New Years celebrations are typically about leaving behind the old for something new. This year, with all of us eagerly looking forward to 2021, New Years traditions are cast in an even more meaningful light.

New Years Traditions in Spain - Bells and Grapes

One interesting New Year tradition takes place in Spain. It includes eating twelve grapes while bells sound off at midnight. You are supposed to eat one “lucky” grapes for each of the twelve bell sounds, and the eating of the twelve grapes symbolizes the twelve months of the year. If you aren’t able to finish eating your 12 grapes by the twelfth bell, it is said that you won’t have a lucky new year.

New Years Traditions in Italy – Pots and Pans

Many New Years traditions have an out with the old and in with the new philosophy. However, southern Italy takes this practice to a new level. Old pots and pans, and ,any other old unwanted items, are often thrown from upstairs windows. The symbolic action of letting go of the past is something that every student, in translation courses online or otherwise, can appreciate.

New Years Traditions in Japan – Forgetting Parties with Noodles

Shogatsu—also known as Oshogatsu or New Year’s—is considered the most important holiday in Japan. Bonenkai parties—or “year forgetting parties”—are a New Years tradition with the purpose of leaving the old year’s worries behind. All duties (even interpreter courses online) are supposed to be completed by the end of the year, so you can best forget the old and get ready for the new. On New Year’s Eve, toshikoshi soba (buckwheat noodles) are served as a symbol of longevity.

New Years Traditions in Brazil – Offerings to the Ocean

When you become a translator and work with different communities, you find many interesting aspects of other cultures. One unusual New Year’s eve traditions in Brazil is related to Iemanjá, an African-Brazilian deity from the Candomblé and Umbanda religions. Adherents also dress in white gather on the beach to throw flowers and gifts into the ocean. Part of the New Years tradition is the belief that if your offerings are sent back, your wish will not be granted because she is not pleased with your gifts.

“New” New Years Traditions

This year, New Years traditions may not look the same as before. However, we might start celebrating “new” New Years tradition after 2020, when changing plans and unusual circumstances encouraged us to try new things. Either way, all of us at Language Connections interpreter school believe that what is most important is spending time with friends and family.

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Erica Macri

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