Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Little New Years History...!

First of all, let me wish everyone a Happy New Year...almost!

If nothing else, I think we can all say it's been an interesting year! Strange weather, strange politics (as always), and a strange series of events leading us into the unknown of 2012!

Because of all this strangeness, I wanted to calm things down by offering a little history about new years, OK?

New Year Traditions From Around the World

Many New Year customs that we take for granted actually date from ancient times. This year, ring out the old and ring in the new with a New Year tradition—or two!

Make Some Noise

In ancient Thailand, guns were fired to frighten off demons.

In China, firecrackers routed the forces of darkness.

In the early American colonies, the sounds of pistol shots rang through the air.

Today, Italians let their church bells peal, the Swiss beat drums, and the North Americans sound sirens and party horns to bid the old year farewell.

Eat Lucky Food

Many New Year's traditions surround food. Here are a few:

In the southern US, black-eyed peas and pork foretell good fortune.

Eating any ring-shaped treat (such as a donut) symbolize "coming full circle" and leads to good fortune. 

In Dutch homes, fritters called olie bollen are served.

The Irish enjoy pastries called bannocks.

The tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight comes from Spain.

In India and Pakistan, rice promises prosperity.

Apples dipped in honey are a Rosh Hashanah tradition.

In Swiss homes, dollops of whipped cream, symbolizing the richness of the year to come, are dropped on the floors (and allowed to remain there!)

Drink a Beverage

Although the pop of a champagne cork signals the arrival of the New Year around the world, some countries have their own traditions.

Wassail, the Gaelic term for "good health" is served in some parts of England.

Spiced "hot pot" is the Scottish version of Wassail. It's customary to drink a glass or two at home before sharing with neighbors.

In Holland, toasts are made with hot, spiced wine.

Give a Gift

New Year's Day was once the time to swap presents.

Gifts of gilded nuts or coins marked the start of the new year in Rome.

Eggs, the symbol of fertility, were exchanged by the Persians.

Early Egyptians traded earthenware flasks.

In Scotland, coal, shortbread and silverware are exchanged for good luck.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

In Scotland, the custom of first-footing is an important part of the celebration of Hogmanay, or New Year's Eve Day.

This practice holds that the first foot to cross a threshold after midnight will predict the next year's fortune. Although the tradition varies, those deemed especially fortunate as "first footers" are new brides, new mothers, those who are tall and dark (and handsome?) or anyone born on January 1.

I do hope the rest of this new years eve goes good for all of my friends! Please, be safe and take care of yourself. It wouldn't be any fun without you all around!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning! Bread is in the oven!


Anonymous said...

I don't think we here in Sweden have a tradition of our own. Mostly I think we have a mix of the things You wrote down. The churchbells starts at midnight and if one lives close to a harbour all the ships can be heard.

Firecrackers are forbidden (naturally we have them here anyway :-) :-) ) and most fireworks as well. I didn't know how much toxic metalls they actually spread! and lots of other chemicals that can give us cancer as well!

It will be a quiet change of year here where I live since fireworks and firecrackers are forbidden close to cattle. But if the night is clear I will be able to see some of the fireworks from the bigger towns not far away.

Have a good ending of this year and a Happy New Year!

HermitJim said...

Hey Christer...
However you celebrate the day, I wish the very best of a New Year, my friend!

I guess we all have our own ways to celebrate...all over the world!

Thanks so much for coming by throughout the past year, my friend!

Phyllis (N/W Jersey) said...

We are going to celebrate by having our neighbors over for my 5 layer lasagna! Yum!

Have a safe, healthy and fun
New Year!

And thanks for all the enjoyment you have given us in
2011. I can smell the bread now!

Modern Day Redneck said...

And Happy New Year to you my friend.

Ben in Texas said...

I wish you a good, healthy new year that continues all year long.

Thanks for all your post this year and all you have taught us.

Stay well my Friend.

Momlady said...

I wish you good health and much happiness.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Thank you for teaching us many things this past year and I, for one, hope you continue to do so. Have a healthy and happy 2012.

HermitJim said...

Hey Gorges...
Glad you found it so, my friend!

Happy New Year to you! Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Phyllis...
That lasagna sounds pretty good to me! Haven't had it in a long time!

I hope you have a safe and happy New Year! Thanks for coming over for a visit today!

Hey Redneck...
Here's hoping that you and the family have a safe and very happy New Year!

Thanks for your visit!

Hey Ben...
I hope the New Year brings you all the fun you can stand, and the health and happiness you deserve!

Thanks for your your friendship this past year, buddy, and for your visits!

Hey Momlady...
I do hope the new year brings good fortune and health your way!

I wish nothing but the very best for you and the family!

Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Dizzy...
Wishing nothing but health and happiness for you and the Mrs. this New Year.

Peace and prosperity this New Year, my friend!

Thanks for your kind support!

chinasyndrome said...

Happy New Year Jim! It has indeed been a strange year.All the best!


JO said...

Interesting things other country's do to move to the New Year.
I have learned so much from your posts again this year and I thank you. I have enjoyed reading your blog for quite a few years now and wouldn't miss it for anything. I will send a toast your way tonite my Special One.
Happy New Year. :)

TROUBLEnTX said...

Keep up the good work, always good to drop in for that coffee.
Have a Good New Year!!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year!
Long long and prosper.:D

HermitJim said...

Hey China...
Strange or not, it has been interesting!

My friend, I sure do thank you for hanging with us and dropping by from time to time for a cup!

Happy New Year to you and the home folks! Thanks so much for coming by!

Hey JoJo...
My very special friend! It has been a long time for us, hasn't it?

Here's hoping that our friendship stays strong through the next year!

I'll lift my cup to ya, sweetie, and toast to your continued good fortune!

Happy New Year to you and Mr. Fred!

HermitJim said...

Hey Trouble...
Here's hoping the New Year brings you plenty of good health and fortune!

Try and stay out of trouble, ya hear?

Thanks for the visit and Happy New Year!

Hey Wolfdancer...
I hope the New Year greets you with good health, full pockets, and all the happiness you can stand!

Good to see you again! Happy New Year and thanks for coming by!

Mayberry said...

Where DO you find all this stuff? Always interesting to drop by for a little edjumacation! Happy New Year Jim!

HermitJim said...

Hey Craig...
Thanks to the Old Farmer's Almanac and, I never seem to be lacking for something to talk about!

If I were to start talking politics or the like, I would get way too sick to enjoy Blogging! Makes me ill, ya know?

Guess I'll just have to keep my heavier discussions quiet until I get around like minded folks, such as the fine folks at Texas PatCom 2012, if you know what I mean!

I'm looking forward to seeing you there, buddy! Should be a pleasant get-together!

Thanks for coming by, and Happy New Year!

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