New Years Cheers

New Years Cheers

Because it’s New Year’s Eve, make sure you buy her red lingerie. That’s what the Italians do. Oh, and be sure to put a grape in your mouth. You know, like the Spanish. For each stroke of the clock coming up to midnight.

Everywhere that the Gregorian calendar is used, New Year’s Eve is coming. Of course it’s utterly meaningless if you happen to follow the Aztec Calendar. Or, maybe the North Korean date schedule. You could skip the whole shebang completely.

Not to mention the complete confusion with time zones. Those plucky New Years Eve revellers on the Chatham Islands get there almost a whole day ahead of Americans. By then, the whole New Years Eve thing is really old hat.

Which kind of makes a mockery of that ‘special moment.’ Instead, that precise time when we transition from one year to the next is a moving feast. New Zealanders don’t want to spoil it for you. But to be fair they will have kissed everyone in sight, guzzled the champers, and screamed and danced their legs off well before the morning of the last day has even dawned over the US West Coast.

Sure, we all know it’s just a date. A measure that is altogether notional. But we’re funny two-legged beings. We just can’t help putting a big emotional emphasis on this made up date that, mentally at least, feels like a singular event that happens everywhere at the exact same time.

Instead, we wonder at the strange and quirky customs that New Years Eve bring to different nations. That make Danes get together to tuck into a piece of ‘Kransekage’ (an almond cake shaped like a wreath) with their champagne after an early evening address from their Queen Margrethe II.

While Germans, once again, will wish each other a Happy Sylvester by giving little presents of marzipan pigs and four leaf clovers. Then sit down to watch the British film called “Dinner for One” in glorious old black and white.

Unlike the Swiss, who, for a good New Years Eve, much prefer a good bonfire. And what better to accompany it than a cheese fondue meal?

Greeks, meanwhile, would much rather see t New Year in with a bit of gambling. If you win you’ll be rich. Lose, and the New Year will mean you’ll be lucky in love. Meaning, you just can’t lose!

But for the ultimate flow on into the New Year, Turkish people prefer to turn on all the taps. You know, as a way to let good luck flow (got to love that if you’re a water utility).

Which proves you might as well celebrate New Years Eve any way you like, knowing anything goes. Especially when you add the fact that the magic moment when the clock strikes 12.00 is a continual event. So, 12.00 keeps striking over and over, from time zone to time zone, over a whole day. Each one bringing in a separate New Year. Weird hey?

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