One of the most popular ways of bringing in the New Year is with a big firework display. They occur all over the world as the clock strikes midnight, ending the last moment of the year and the first second of the new year. In New York City, a huge glowing ball is lowered down a flagpole to signal the new year. In Spain, people reach for grapes and eat one grape for every strike of the clock leading to midnight. The idea is that every grape you eat will ensure 12 good months in the new year. In Romania, people dress up as bears to chase away evil spirits. Japan and South Korea ring bells. In South Africa, people like to get rid of those things they no longer need, like throwing furniture out a window. In Brazil, there is a tradition to eat lentils as they represent money and good fortune. Italians have a custom of wearing red underwear. Greeks hang onions over their doors. In Denmark, they smash plates. In Ecuador, New Year’s Eve festivities are lit up with giant bonfires. Many countries also celebrate New Year’s Eve in the company of family and friends and share a special meal.
I have not particularly celebrated New Year’s Eve or rung in the new year with much fanfare in the past. Every year, I say, “This year I’m staying awake until midnight.” But inevitably I don’t. Often, it’s so cold outside that the lure of my flannel sheets far outweighs trying to keep my eyelids open. I know this worldwide celebratory event is the promise of a new year, a new beginning, a time to let go of any failures or disappointments of the past year and bring in the new year with no blunders or regrets in it yet. Have fun. Rejoice in the immense opportunity that might be in front of us. Sing and be merry.
But isn’t every day a new beginning?
Or maybe that’s just my excuse when I decide to crawl under my down comforter before the clock strikes midnight again this year.
Happy New Year! Wishing you a healthy and abundant 2023!
How did you find solace this week?
© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved