A new year is the beginning of a new chapter: 2024. New Year's Day is one of the many world-wide celebrations, and there are many different ways people celebrate. Numerous people in the United States watch the ball drop; however, Idaho had the potato drop in Boise. Although commemorating a new year is common, not all countries celebrate the same way.
In Brazil some people celebrate by jumping in the ocean for a relaxing and refreshing dip. When midnight strikes, they jump into seven waves and make seven wishes. Before jumping into the water, it is traditional to wear all white, symbolizing purity, by showing the association with light. In Spain and many Latino countries most people eat 12 grapes which symbolizes each strike of the clock. The tradition of las doce uvas de la suerte, the 12 grapes of luck, started in the late 19th century and is believed to ward off evil while boosting the chances of a prosperous and lucky new year. Peopletry to eat all the grapes by the time the clock finishes striking midnight; each grape counts as a new year's wish. In India the people build a sculpture of an old man and burn it down. The burning symbolizes the passing of grievances and having space for the new year to be born. In Japan they celebrate the new year by eating a warm bowl of soba noodles. The tradition dates back to the Kamakura period in 1185 and is tied to a Buddhist temple giving out the noodles to the poor. This is mostly because the noodles are soft and firm, yet easy to bite. In Canada they usually ice fish to celebrate the holiday. Even though it is freezing cold, it does not stop them from participating in winter sports. Families rent heated huts and cooking equipment; therefore, they can enjoy their feast with loved ones on the spot. Colombian citizens ring in the new year by placing three potatoes (peeled, unpeeled, and partially peeled) under each family member's bed. At midnight, each family member picks one of the three potatoes under their bed. The chosen potato represents the wealth of their year: fortunate, unfortunate, or a mix of both.
Celebrating with all these traditions like ice fishing, eating, burning down statues and so much more must be so much fun. There are many ways different cultures celebrate the new year. Happy 2024!
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