New Year 2013 is coming, every people all over the world is eager for a happy and prosperous New Year 2013. This time, i will give you some more information on New Year celebration of a diversified culture and tradition – the United States of America. You would enjoy the various traditions of New Year in this country. New Year in United States is celebrated on January 1st, the first day of Gregorian Calendar. This is a Federal holiday in United States.
New Year’s Eve is a major social holiday for many people in the United States. Many people hold parties at home or attend special celebrations, where alcohol, such as wine and champagne, may be consumed to celebrate the upcoming New Year. In many cities, large scale public events are held. These often attract thousands of people. Time Square holds one of the biggest parties in the country with millions in attendance or watching on television from all over the world. The ball takes one minute to drop, with the final ten seconds counted down by people everywhere. The dropping of the ball marks the exact time of the passing of the old year into the beginning of New Year’s Day.
American New Year customs are very colorful and entertaining event. The streets are crowded with youth and elderly people dressed fashionably to welcome the new year with great joy. The streets are decorated with lanterns, flash lights and colored papers. Flags are also adorned to express happiness. Giant vibrant colored electric apples are lowered to the ground at the time when people start saying “Happy New Year”. At the stroke of midnight all the Americans shares kisses and express their New Year greetings. This tradition came in existence from the masked ball which symbolizes evil spirits. It is believed that when you kiss it wades off the veil spirits and purifies the new beginning.
Elsewhere, many of New Year parties in US have a dress code or a theme. People cover their faces with masks. They unmask themselves only when the clock strikes 12. To have some merriment with the family members at the beginning of the New Year, people prefer to celebrate it at their homes. There is also a tradition to open champagne bottles as the clock strikes midnight on the New Year’s Eve. Paper blowers and whistles are blown.
New Year celebrations are further accelerated by watching the famous Tournament of Roses Parade. Theme of the parade varies every year. Today, the parade is followed by thousands of participants – marching bands, dancing and singing various songs. This is a very eye-catchy scene of the whole parade. There is also a New Year custom to play the most famous games of football such as the Orange Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl.
Americans love parades, and New Year’s Day has one of the most famous parades of the year, the Rose Bowl Parade. In fact, parades were originally a way to chase away evil spirits as well. As with Halloween, it was believed by some that evil spirits are frightened of masks. Others believed that masks are representative of the souls of dead people. The idea was to honor the dead by wearing the masks, therefore leading the spirits to be satisfied and leave the living alone. Parades are also very loud, again to frighten away the evil spirits while they are trying to invade human beings during the time of renewal.
The start of New Year’s Day, at midnight, is heralded by fireworks, parties and special events, which are often televised. Very few people have to work on the day itself. For many it is a day of recovery from the New Year’s Eve celebrations the previous night. In some towns and cities, parades are held and special football games are played. The birth of the first baby in the New Year is often celebrated with gifts to his or her parents and appearances in local newspapers and on local news shows.
Many of our traditions of today stem from superstitions of old. At midnight around the country, we can hear celebratory shouting, car horns, firecrackers, sirens, party horns, whistles, bells, and anything else people can find that will make a loud and boisterous noise. This custom comes not only from Native Americans, but from most nations around the world in its historic significance. The New Year symbolizes the beginning of new life, and therefore evil spirits tried to invade and usurp our bodies for their own purposes on this day. In some traditions, the spirits of the old, in other words dead, friends and relatives were invited to a feast on New Year’s Eve to say goodbye. Noise was thought to scare away evil spirits and send them back into hiding.
At midnight, the American drink to toast the New Year. When making a toast, people clink their glasses together in further celebration and revelry over the passing of the old year and the ringing in of the New Year. There are two things represented by the clinking of the glasses. First, we literally are ringing in the New Year. The ringing sound the glasses make when they clink together was, again, supposed to frighten away evil spirits. But clinking glasses originally started back in a time when guests regularly suspected their hosts of trying to poison them at dinner parties, often with good reason. To be sure their drink was untainted, it was expected each guest would pour a small amount of their drink from their own glass into that of the host. Both would then drink, the guest believing the host would not drink something he had poisoned. The symbol of trust was to clink the glass instead and drink without making the host take a taste.
Singing “Auld Lang Syne” at midnight on New Year’s Eve has become a tradition in America. The song comes from Scotland where at home they join arms in a circle and sing. Then they wait for the first person to enter the house after midnight. Tradition holds, in Scotland and many other countries, that the first person to enter the house on New Year’s Day symbolizes what kind of luck the family will have the rest of the year. The best person, according to the British, is a dark-haired young man bearing gifts. This may also be why Americans try to make sure they plan good and lucky activities on New Year’s Day, as tradition says what we do on this day foretells what we will do for the rest of our year.
Traditional food for New Year
In the United States, it is believed that black-eyed beans are very lucky. It is American custom on New Year to prepare special dinner with different cuisines to gather for family feasts. A special soul food with rice which is popularly called Hoppin’ John is consumed with black eyed beans. During the party people also, have cakes and champagne which is considered very auspicious.
Cooked greens, including cabbage, collards, kale, and chard, are consumed at New Year’s in different countries for a simple reason — their green leaves look like folded money, and are thus symbolic of economic fortune. The Danish eat stewed kale sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, the Germans consume sauerkraut (cabbage) while in the southern United States, collards are the green of choice. It’s widely believed that the more greens one eats the larger one’s fortune next year.
Legumes including beans, peas, and lentils are also symbolic of money. Their small, seed-like appearance resembles coins that swell when cooked so they are consumed with financial rewards in mind. The residents fortunately discovered black-eyed peas and the legume was thereafter considered lucky
One tradition common in the Southern United States of America is that each person at the meal should leave three peas on their plate to assure that the New Year will be filled with Luck, Fortune and Romance. Another tradition holds that counting the number of peas in a serving predicts the amount of luck or wealth that the diner will have in the coming year.
The custom of eating pork on New Year’s is based on the idea that pigs symbolize progress. The animal pushes forward, rooting itself in the ground before moving. Roast suckling pig is served for New Year’s in Cuba, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, and Austria – Austrians are also known to decorate the table with miniature pigs made of marzipan. Different pork dishes such as pig’s feet are enjoyed in Sweden while Germans feast on roast pork and sausages. Pork is also consumed in Italy and the United States, where thanks to its rich fat content, it signifies wealth and prosperity.