New Year’s Eve is going to look and feel differently this year, but we won’t let that stop us from giving a warm welcome to 2021!
New Year’s Eve may be a bit quieter this year. But never fear, the ball will still drop in Times Square and we’ll still see Ryan Seacrest on our television screen. The focus of the NYC Times Square virtual celebration will be to honor essential workers.
According to the Associated Press, the celebration will honor perseverance as we move forward into the new year, Gloria Gaynor will be singing “I Will Survive”. “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest in 2021” will feature a performance by Jennifer Lopez. So do try to make this a fun and happy time and enjoy honoring some of these New Year’s Eve/Day traditions.
In the Southern United States our New Year’s celebrations center around food. Black-eyed peas or Hoppin’ John (black-eyed peas cooked with bacon, fatback, ham bones or hog jowls, pepper sauce or hot pepper vinegar and rice) are served with collard greens and cornbread for good luck in the coming year. Black-eyed peas symbolize coins, collard greens symbolizes money and cornbread symbolizes gold. And here’s a fun fact to take into the new year – black-eyed peas are actually beans!
We enjoy sauerkraut or coleslaw because the long strands of cabbage represent long life. Pork is also a popular New Year’s dish. Chickens and turkeys scratch the ground backwards, but pigs root the ground with their snouts moving forward – the same way we want the new year to move forward in a positive fashion. That’s also why some cultures eat fish to celebrate the new year, because fish swim forward.
Ever wonder why we clink glasses when we toast the new year? In medieval times glasses were clinked along with noise making to ward off evil spirits. A bit of champagne was spilled on the floor so that the evil spirits would lap up the spilled champagne and leave everyone alone.
The expression “toast” comes from the 16th century tradition of putting pieces of spiced toast in wine. Back then, wine was not as sophisticated as it is today, so the toast help to soak up some of the acidity of the poor quality wine.
Most languages have an expression for “cheers” or “to your good health”. Spanish: “Salud”; German: “Prost”; Danish: “Skal”, French: “Sante” and Japanese: “Kanpai”.
As the clock chimes at midnight on New Year’s Eve, the people of Spain eat 12 grapes, one at each stroke of the clock. This tradition started in the early 1900’s as a marketing gimmick by grape producers who found themselves with a bumper crop of grapes to sell.
In Japan, they will be eating soba noodles on New Year’s Eve. These long noodles represent long life and prosperity.
In Greece, it is customary to throw a pomegranate at the front door of your house at midnight on New Year’s Eve. The more seeds that fall out the more blessings and good luck that the house will have in the new year.
King cakes are enjoyed around the world on New Year’s Eve. A gold coin is hidden in the cake and whoever finds the coin in their slice of cake will have good luck in the coming year.
Will your New Year’s Eve celebration be different this year? How will you ring in the new year at the stroke of midnight on December 31?