How do other countries celebrate New Year's Eve?
What are some New Year's Eve traditions around the world?
Hi Marcy, besides the ones that I discussed in that article you came across (am I allowed to post the link here? http://pollyannajones.hubpages.com/hub/ … t-16096548 Please delete if it's not permitted, I am a bit new to HubPages! :-) ), in Annascaul, Ireland they march through the streets with torches and flaming pitchforks, to welcome in the New Year. I believe it is from a tradition to scare away the bad spirits and bring luck to the new year. I am not sure if this sort of thing takes place across Ireland, but it certainly happens in County Kerry.
In Wales, and the bordering south west Forest of Dean area in Gloucestershire, England, there is a tradition to give gifts of an apple, decorated with cloves that is mounted on three sticks (like a tripod) to the children. This is known as a Calennig.
Wales also is home to the Mari Lwyd. This is a person disguised with a sheet, with a horses skull, who goes with a procession from house to house (pubs included). When the door is answered, there is a contest of poems or songs, to bring good luck. The Mari Lwyd would be rewarded with food or drink.
Similarly, throughout England, there is the practice of Mumming that takes place over the winter period, with New Year's Day being a notable calendar event for the mummers. These fellows wear guises and perform plays that tell all sorts of historical tales, but the key theme is always the death and rebirth of a king of some sort (representing Christ, or the sun). I'm off to see one of these tomorrow, it should be good fun!
These are so interesting! Thanks, Pollyanna - and enjoy those you get to celebrate!
The Russians throw one Hell of a party, at least they did when I was in Leningrad during Perestroika. They put up trees decorated with tinsel and shiny balls just like our Christmas trees, minus religious-style ornaments and called them "New Years Trees". Then they celebrated Father Winter and the Snow Maiden, who paid us a visit. Today Now that religion is legal, they probably have gone back to their traditional Father Christmas.
We ate and drank until midnight. I stuffed on all kinds of foods, including caviar which I do not like, and little cakes and pastries. Liquor of all kinds was served, vodka, brandy, good wines. also Russian and provincial beers. After that we danced until we literally fell out with exhaustion. I danced with Father Winter. I was honored and surprised when he asked me to dance, but he may have singled me out because I was obviously an American.
I returned to my hotel room expecting to have a bad hangover in the morning, but I woke up refreshed and with no after effects. We were staying in a native Russian hotel, not a hotel for foreign tourists, so we were served native Russian foods and liquors. I'm not sure how the travelers in the tourist hotels fared because the native liquors, including vodka, don't have the additives that give the drinker the morning-after hangover.
As I stated, that was New Years 1990 and I'm sure that customs have changed with the loosening of politics. I would like to go back and visit now that the restrictions are off to see how they are celebrating.
Thanks for the opportunity for the trip down memory lane. Maybe someone else can tell us how much has changed at Christmas there in 25 years.
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