The New Year is a time when we remember the old and look forward to the new. Many cultures around the world celebrate this transition with traditions that both say goodbye to the past and embrace the future with hopes and wishes. We’ve collected some of the world’s New Year’s traditions to inspire your celebration.
Clean your house for a fresh start. Many cultures spend New Year’s Eve scrubbing and sweeping their homes so that they can start the new year off fresh and clean. Washing away the old and making way for the new is a common theme amongst New Year’s traditions, and, if you’re going to practice this one, you’ll want to make sure you use healthy and non-toxic cleaners to keep your family safe as 2016 begins.
In Spain, New Year’s revelers eat 12 grapes as the clock strikes midnight. Make a wish for each grape as you eat it. Sweet grapes mean a pleasant future forecast. But be careful! If you get some sour grapes, it means that unpleasant challenges may be in your future.
Looking to add more travel to the new year? Try running with your luggage. Pack a bag full of items that represent where you’d like to go, and, as the clock strikes midnight, run around the block with your bag in hand. If you don’t have a block to run around, run up and down the stairs a few times.
If you want your new year to bring you wealth and prosperity, make sure you have money in your hand as the clock strikes midnight. If you’re short on cash, be like the Italians and eat lentils as the clock strikes midnight. This is also said to bring economic abundance in the new year.
Was 2015 a bad year for you? Try burning the bad. Write down all of the things that you’d like to forget from the last year on a piece of paper, and, as you celebrate the arrival of 2016, burn that paper. As the paper turns to char, the bad memories of the previous year will disappear. (But make sure you practice fire safety, or you’ll start the year off with new bad memories!)
If forgetting the bad memories of 2015 is your goal but you aren’t keen on fire, you can be like those in Latin America and throw out the bad in a bucket of water. When the clock strikes midnight, throw water out a window. The water represents the suffering and tears you’ve experienced, and tossing them out the window ensures starting the new year with a clean slate.
Bonus: In South America, New Year’s is brought in by candlelight. As the year draws to a close, light a candle to brighten the new year with hopes for the future. Having financial troubles? Light a yellow candle. Need to improve your health? Light a green candle. Orange candles bring wisdom, and red candles bring love and passion. A blue candle brings about peace.What New Year’s traditions does your family celebrate?