The New Year’s Eve tradition is not only Spanish, in almost all the countries of the world they say goodbye to the year in a very peculiar way, with rituals to attract good luck and ward off bad omens.
As we already know, our tradition is characterised by eating twelve grapes to the rhythm of the twelve chimes that signal the arrival of the new year.
This rite ensures that whoever completes the operation without choking will have good luck in the following twelve months. These grapes are usually accompanied by a glass of cava to toast to the New Year and to help the grapes go down better.
As we said at the beginning, this peculiar night is full of magic, wishes and rituals, we leave you with the countries that we have found really curious, perhaps because they are so opposite to our tradition.
To begin with, if we talk about ‘fire and water’, we should highlight Argentina, where the tradition of fire is performed, the rite is to burn wooden and paper dolls that they have previously built, it is a way of getting rid of all the bad things that the year that is coming to an end has brought. In Thailand, on the other hand, people throw buckets of water at each other in the hope of attracting abundant rain for the coming year, and they also release birds from their cages and fish from their fish tanks into the river for good luck.
THE KISS, USA
We continue with ‘affection’, and here the Americans are the most romantic, they believe that not giving a kiss just after midnight on the last night of the year ensures 365 years of loneliness. Also, don’t forget the typical New Year’s Eve in New York where the lowering of the crystal ball in Times Square marks the beginning of the year. Meanwhile, in Denmark, people take advantage of this special date to show their friends and family how much they are ‘loved’. And how do they do it? By throwing the old dishes they have accumulated in front of the doors of their homes.
If we talk about ‘cleanliness’, in Mexico they celebrate the new year with some peculiar traditions such as sweeping the house from the inside out so that the new year will only bring ‘clean’ luck, and others say that walking around with a suitcase that night will favour travel in the following months.
In China, they celebrate their new year over nine days, the rite they follow is to clean the house thoroughly in order to eliminate any remaining bad luck from the year that is coming to an end, and don’t forget the dragons in the streets of all the cities.
Gastronomy’ also plays an important role at the beginning of the new year. In Italy, it is essential to eat a plate of lentils if you want to have a new year full of good fortune, and they also have the custom of throwing old junk out of the window to put an end to the past and express the wish to start a new year on the right foot.
Germans, on the other hand, usually wait until after midnight before throwing away dinner leftovers as a way of ensuring that there will be no shortage of food in the pantry throughout the year.
APPLES WITH HONEY, ISRAEL
While in Israel, the tradition is to eat apples dipped in honey to make the coming year sweet. In addition, on the Jewish New Year in September or October, it is customary to go to the synagogue to pray and prepare a special meal with the custom of blowing the shofar, a ram’s horn.
POLKA DOTS, PHILIPPINES
And if we talk about ‘clothes’, we must highlight the custom in the Philippines, the streets are dressed in polka dots, as in this country polka dots are associated with coins, and the clothes with which the citizens dress must have at least one inside pocket in which they put some coins that will ring when the clock strikes midnight.
Finally, the Japanese tradition is undoubtedly the most mystical of these ten. The Japanese celebrate the beginning of a new year by placing decorated bamboo trees on their doorsteps. On 31 December, the bells of city buildings are rung 108 times, so that each person can get rid of up to 108 problems. After the chimes, people burst into laughter, because with laughter, the ‘bad spirits’ leave.
In any case, all these traditions have the same purpose, to chase away the bad of the dying year and to attract the good of the coming year.
For us it is very important to do it with grapes because in each of the 12 grapes we place 1 wish and with it all the illusion that one of them will come true.
The work that Uvasdoce carries out is really gratifying as they are in charge of bringing luck or illusion to most homes.
We can also do it in a very different way, with a format or design for each occasion. This year we have also thought of all those who do not finish the ritual of the 12 grapes and for this reason we have created and designed a new fresh and ready-to-eat product, the 12 MINIGRAPES. We haven’t forgotten the little ones either and we have created a children’s version of the 12 MINIGRAPES, the PEQUEUVAS DE LA SUERTE by Uvasdoce.