Thursday, December 31, 2009

Do It. New Year's Eve traditions.

When the clock strikes twelve on New Year's Eve, people around the world express their excitement at the prospect of a new year and new beginnings in a variety of ways. Here are a sample of ways that people around the world christen the new year.

Twelve grapes: Also known as the twelve grapes of luck, this tradition is celebrated in many latin countries, it is tradition to eat twelve grapes as the clock hits midnight. At each chime, people are supposed to pop in one grape, and eat it before the next chime (which is said to be virtually impossible). The tradition started in Spain, specifically Puerta del Sol, Madrid. The twelve grapes are supposed to symbolize the last twelve seconds of the old year.

Anos viejos: In Ecuador, sawdust dummies are set ablaze at the stroke of twelve, symbolizing putting the bad things of the past behind you. Men dressed scantily as the "widows" of the effigies go around the streets mockingly asking for money to pay for their "husband's" (the dummy's) funeral.

Hogmanay: Those Scottish really get into the spirit with a four-day celebration, including parades and music festivals including traditional Celtic music, jazz, electronica, and almost every type of music you can think of. Because Christmas was banned in Scotland for nearly 400 years, the Scots really got into celebrating the New Year.

Pictures of Hogmanays past look less like a celebration, and more like a revolution, but the fireworks look spectacular.

Pictured above is a Hogomanay celebration. Other celebrations depict Scots marching through the streets with banners, and cleaning the house became a tradition.

-- Lauren Williams

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