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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

Cultural New Years traditions that could bring you luck

Photo Credit: Danielle Allen
Starting the new year off right is crucial to having the next 365t days go smoothly. What traditions do you follow for good vibes to continue into the new year?

When the ball drops on New Years Eve, before the glasses clank, many do something as part of a tradition that they believe could bring love, luck, money or simply leave the bad in the past.


Eating twelve grapes, one for each minute of midnight on New Year’s Eve, is a tradition in Spain. Each grape symbolizes good fortune and prosperity for one month of the upcoming year. Larger cities, such as Madrid and Barcelona, have central squares where locals congregate to share grapes and pass around cava bottles. BestLife reports the origin of the tradition, “back in the 1800s, vine growers in the Alicante area came up with this practice as a means of selling more grapes toward the end of the year, but the sweet celebration quickly caught on.”


Colombians carry empty luggage around the block, hoping for a travel filled new year.


In order to drive out evil spirits, Danes celebrate the New Year by smashing broken dishes and glasses against the doors of their loved ones. Additionally, around midnight, they all jump off of chairs while standing on them to “leap” into January in hopes of good luck.

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All throughout Scotland, “first-footing” is a custom observed on Hogmanay, the country’s New Year’s Eve celebration. It is customary for the first person to enter a home in the New Year with a lucky gift. In order to purify the new year, Scots also organize bonfire celebrations in which participants parade while slinging enormous fireballs on poles that are said to represent the sun.


On New Year’s Eve, spherical forms representing coins that stand for prosperity in the upcoming year can be seen all throughout the Philippines. A lot of families have fruit piled high on their dining tables, and some have precisely twelve spherical fruits grapes being the most popular for midnight meal. Many wear lucky polka dots as well.


Wearing special underwear on New Year’s Eve is considered auspicious in Brazil and other Central and South American countries including Ecuador, Bolivia, and Venezuela. The most popular colors for the New Year are red, which is believed to bring love, and yellow, which is believed to bring money. In Brazil they also believe in wearing white and jumping over seven waves to thank Iemanjá, or Yemanja, an ocean goddess, for the good things that happened during the past year. Time Magazine explained, “they don’t turn their back on the sea until their feet are out of the water, so as not to receive bad luck.”


In Greece, on New Year’s Eve, homes customarily hang an onion on the front door as a sign of renewal for the next year. Parents use an onion to tap their children’s heads to wake them up on New Year’s Day.

New York

Special peppermint pigs are sold throughout the holiday season in upstate New York. Each person has a turn striking it with a unique candy-sized hammer and indulging in a piece to bring them luck in the upcoming year. Because the peppermint is so potent, take only a tiny bit. Well, at least you’ll be breathing fresh air come January




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About the Contributor
Aurora Mena Barrios
Aurora Mena Barrios is a 17-year-old junior at Colonia High School. Mena is taking Mrs. Allen's journalism class to write about fashion while improving her writing skills.  She enjoys modeling and talking about fashion. She took a year-long course at a modeling academy which helped her with her fashion knowledge. Mena spends her free time watching "Riverdale" and "Young Sheldon." In the future, she plans on being a labor and delivery nurse because she has always had a passion for the medical field.  Mena loves listening to Rod Waves and went to his concert in November. She hopes to share her life experience and advice with her readers. Mena is a very straightforward person but loves giving others advice. She just hopes people can handle her honesty.

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