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New Year’s Traditions

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Image by wouter! via Flickr

Not so interesting for those of you in Japan, Australia or New Zealand, who are already well into the partying by now (at least, I hope so), but here are some of the questions you may have been asking yourself about New Year‘s Celebrations around the world, with answers from some great specific websites.

Why do people try and eat 12 grapes with the chimes of midnight here in Spain? Well, tradition says it’s because it will bring you 12 happy months in the following year. Although you should try and take out the pips (seeds) first and I also know some people who peel the grapes. Is this cheating? Tradition says nothing about it …

Why is New Year’s Eve so strongly associated with an ancient Scottish song (Auld Lang Syne) that nobody can really understand or remember the words to? And what on earth is Hogmanay? First things first. According to infoplease, Auld Lang Syne was written by the Scottish poet Robbie Burns and asks if we will remember friends in the future and honour their memory when they are no longer with us. Fast forward to the 1920s. The Canadian band-leader Guy Lombardo heard the song in London, Ontario, sung by Scottish immigrants. When he and his band played Auld Lang Syne at a New Year’s Eve party in New York in 1929, a tradition was born. Hogmanay is the name for the celebrations in Scotland, with a number of different possible origins for the name:

There are many theories about the derivation of the word “Hogmanay”. The Scandinavian word for the feast preceding Yule was “Hoggo-nott” while the Flemish words (many have come into Scots) “hoog min dag” means “great love day”. Hogmanay could also be traced back to the Anglo-Saxon, Haleg monath, Holy Month, or the Gaelic, oge maidne, new morning. But the most likely source seems to be the French. “Homme est né” or “Man is born” while in France the last day of the year when gifts were exchanged was “aguillaneuf” while in Normandy presents given at that time were “hoguignetes”. Take your pick!

http://www.rampantscotland.com/know/blknow12.htm

The Edinburgh Hogmanay festivities are probably the most famous in the country, if not the world and this year is no exception – you can visit their website at http://www.edinburghshogmanay.org/ or just click on the picture up there on the left.

Wherever you are, have a great celebration and a happy 2010!

Sites worth looking at for more information:

http://www.english-zone.com/holidays/newyear-trads.html

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/newyearcelebrations.html

http://www.rampantscotland.com/know/blknow12.htm

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  1. December 31, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Happy new year for everybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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