cava are passed around in celebration. In Ecuador, teenage boys dress up as females (known as viudas of the Año Viejo or widows of the past year), and dance provocatively around the city. Another tradition in Ecuador is to make scarecrows and burn them at midnight. Each family burns their scarecrow outside of their homes. This tradition is meant to destroy all the bad things that happened in the previous year and to scare bad luck away in the coming year.
In Mexico and Brazil, a tradition many people follow is to wear colorful underwear. The reasoning for this is that many people believe that the color of your underwear will influence the kind of year you will have. Yellow is worn for prosperity and success, red for romance, white for peace and green for health. In Germany and Austria, it’s customary to heat up lead on a spoon, then pour it into cold water. The shape of the mixture will give you some insight as to what’s ahead of you in the upcoming year. In Denmark they bring in the new year by throwing old glasses and plates at the doors of relatives and friends houses. Another tradition is to stand on a chair and jump off of it at midnight. This is supposed to signify leaping into the new year in order to banish bad spirits and bring good luck.
While many of these traditions may seem a bit unusual (or could lead to a huge mess New Years Day) why not try them out this year? You could end up with a great 2014, or a brand new tradition to pass down.