I’ve Got My Red Underwear On …But The Grapes Were Too Expensive!

10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…HAPPY NEW YEAR!

For millions of people around the world, today is New Year’s Eve and tonight there will be a gigantic celebration.

  • The Countdown.
  • Noisemakers.
  • Champagne.
  • Fireworks.
  • The Ball Drop in Times Square.
  • Kissing someone at midnight.
  • Singing Auld Lang Syne.
  • Family Gatherings.
  • Eating lentils.

These are just some of the countless New Year’s traditions around the world.

But did you know that in some countries, like Spain, Mexico and Italy, it is considered good luck to wear red underwear tonight?

Here are some more traditions that you may not be as familiar with:

In Spain, Mexico and Portugal people eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight.  Each grape is said to bring a month of happiness in the New Year.  However, in the Philippines any 12 round fruits will do.  For me and my boyfriend this year, we couldn’t bring ourselves to spend $9 on a small bunch of grapes, so I guess 12 blueberries will have to do!

In the United Kingdom there is a tradition of ‘First Footing’, where a tall, dark-haired man is the ideal first footer across a threshold.  He must carry a traditional gift such as a piece of coal, loaf of bread or a bottle of whiskey to bring good luck to the family.

In Japan, the tradition of joya-no-kane is the ringing of the great bells at Buddhist temples 108 times to symbolize the 108 sins in the Buddhist belief.  The 108 bell chimes are believed to cleanse the Japanese of all wrongdoing from the previous year.

And just a heads up if you are in Italy.  Italians have a tradition of throwing out old utensils, furniture and clothing out their windows tonight!

For those of you who start the New Year on January 1st, Happy New Year!  Enjoy ringing in the New Year in whichever fashion you choose.

As for me, it’s going to be tough trying to figure out how to kiss my boyfriend and eat 12 blueberries at the same time!

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