It’s a question of… New Year’s Eve traditions

Up until I was about 17, I always spent New Year’s Eve with my parents. After that, it started getting complicated. I remember the first New Year’s party I went to “on my own” as a big deception, ending with me cleaning up while my drunken friends were either being sick or doing things they’d later regret.

For years on row in fact, the celebrations were, well, not much fun. It would start with weeks of discussing where to spend New Year’s Eve and with whom. Once this question had been solved, there would be the endless “what shall I wear” one… followed by a party that never lived up to expectations.

There are however a few New Year’s Eves I remember fondly. One was with friends I have known since school at what might have been the first real New Year’s dinner we put together. We had finally reached the age where eating real food sitting down was no longer “uncool”.

It must be mentioned that not many of these friends originated from the same country. So as we were approaching midnight, everyone started preparing different things to welcome the New Year.  Where I come from (Denmark) we either jump over string or off a sofa when the clock strikes twelve (to symbolise jumping into the New Year). Pretty simple compared to my Peruvian friend who started running round the block with a suitcase (to assure that she would be travelling) while my Spanish friend was frantically popping grapes into his mouth 12 seconds before midnight (a grape and a wish each time the clock chimed). Another friend (Italian) was strangely throwing things out of the window (to get rid of the old year), I think my Salvadorian friend was the one eating lentils (for luck) and I later found out (I won’t tell you how…) that another of my Latin American friends was wearing yellow underwear (to attract money). (I’ve forgotten what my Swedish friend was doing under the table, but it might not be related to New Year’s Eve traditions…).

In other words, thanks to all these different traditions, we had a wonderful night – and all jumped into the New Year with grapes and lentils in our mouths and a saucepan filled with coins (I can’t recall why and whose tradition that was).

This year, I’m spending New Year’s Eve with my parents. It’s become a “new” tradition since my son was born and it’s a wonderful way to start the year (and not only because of the good food). The program will be the same as every year: we’ll listen to the Queen’s speech, we’ll watch Dinner for one (“same procedure as last year”), my father and my son will shoot off fireworks, and at midnight we’ll all hold hands and jump over a string into the New Year.

Wherever you are and whatever traditions you have,

I wish you and your love ones a very Happy 2010.

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11 Comments

Filed under Everything counts

11 responses to “It’s a question of… New Year’s Eve traditions

  1. Gill

    In the UK the tradition is for someone to “first foot”.

    This means that I will be inside and hubby will be sent out before the stroke of 12 so he can be the first person to enter the house, bearing, coal, salt, bread, and coins, to bring good luck for the coming year :)

    Great to see Dinner for One again! :)

  2. Jicé & Virgie

    Well, after your last posts I had to translate, with my little better English than her’s, to my wife, (I suspect her pretending not to understand, which is, I find, very typical for French people, maybe I should pretend, as my father did, not being able to boil an egg!…) we have decided this year to “mix” different things in order to bring us, at last, luck (!) for 2010…

    I have understood that everybody now agrees scribbling down on a bay leaf his most important thing to reach or his most important think to leave (by the way, isn’t it possible to do both? and does it have to be on different ones?) but we will also comply to the old tradition which consists of kissing your lover under the misteltoe.

    I really hope that the blue moon will have this “Super Power” on our wishes and we all wish you all a very nice evening, à good jump and that all your wishes will realise in 2010!

    Happy new year!

    • I also wish you all the very best in 2010 – it was one of my New Year’s wishes. Though I know you’re strong and will overcome this stupid, stupid disease.

  3. ʎʌɹnʇ ʎsdoʇ

    Well, Christmas is done and dusted…

    2009 is almost a memory…

    Here’s wishing everyone a fantastic 2010.

  4. Jingle

    Yes,
    When I was in college, we party, dance in new year’s eve…
    now, in a marriage, with 2 kids,
    not partying that much..
    we celebrate Christmas as a tradition of giving, loving, and sharing, but little is done to celebrtae new year.

    Inspiring thoughts, great motivations.

  5. sandrine

    First of all sorry for my bad english …
    It was really funny to read this article and inspiring!!!
    Eating lentils is an italian tradition
    but I can understand you can mix all this traditions when you have so many in one party.

    Go on writing like that : it is a big pleasure!

  6. Jingle

    Are you ready for new start?
    Hope that you have a fulfilling day.

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