PEARTREE LIFE: Experiencing Languages

Final chapter of 2018: New Year’s Eve

Last week we talked about Christmas’ traditions and, I know it’s not even Christmas yet, but it is time to talk about the end of the year: New Year’s Eve and some common traditions, some of them quite strange!


We all know the famous tradition of making new year resolutions. And every year, we generally forget about them before the middle of January. But here, we are talking about the traditions which are generally observed during the New Year’s Eve, either to get good luck or simply to perpetuate traditions for fun.

The first tradition is probably the most famous in the world.

In New York, there is a special tradition on New Year’s Eve. People gather round in Times Square to see the ball drop during the countdown to midnight. It is usually the occasion to have concerts and lots of confetti.

In the United Kingdom, there is a kissing tradition. It consists of kissing the first person next to you when the clock strikes 12. It doesn’t matter who the person is, a stranger or someone you love. This tradition has at least two different meanings: The first one is that it is a symbol of the rest of the new year, linked to the person who you kissed. If it is a member of your family or someone you care about, that means your relationship will be stronger during the new year, for example.
And the other meaning is to purify your spirit. During a masked ball, the mask refer to the bad actions and evil spirits. The action of kissing someone without a mask brings you purification.

In Japan, people gather around Buddhist temples and listen to the bells ringing. There is a specific number of times that a bell is rung: one hundred and eight times before midnight to purify you from your sins during the previous year. The Buddhist religion believes that there are one hundred and eight sins. So, those rings bring you a new harmony and should be able to avoid the sins for the new year.

In Spain, there is also a bell which is rung multiple times. Each time the bell rings, you have to eat a grape and the bell rings twelve times before midnight. If you are able to eat those twelve grapes during this time you will be lucky for the whole new year. Everyone tries, no matter their age. Also, you have to wear red underwear. Not just any red underwear you have, it should be given to you by someone else.

In France, this celebration is shared with friends. There are parties with champagne and dance. At midnight, there are fireworks.Everyone makes phone calls or sends a message, which make telecommunication networks very busy. Some brave people get in the sea to have a midnight swim.

Now, in Colombia, there are several traditions: The first one is to clean the house. By doing this, you sweep away all the negative energies and bad memories from the house and you can start the new year peacefully. The other one takes place on New Year’s Eve at midnight. You have to walk around your block with your suitcase and this will bring you many adventures and trips for the new year.

What about your new year traditions? Tell us everything about it!

Happy 2019!
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About Info Peartree

Peartree Languages is a language school located in Cardiff.

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