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New Year Traditions

Submitted by on December 29, 2011 – 7:00 amNo Comment

By Liz Mangelsdorf

New Year’s Eve is the quintessential day for reflecting on the old year and getting ready to start the new one with fresh ideas, thoughts and motivation to carry you thru the upcoming year. Many families usher in the new year with special new year traditions.

At our house we carry on a tradition that was passed down to my husband from his dad, passed on from his dad. On New Year’s Eve, one child stands at the back door with a broom and symbolically sweeps out the old year (and all the bad luck of that year), at the same time, another child stands at the front door with a broom and sweeps in the new year.  (It should really happen at midnight, but given the age of our children we do it before bedtime). The kids love using a broom and it is a fun way to involve them in the changing of the new year.

I read that in Germany it is actually good luck to see a chimney sweep on New Year’s Day.

In Texas, I have found that people eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day, “eat peas today and have plenty of everything for the rest of the year.”

In Spain, people eat 12 grapes hoping for 12 happy months in the coming year.

In the Netherlands, people burn bonfires on the streets of the old Christmas trees and garlands to symbolize purging of the old and to welcome the new.

In Greece they will bake a St. Basil’s cake with a silver or gold coin inside and whoever gets the coin in their piece will have good luck in the New Year.

Some of the most common traditions here in the US are to drink champagne, kiss at midnight, set off fireworks and sing Auld Lang Syne.

As 2011 comes to a close, I challenge your family to adopt a New Year’s tradition or create your own!

An old Scottish tune, “Auld Lang Syne” literally means “old long ago,” or simply, “the good old days.”
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

And there’s a hand my trusty fiere,
And gie’s a hand o thine,
And we’ll take a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

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