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New Year Traditions

By Sophia Xiao

    Many people have many traditions for New Year’s. The traditions range from giving out money to breaking old dishes. The celebrations are not always celebrated on the same day, but they are all to bring good luck and fortune into the new year.

    In Ecuador, the people make a scarecrow with a complete set of clothes. The scarecrow, known as "Año Viejo", is stuffed with newspaper and firecrackers. “Año Viejo” translated into English is “old year”, so it represents something from the last year. Then, at midnight, all the families set their scarecrow on fire to put the old year behind them, and the new year in front of them.

Greek children have their shoes filled with presents by St. Basil at midnight.

In Denmark, it is good to find your front door littered with broken dishes. Families save up their old dishes and at New Year’s, they throw their dishes at their friends’ homes. If you have lots of broken dishes outside your house, that means you have lots of friends!

    The Japanese spend a long time preparing for this time of year. They decorate their doors with rope, bamboo, and pine to bring long life and health. Rope fans with seaweed and ferns bring happiness and good luck. Kids get "otoshidamas" which are presents with money inside. They also send cards and hold parties. On the last day of December, bells are rung 108 times to get rid of 108 troubles. Afterwards, they celebrate.

    Lots of countries including the United States have parades. Those countries include the Bahamas, Nepal, Syria, Lebanon, Thailand, and Oberammergau, Germany. The tradition of watching football is also followed, especially in the US. Lots of different people have lots of different traditions, but in the end, we are all celebrating and looking forward to the start of a brand new year.

“New Year Traditions.” english-zone. n.p. n.d. Web. 8 Jan 2013