Happy New Year and Break a Dish!


Happy New Year! I hope you had a lovely holiday doing the things you enjoy most. I was unearthing bins of woolens myself (it's freezing in Atlanta!), but hopefully you did something more fun!

In most countries throughout the world, the beginning of a new year ushers in vows of self-improvement and hopes for health, happiness, and prosperity. Some cultures, however, practice traditions that are quite different and, in my opinion, worth a try!

Denmark. Most people would be angry and perplexed to wake up to a pile of broken dishes at their front doors—but if it’s New Year’s Eve in Denmark, the debris is welcomed as a sign of popularity. Danes stockpile unused plates, and on December 31,hurl them at the front doors of friends and family members as an unconventional way of showing affection.

Spain. At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, Spanish tradition holds that quickly eating twelve grapes will induce good luck for each month of the coming year.

Estonia. Estonian tradition dictates that eating seven meals on New Year’s Day will ensure abundant food throughout the year. While the seven-meal rule is no longer strictly followed, modern Estonians still celebrate with plentiful food and drinks.

Philippines. Coins are round, so in hopes of inviting prosperity in the new year, Filipinos traditionally celebrate with a bounty of round shapes—for instance, by eating round fruits or wearing polka dots.

Panama. To ring in the New Year, Panamanians traditionally have bonfires in which they burn effigies, or muñecos, of famous people, like actors or political figures. The effigies symbolize the outgoing year, and setting fire to them is believed to expel evil spirits for a fresh start in the new year.