Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Traditions Around The World

by: Stephanie Burkhart

Around the world, New Years Eve is traditionally celebrated on 31 DEC, which is the final day of the Gregorian calendar. Interestingly enough, it wasn't until 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII established the Gregorian calendar, which most of the western world now uses.

One of the first major New Years celebrations takes place in Sydney, Australia. Why? It's one of the first major cities after the International Date Line. Sydney's fireworks have a rich history of being transmitted all over the world.

In Brazil, New Years marks the beginning of the summer holidays. Brazilians like to light candles in the sand and jump over 7 waves in the ocean – for good luck of course.

The Czechs get started early. In Prague, fireworks start before noon and increase in frequency until midnight.

In Denmark, they get rowdy. Old dishes are saved throughout the year then thrown at friends or neighbor's doors on New Years for good luck.

The French call New Years eve "la Saint-Sylvestre," and celebrate with a feast that includes oysters, seafood, and champagne.

In Berlin, Germany, they shoot fireworks off centered around the Brandenburg Gate. In 1990, I remember visiting the Brandenburg Gate with my husband and friend, Rhonda, whose husband was stationed in Berlin. We did a shot of Bailey's under the Gate and toasted 1991. I guess it was lucky – My husband and I married in 1991!

In America, several events mark the New Year. The big ball in New York's Time Square is dropped. It’s a tradition that started in 1907. The Tournament of Roses Parade, which is held in Pasadena, CA, began in 1886.


This song was written in 1788 by the Scottish folk poet, Robert Burns. The worlds "auld lang syne" translate to "old long since." It was an old way of saying "the good old days." The song is about letting go of the past and looking forward to the future.


Are practically non-existent! This is the 1st time in 10 years I'll be home with my husband (and not working!) to celebrate. I think we'll have a nice dinner with seafood and champagne, share a kiss at midnight for good luck and eat a donut for more good luck before going to bed.

Pathetic, aren't I? Would anyone like to share their New Years traditions or recipes?

Stephanie Burkhart's most recent release was a short story in the Borealis Two Anthology called "Shadows and Light." It's a science-fiction romance set on a space station, released with Desert Breeze Publishing.

You can find me on the web at:
and on FB at:

Visit my other New Year's Blogs:

At Romance Under The Moonlight, answer my New Years trivia and you can possibly win one of my autographed books. Here's a link:

Visit the Desert Breeze Publishing blog and take a look at the history of New Years. It will be out tomorrow on 1 JAN 2011. Here's a link:

Have a happy and prosperous 2011!


Jillian said...

Wonderful info, Steph. I love the plate throwing tradition!

StephB said...

They're wild in Denmark, aren't they Jillian?

Zequeatta Jaques said...

Interesting post,Steph. I have to say that my husband and I won't be doing anything exciting. Probably just eat a quiet meal and watch the festivities on TV.

Mona Risk said...

Steph, thanks for sharing these international New Year celebrations. For New Year, my husband and I always get together with friends for drinks, dinner, music and dancing either at someone's house or in a complex club that can accomodate more people. We try not to drive far from our house. I hate driving far with so many people maybe drunk around. Happy New Year to you and your family.

Savanna Kougar said...

Hi Steph, I think I'd go the French way if I could, along with dancing and fireworks. But, I'll be spending a quiet night on my tame prairie. Well, that is, unless they shoot fireworks off... which happened last year.

Danielle Thorne said...

I enjoyed learning about all those different world wide traditions. It makes Americans look rather low key!

Happy New Year!

StephB said...

Zequeatta, Hey, that's what my husband and I have planned, too.

Mona, that sounds like fun and I wish we had that opportunity - but I only know a handful of people in Castaic that I'd like to do that with. LOL!! Sad, aren't I?

Savanna, nothing wrong with being tame. I'm shooting for that myself. I'll watch the ball drop on TV. Times Square looks too cold!

Dani, I'd love to go back to Berlin for New Years. Maybe in another 10 years... That New Years was special to me - it was Brent and mine's first together.


Gina said...

Hi Stephanie, this was so interesting! You've inspired me to dust off that passport in 2011. This evening my husband, sister and I are meeting up with friends in downtown Providence for First Night fun and a Waterfire. I'm glad it's nice & mild here almost 50 degrees so I won't freeze tonight! Happy New Year to everyone!!!

Kathy said...

HI Stephanie I will share some Texas style traditions. I always heard growing up to eat black-eyed peas for good luck on New Years. When I was growing up we had a lunch or dinner family gathering thing and served black-eyed peas. I met some people that say oh you have to eat them at midnight and eat cabbage for money. The only way I will eat cabbage is KFC coleslaw period. Not any other brand lol. Last year I worked hubby wasn't feeling good I'm not sure we had those items. This yea sucked so I will be finding some black-eyes and KFC coleslaw. I kind of shrugged it off too last year. But now I wonder wouldn't you if you had to make major life changing decisions, and hubby has been in and out of hospitals and undere the weather all year. Some would say it would have happened anyway. But part of me goes really? I think I will be eating some peas and coleslaw to be safe-lol. Happy New Year everyone!

Kathy said...

We will have a VERY tame New Year's Eve I doubt they will let me stay with him in the ICU until after midnight. So I will go back to his brother's house and hang out with them. I didn't mention Jim and I also met 40 years ago tonight on a blind date. Then we married 1 month and 19 days later. So much for celebrating this year.

StephB said...

Enjoy the fun! Feels good to get out a little bit, doesn't it?

Congratulations on all your years together. It's amazing when love strikes, isn't it? You just know. My husband and I dated for 2 months before he asked me to marry him.

I have a blog post going up tomorrow tomorrow that talks about good luck foods and black-eyed peas are good luck! Cabbage is too. LOL!! about the coleslaw. I like it in the Panda Express veggies and I like to make stuffed cabbage as well, but this year we're going DUTCH and eating donuts for good luck!


Grace Elliot said...

Lovely post!
Happy romancing in 2011.
Grace x

Lindsay Townsend said...

Fascinating, Steph! Thanks so much for sharing. Happy 2011!