MUSCODA_ This year more than in many years past, people are looking forward to ringing in the New Year. We are all seemingly ready to put 2020 behind us and hope for a joyous and new 2021.
All around the world and spanning across many cultures people have different traditions, big and small to ring in the new year.
Although for many the celebrations may look different this year, taking a step away from the swinging parties. Many fun and unique traditions can be incorporated at home with your family or pandemic pod.
New Years Eve also goes by many different names across the globe. In Scotland it is known as Hogmanay, in Singapore they celebrate Baru. In Germany they observe Silvester, in Mozambique it is known as Reveillon.
Not only does the celebration of the last day of the Gregorian Calendar go by different names in these countries but the celebrations are often slightly different as well.
According to Wikipedia.org, In Egypt the New Year is often rung in with Fireworks and vandalism. In Morocco, they refer to the day as Rass I’aam or “head of the year” and is celebrated in a similar fashion to those in America, with fireworks, dancing and lots of cake. In Argentina the New Year arrives during their summertime. Many families tend to gather and enjoy the beaches and family dinners filled with traditional dinners. In Chile people observe the New Year with many traditional rituals, such as wearing yellow underwear to restore vitality to your life or walking the streets with a suitcase in hand to help bring you the opportunity for travel in the new year. Traditional dishes usually consist of lentils for good luck and 12 grapes to symbolize wishes for each much of the coming year. In Trinidad many like to celebrate in their yard with family and neighbors, eating and drinking until sunrise. The celebration there however doesn’t start until midnight and the New Year celebration also marks the beginning of their carnival season as well. In Korea (both North and South) they call New Year’s Day Seoll-Nal. Traditionally they will eat a special soup called Tteok-Guk. This is a hot soup with thin, flat rice cakes and eggs. The Koreans believe that one would get to earn ones age if the soup is eaten. They say if one dares not to eat the soup on New Year’s Day, then he or she will lose luck. In Denmark families like to celebrate with traditional dishes like boiled cod and stewed kale and saddle of pork.
In the United States, New Year’s Eve is often celebrated lavishly. Many enjoy formal parties, fancy clothes and favorite dishes. Along with the traditional ball drop held in New York City’s Times Square.
Local families as well shared their new and time honored traditions for ringing in the New Year.
15-year-old Brittania Garcia shared “I normally have my best friend come over and we stay up until midnight playing games or watching silly YouTube Channels. This year will be different because of COVID but we will probably still hangout over Facetime.”
Local musician Andreas Transo shared that at his home they open the door at midnight to let out the old year and welcome the new.
Rebecca Eby shared “I felt like we had been looking for a family friendly tradition for years and then last year stumbled upon a fun one that really worked for us. Last year we had a Russian foreign exchange student. In his part of Russia they did not celebrate Christmas, but instead had many similar traditions based on the New Year’s Eve and Day. He was feeling a bit homesick so we planned a impromptu New Year’s Eve party. We called up local friends that day and invited them to stop by. We ended up having several families of all ages at our house. We had a few traditional Russian dishes as well as our typical snack food and beverages. A tradition our Russian “son” loved was fireworks at midnight so we asked all of our guests to scrounge up any sort of flashy firework item they could find. We didn’t expect much to be found in December, but were pretty impressed at the number of sparklers and interesting fireworks that showed up. So around 8 p.m. we trooped outside to ring in the New Year, Russian style with fireworks. All of our guests departed by 10 p.m. It’s one of my favorite NYE memories in the last 20 years. We hoped to replicate it again this year but thanks to COVID we are delaying plans but hope to reinstate our second annual Russian NYE party for next year.”
For many, New Year’s Eve traditions are often centered around favorite or special foods.
“Our New Year traditions include picking our favorite food and over indulging,” Shared Tina Wurzbach. “And always including sparkling grape juice. I usually make shrimp scampi for my husband and mine is usually some form of red sauce, garlic bread, and mozzarella. One year when my brother was about 11, he chose cheese puffs. The next day he woke up with a bad stomach ache and said “I’m never going to party that hard again!”
This year more than ever, we all will likely be looking for ways to brighten our spirits. Incorporating new traditions or bringing back old ones could help with this goal. Finding ways to make the day feel special while at home with family or your pandemic pod and carrying these traditions forward to be able to reflect on the hard times and the better days.
The New Year is not only a time for reflection but also a time to reset and include more self care in your routine.
The act of self care can look different for many people, and is perhaps a bit less stressful than attempting lofty resolutions.
“We all want a fresh start during the New Year,” Explained Life Coach and Blogger Stephanie Garcia. “We often will set grand goals for ourselves like losing 100 pounds or completely giving up something we love like sugar or soda. And when a few days in we slip up on our goals we feel down about ourselves and can fall back into our ‘old ways.’ Rather than setting such high expectations for ourselves and immediate results, we can start slow, we can start with some self care. Small steps towards a bigger picture. Instead of saying you’re going to cut out soda completely-cold turkey, try setting the goal of drinking one less soda and one more glass of water for a month. And then when you accomplish that go for two. Start going for short walks instead of going for an extreme workout at the gym every day. Work up to it. Think of things you enjoy and try to make more time for them. Even small things like taking a extra long shower once a week or enjoying a drive on a nice day can be very relaxing ‘me time.’ Which positively affects your overall health.”
Other suggestions for self care during the New Year include:
•Eat something green at every meal
•Minimize or cut down on screen time
• Cutting out social media for one full day a week
•Do a selfless act like donating towards a good cause or volunteer work
•Deep clean your home
•Leave small self love notes for yourself
•Read ten pages a day
•Pick up the phone and call someone
•Do one task you’ve been putting off
•Carry a water bottle with you for the whole day and drink, drink drink!
•Try and get to sleep 30 minutes earlier than usual
•Sit up straighter
•Treat yourself to something special, once in a while!
From all of us at the Muscoda Progressive, Boscobel Dial and Morris Newspapers we are wishing you a happy, safe and prosperous New Year!