New Year’s Traditions in Europe

New Year’s Traditions in Europe

"Fireworks 2012"Another year is ending and we are looking forward to starting a new year. It is not uncommon to set yourself some goals for the new year and hope for a better year than the one prior. During New Year’s Eve celebrations some rituals have manifested over the years to ensure or push good luck and prosperity for the next year. In many countries the new year starts with fireworks and toast with champagne to the new beginning, but of course, there are other traditions that vary among cultures and people.

In Germany the custom is to melt lead and drop it into cold water. Whatever shape comes out at the end will serve as prediction for the next year. Of course, the often weird shapes encourage you to be creative and imaginative with your predictions.

"melting lead in Germany"

If you’re celebrating New Year’s in one of the Rome apartments or any other Italian city for that matter you will most likely be served a variation of pork and lentils. The pork is a symbol for the riches of the land and the lentils stand for money and good luck.

In Spain and Portugal the secret of a year of good luck lies in 12 grapes. At the sound of each stroke of the clock at 12 people eat one grape to ensure good luck in all 12 months. You should try it, you will notice it is not that easy.

"new years eve drinks"

The French exchange gifts for the new year. Usually family and close friends gather for a dinner party at someone’s house. It is very nice to receive more gifts after Christmas and it is a nice gesture to wish someone good luck for the next year.

How and where will you spend New Year’s Eve? In case you are thinking about Italy be advised to walk the sidewalks carefully as things might be thrown out of windows of apartments in Rome, Florence or Milan. Another tradition is that Italians also throw old possessions out of the window to forget about misfortunes of the past year and make room for better things in the new year.

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