3…2…1… We’re located on Embassy Row and wondered what our neighbors may be doing for the upcoming New Year. We’ve compiled a list of some cool New Year traditions you might want to participate in. Whether you’re celebrating New Year’s Eve around the world or in Washington, D.C., we hope you bring it in with a bang!
The Japanese consider the New Year (or shogatsu) among one of their most important holidays. Oftentimes, businesses will close from January 1 to January 3 in observation. On these days, entrances are adorned with ornaments and pine, and families spend the days together throwing bonenkai parties (“year forgetting parties”). On New Year’s Eve, families serve soba noodles symbolizing longevity.
Japan looks forward to New Year’s Day as it sets the precedent for the entire year. Because of this, the day has to be joyful, fun, and stress-free, and houses must be clean! Friends send dozens of New Year’s cards and visit shrines like Tokyo’s that attracts millions of people between January 1 and 3.
Germany’s New Year’s Eve, or “Silvester”, include century old superstitions. Germans encourage believers to remove clothes hanging on a clothing line to prevent Odin, an ancient god, from getting caught as he wanders that night. For wealth, eat Sauerkraut or Lentilsoup.
Lead-pouring is among one of the most interesting traditions. You melt small pieces of lead in a spoon over a candle. Pour the liquid into a bowl of cold water, and wait to see the shapes. Look at the shapes to determine what they resemble. This will help predict the future to come!
As the clock ticks to midnight, partygoers gather with family and friends with 12 grapes in hand. Each grape is said to represent each month of the year, and with every clock chime, Spaniards race to eat one grape before the chiming stops. Imagine that!
If you’re hoping to fall in love the following year, make sure you’re wearing red underwear as you ring in the New Year. Some say this only works if the undergarments were a gift, but others say you simply have to give your underpants away by the end of the night in order for Cupid to work his magic.
Estonians believe that the more you eat, the more prosperity you gain in the New Year. In true Estonian tradition, participants hope to eat between seven, nine or twelve times on New Year’s Eve in coherence with the country’s lucky numbers. If you eat nine times, you will gain the strength of nine men, and so on.
Don’t worry. Those who take on the challenge leave enough food on the plate for ancestors or spirits that will visit the house during the holidays.
Celebrating in the Nation’s Capital? Be prepared for swanky parties, family gatherings, and all-around fun. New Year’s Eve is the biggest party night of the year, and there is so much going on. From the annual ZooLights celebration with over 500,000 LED lights to bar-hopping across the city, the excitement is contagious.
This year, we’ll be starting our own New Years’ Eve tradition by hosting our very first New Year’s Eve Silent Disco with a New Year’s Eve Silent Disco Package to match. Either way, grab your champagne, watch the New York ball drop and toast to the New Year with style!