Happy New Year, Feliz Año Nuevo, & Feliz Ano Novo!

With only days remaining of 2009, if you are like most around the world, you are awaiting celebrating the New Year. Perhaps this year you will celebrate in Times Square in NYC, Trafalgar Square or Picadilly Circus in London, wearing white on the beach of Copacabana in Rio, eating twelve grapes in the Puerta del Sol in Madrid, or quietly at home with family and friends in front of the tube. This post, “Happy New Year, Feliz Año Nuevo, & Feliz Ano Novo!,” is entitled in three languages that are near to me: English, my native tongue, Spanish, my second language, and Portuguese, my husband’s native tongue, which I am trying to master “poquinho a poquinho” (little by little).

This  year, I decided to create a good balance of these three languages and honor each culture’s traditions or superstitions on December 31st-January 1st. Here is the plan:

1) Upon saying, “Feliz Año Nuevo,” there will be grapes to eat one by one as the clock strikes midnight.  This is a Spanish tradition that is to ensure good luck if each grape is eaten as the clock strikes each chime of twelve o’clock midnight.  Yes, it is bound to look rather funny while chomping on grapes quickly to get them down in time, but 2010 needs to be a lucky year!

2) To honor Brazil, the attire will be white.   The New Year’s celebrations in Brazil are called Reveillon with the most popular held at the beaches, with the world renowned Reveillon taking place in Rio on Copacabana beach.  With all honesty, this tradition seems logical and fun.  It would be only appropriate to be wearing white to signify a clean slate and fresh start for the ringing in the New Year or “Feliz Ano Novo.”  Also, it is customary to serve lentil soup or lentils and rice on January 1st because the lentil is believed to signify wealth.  As “mama needs a new pair of traveling pants,” it looks like a good lentil soup is in order for wealth $$ in 2010.

3) In American style, the evening will be spent watching the crowds, celebrities, and the ball drop in Times Square with food, family, & friends. After the strike of midnight, most will sway from side to side, singing the 2-3 lyrics of Auld Lang Syne that they know while sipping a glass of sparkling wine (myself included). Not unlike the Brazilian tradition of legumes, the US tradition for New Year’s Day includes black-eyed peas with ham hocks to signify good luck and prosperity for the coming year. As the family recipe for Brazilian lentil soup requires some ham, it appears that luck and prosperity will be covered in 2010.

Despite what is happening at Chez Ms Traveling Pants, I wanted to capture the many other New Year’s traditions from around the world. In order to do so, some research and assistance was needed.  I must thank my many travel friends, peers, and bloggers who added their traditions. Thanks to JourneyWoman, BrooklynNomad, TransAmericas, TravelDesignedTravelwithJulie, and TravelingAnna.

Here 12 unique ways that other earthlings celebrate the New Year from Ireland to Mexico to Japan:

How will you celebrate the holiday?

If you have other traditions that you would like to add, I invite you to share.

To all Happy New Year, Feliz Año Nuevo, & Feliz Ano Novo!

I look forward to bringing to you good times and good stories in 2010.

2 Comments

  1. B says:

    What an interesting way to change up a typical holiday celebration! I plan on keeping things low key. Hope you have a Happy New Year!

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