It's almost time to say goodbye to 2016 forever, but before we do, let's first find out how our customers do it in their countries.
Just about all countries celebrate the New Year with lots of food, drinks, lights and noise — with a trip to a town square to countdown the hour and watch grand fireworks as the most popular choice. But let’s take a peak at how the Management Events’ countries are welcoming 2017!
Just before midnight, the Danes would be glued to their TV screens to hear the Queen’s New Year’s Eve speech. And then when the clock strikes 12, fireworks light up the sky. To add to the noise and bring more friends in, some Danes break dishes on their friends’ and neighbors’doorsteps. The more broken dishes, the more friends to have!
Young Norwegians, on the other hand, venture into the winter night shortly before the clock strikes twelve for some adventure. They then go to the public square to watch the fireworks display. The night moves along with the adults having a nice dinner of turkey or fish, paired with wine or champagne, to toast the arrival of the brand new year.
New Year’s Eve for Swedes are reserved for friends, as Christmas is a family affair. New Year’s dinner with friends can be a grand event with the host serving a feast on their fancy table setup. At midnight, they would then gather around the TV to watch the Skansen Open-air museum live broadcast of bells chiming and the New Year verse reading.
In Finland, the midnight wait is all about partying with family and friends in restaurants or clubs. There are, of course, those who prefer a quiet night at home with food and entertainment. Some prepare party games for kids and adults, alike. Two such games are the old traditions of reciting New Year’s resolutions and “predicting the future.”
The Dutch are known to host extravagant and highly vibrant town and private parties. Some even organize “New Year’s Dives,” where young people must swim through ice cold waters for good luck and health. They also have an old tradition of going door-to-door to have a glass of liquor and eat something from each house they visit.
German speaking countries celebrate the New Year or Sylvester. According to legends, Sylvester the First was the pope who baptized the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great and also healed him of his leprosy.
Germany celebrate Silvester’s by cooking raclette, a traditional dish made of cheese, potatoes and cucumber or other vegetables and meat. Aside from food and fireworks, the Germans also like to cozy up with mulled wine. A popular national tradition is fortune-telling via the shapes formed from molten lead being dropped into cold water. Austrians, too, celebrate Holy Sylvester with some fun and mischief. Just like the Germans, they also play with fortune telling via the melted metal drooped into cold water game.
The Swiss don’t have any special dishes to celebrate the New Year with, but they do celebrate it twice in a year — on the 31st of December and the 13th of January following the Julian Calendar. On Sylvester’s Day, families exchange gifts and have dinner. They also take to the streets in colorful costumes and participate in a ceremony to chase away bad spirits.
In Turkey, New Year’s Day is the only non-religious national holiday. But even so, it’s celebrated like Christmas as it’s not without the Yeni Yıl Ağaç or the New Year’s Tree. It’s said that a Turkish get-together is never without the famous Turkish Tea.
On now to the Far East! Singaporeans celebrate the New Year in accordance with Chinese traditions and customs. New Year’s are for red items (i.e. lanterns, clothing, and envelopes), round items (like fruits and coins), long and sticky food (noodles and rice cakes). The Chinese New Year’s days fall somewhere between the 21st of January to the 20th of February, but as Singapore is a modern and cosmopolitan country, it also celebrates the New Year like the rest of world — filled with well-wishes surrounded by festive lights and sounds.
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