When it comes to ringing in the New Year on December 31st, people in most cities around the world celebrate in a similar fashion. People join family and friends to eat delicious food, listen to music, drink champagne or other traditional drinks, and watch gorgeous firework displays. However, amidst these similar celebrations, there are many traditional differences that vary from country to country.
Planning to jet set this New Year’s Eve? The following information will help you to fit right in, celebrating the New Year around the world like a native.
Headed to Brazil?
If you’re headed to São Paulo, Brazil, practice saying, “Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo,” which means, “Good Parties and Happy New Year.” It’s also important that you wear white, which is symbolic of the peace, harmony and balance you desire in the upcoming year. But, in case you think that tradition is a bit boring, you will have a chance to be specific with your choice of underwear that night. Brazilians don new, brightly colored underwear on New Year’s Eve, symbolizing their wishes for the new year:
- Red = passion and desire
- Yellow = money
- Blue = power and action
- Pink = love
- Purple = transformation
But hey, you don’t have to be in Brazil to do as the Brazilians do…
How about the Philippines?
The Philippines are an excellent place to get away from cold winter weather and celebrate the New Year in tropical style. Before you get to the party, you may want to shop for some clothing with polka dots, as these round accents symbolize a prosperous New Year. Greet your friends with a hearty, “Manigong Bagong Taon sa Inyo!” That translates directly as, “A prosperous New Year to you!” Expect to eat a bevy of delicious and symbolic foods, such as noodles for a long life, eggs for new life, and several dishes made with sticky rice, malagkit, which will help good luck stick to you next year.
Ready to exorcise the old and bring in the new? Head to Italy…
In Italy, you will have the distinct pleasure of rounding up all of your old clothes, pots and pans, appliances, and belongings that no longer serve you and throw them out the window on New Year’s Eve. It’s a physical and satisfying way to cleanse your life of the old, and make space for the new. Of course, Italy wouldn’t be Italy if you weren’t eating delicious food. In between your exclamations of Buon Capodanno! you’ll eat regional foods to symbolize luck and prosperity, and you may give small, sweet gifts for wishes of a sweet new year.
You have another month before New Year’s in Vietnam.
You have time to save up for your plane ticket if you want to celebrate New Year’s in Vietnam. Called Tet, the Vietnamese New Year is the biggest celebration of the year. It is not celebrated on December 31st but, rather on the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar. Thus, Tet 2014 will begin January 31st and last until February 4th. The traditional greeting is “Nam mi di dào suc khoe“, or “I wish you a healthy New Year.” In addition to honoring ancestors, cleaning the home to rid it of negative energy, new clothes and shoes are worn on the first day of New Year. Red and yellow accents abound, symbolizing good fortune. There are a host of traditional foods prepared, including Vietnamese sausage, mung bean pudding, pickled onions and Banh Chung.
Perhaps one of these different traditions will make its way into your own New Year’s celebrations. Wherever you find yourself on New Year’s eve, CCA wishes you a happy and successful 2014!