Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year Traditions from Across the Globe

Have you ever noticed how differently the New Year is celebrated throughout the world? Our family tradition is a pork and sauerkraut dinner of hungry-man-sized portions.

I just read about an interesting Spanish tradition of which I was not previously aware. In this ritual, as the church bell tolls midnight, celebrants eat one grape for each dingdong. Since the bell rings twelve times, twelve grapes are eaten.

The taste of each grape could reveal how the coming year will unravel for you. If, say, the sixth grape is unusually sweet and juicy, then you could look forward to good fortune in the month of June, the sixth month. If the seventh grape were sour, then watch out for bad luck in July.

I don't know what keeps people from selecting only succulent, juicy grapes. Except, perhaps, the time of the year. December 31 is not exactly prime grape growing time in Spain.

I'd like to add this custom to my New Year festivities, but unfortunately I am in an airplane right now, over some remote spot on the Great Plains. Nothing like holiday air travel: Minneapolis to Phoenix to Flagstaff.

And when I get home to Arizona there will be no church bell. Although the "pinecone" will be dropping at Heritage Square in Historic Downtown Flagstaff at midnight, only two hours after I land at the Flagstaff Airport. A hundred people gathering for a pinecone drop? Now that's what this Vagabonding Lulu calls some real dingdongs!

Do you have a tradition that you celebrate on New Years Day or New Years Eve? Please add a comment and tell us about it.

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