As is the custom, that on Christmas night we should all be better, on New Year’s Eve we must be noisier and happier …
The traditions, the most beautiful and curious things of any people, especially for foreigners, who do not know them. We Romanians have enough traditions to borrow to others …
On the night between the years, make a wish, and welcome the new coming year with high hopes!
In the old Romanian tradition, it is said that the greetings, wishes, and the noise on the eve of St. Basil (On 1 January Romanians celebrate this saint) aims as purpose the joy but also scare and drive away, the evil spirits.
One of the most beautiful traditions we have is the plow and the sorcova. The ones I grew up with and which were the most awaited moments of the whole year. This night between years, we Romanians, accompanied by a bell sing wishes in the format of songs or poems, similar to carols but intended and about the host who received us in his house. We wish them well for the new year, beautiful words, funny words, full of wisdom, luck, and health.
When I was a child, I always heard my grandmother telling my mother not to throw anything out of the house, not even the garbage, on New Year’s Eve. Because that’s how you throw luck.
You need to wear new or red coat to attract positive energies and beautiful things. And he asked my father if he had coins in his pockets, so as not to catch him poor but rich in the new year, to be more fruitful.
But Grandpa used to say, “When you move into the new year, you don’t have to owe nothing to anyone, because you’ll be in debt all year long.”
Sometimes I also heard my father, making jokes as if his mother-in-law hadn’t crossed the threshold of his house like the first person in the new year. For his grandmother had told him: “The first person to step on your doorstep in the new year will have a great influence in your house, all year round.”
According to the old saying, if a woman first steps on the doorstep of your house, then she brings bad luck, and if she is a man, she comes with a lot of luck.
Then I heard my parents and their friends jokingly say that you have to stay awake until morning because if you fall asleep, it means that you will be sleepy all year round.
On the night between the years but also the next day, you don’t have to cry, because if you do, you risk having a year full of sad events and troubles.
Italians eat lentils on New Year’s Eve, it symbolizes money wealth, the more you eat the richer you will be in the new year. Belgians in some parts of the country eat pickled cabbage and sausages. They put a coin under their plate, in order to have a richer year.
The Greeks have on the table a cake called “vassilopitta”, in which a gold or silver coin is placed. Whoever finds it, will smile and have good luck, all year round.
In Belarus, unmarried girls on New Year’s Eve have a few grains of corn in their hand to lure a rooster, if it goes around them, it means that in the new year they will get married.
The Russians open the doors and windows at midnight to enter the house the new year.
In Ireland, unmarried girls put mistletoe under their pillows to dream their future husbands.
The Scots say that the first person to step on their doorstep in the new year must be a man with dark hair and bring a gift. It, through these characteristics, brings good luck to the hosts for the whole new year.
The Spaniards eat 12 grape berries at each hour until 12 o’clock at midnight. These represent a wish, for each month of the new year. It depends on how is sweet or not the grain, so it will be, and the month of the new year. The Portuguese, like the Spaniards, only eat figs instead of grapes.
In Denmark, plates are broken at the neighbors’ door, the family that gathered the most shards in the door will be the luckiest next year.
In Japan, all debts must be paid, especially quarrels, and forgive mistakes. On December 31, families go to the temple to witness the 108 gongs hits. This figure represents the sins of a soul over the past year, and the gong blows drive away sins, purifying souls. On January 1, the children receive gifts with money inside and write their wishes and dreams on a piece of paper.
In South India, in a special box, mothers put flowers, food, and gifts for their children, which they will open on New Year’s Day.
In Central India, orange flags adorn all buildings.
For the Jews, this holiday is sacred, people think of the wrongs done and promise to be better for the future. The children receive new clothes as a gift and the dishes must be made of flour and fruit, in order to remind them of the harvest.
In Vietnam, people believe that in every house there is a god, who ascends to heaven on New Year’s Day. Up there, he will tell about the good or bad deeds of each family member. This God travels on the back of a carp, so people buy a live carp and release it into the river.
In the Philippines, the favorite clothes for this holiday are those with dots and the dishes in round form. This being the shape of the coins, they bring wealth and prosperity.
Brazilians, on this night between the years, take their colorful leggings as much as possible, in order to attract luck and love in the new year. Some Latin American countries, at 12 at night, wear a certain color, in order to have good luck. The yellow color is a sign of money and the red one brings good luck in love.
Each country or region has its own New Year’s superstitions or customs. Some have been modernized, preserved, or even forgotten by the younger generations.
What traditions do you know?
We received this year as a precious gift, just as we do with each new beginning, with hope in more beautiful and better things! This year that is ending, I hugged and wished him, I loved him and I thank him every day for this. Today, a new year is coming, which I wish to be healthy, happy, strong, with a warm and generous soul, to fulfill everything that today I only imagine and dream.
And that’s what I wish you too. You the one who is reading these lines. A special 2020, to be the way you want it to be, to be better, gentler, more loving, and happier! May this new year help you fulfill all your dreams, to write in its pages, everything you want, many surprises and happiness!
And as the ancestral saying goes, whoever died last year was buried last year. In other words, step into the new year with life, bury the lost ones in the past, look to the future and be beautiful and happy!
I hug you with all my heart!
Love and health
HAPPY NEW YEAR