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What cultural traditions do you have for celebrating a new year? Answered

I'm planning on doing a multi-cultural new year's eve this year, and I need some help. If you all would be so kind as to supply me with some traditions your country/family/friends use to celebrate new year's eve. I would prefer simple crafts or traditions like eating twelve grapes and casting wishes or making party crackers (both of which I've already planned.) but a few larger plans would be acceptable. And do remember, I'm short on time and money, and I have to keep this secret, so keep the loud projects quiet. Please remember to supply plenty of details.

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Like RMS's answer, most of the New Year's traditions I've witnessed here in the FUS have involved getting drunk and making noise, somehow, via shooting guns in the air. 

To clarify: The getting drunk part is to be accomplished during any part of the day, on Dec 31, or any part of the preceding week, actually.  However the noise-making activity is mostly concentrated around the instant in time, i.e. midnight, marking the transition from the old year to the new one.

For a while some of us were jumping into a ice-cold water( my neighbor's pond), naked, at the stroke of midnight.  This ritual is said to symbolize renewal and re-birth, and just like a real birth, there is usually a whole lot of screaming involved, because that water is FREAKING COLD, man!

But you said you wanted to avoid noise.

As a related note, if you're looking to get drunk, I mean really @#$%-faced, but on a budget, the following site gives some good tips on how to facilitate this:
http://www.bumwine.com/compare.html

Here in the Hellmouth, people just get really drunk and shoot guns straight up into the air at midnight.

Remember, what goes up comes back down. If it's a bullet falling from a great height, it comes down _FAST_.  People have been injured by bullets shot "straight up".

If you aren't shooting blanks, never pull the trigger unless you know exactly where the bullet is going, what will stop it if it doesn't hit what you aimed at, and what will keep people from walking into the range.

Yup. That's why I go inside the house no later than 11:45, and stay there until at least 12:30.  On July 4, I have to go to a public fireworks show to avoid the falling bullets, since the random idiocy starts before dark and goes on well past midnight. At least at the public fireworks, no one's shooting guns into the air.

now THAT sounds like a party, alas, I live in a small suburb, and my next door neighbor is a cop. I like the idea though.

Sure, it sounds like fun, until you realize that you are surrounded by drunk, heavily-armed rednecks. Then you sober up in a hurry. And that's no fun at all.

Replacing all the batteries in my house, if I didn't do that on my birthday. (Seriously, picking a highly memorable date to do this is a simple and easy way of making sure you aren't chasing dead batteries for the rest of the year.)

Eating black eyed peas brings good luck and money.

Didn't see this before I posted but,
+1

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Burf

8 years ago

Black-eyed peas. We always have black-eyed peas as one of the dishes served for supper on New Years day. Supposed to bring prosperity for the rest of the year. I can't swear it true but I like black-eyed peas.

From wikipedia as I couldn't be bothered to explain it ;)


"Auld Lang Syne" is traditionally sung at the conclusion of a gathering in Scotland and around the world, especially in English speaking countries.

It is common practice that everyone joins hands with the person next to them to form a great circle around the dance floor. At the beginning of the last verse, everyone crosses their arms across their breast, so that the right hand reaches out to the neighbour on the left and vice versa. When the tune ends, everyone rushes to the middle, while still holding hands. When the circle is re-established, everyone turns under the arms to end up facing outwards with hands still joined.


 I  usually just play on my computer, and then pause what I'm doing  to watch
the little time/ date thingy in the corner  of the desktop change over to
Jan 1.
 Then I go to bed.....