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New Year, Old Traditions December 31, 2006

Posted by Brian L. Belen in Ramblings.

Every New Year’s Eve, family dinner and mass are par for the course, possibly fireworks, too. Over at my neck of the woods, the “festivities” get a little more colorful as the seconds tick away into the New Year:

  • Hang grapes on every door in the house. Well, maybe not every door, but surely the ones that are major entryways. I’ve grown up believing that this has something to do with having a good harvest for the year (read: future success). Growing up, my dad would take care of preparing the little clear plastics that would encase each grape; now that we’re old enough my brother and I are the two man wrecking crew that do all the work. Incidentally, we used to keep the old shriveled up grapes the new ones replace, which tends to be exactly as disgusting as it sounds.
  • Eat twelve round fruits. One for every month in the year. For this reason, thanks to my mom, we’re always fully stocked with all manner of fruit during the New Year. This makes for very colorful edible decor around the house. Unfortunately, try as I might, no one has agreed with me that cookies should qualify as fruits, despite the fact that they’re round.
  • Jump up and down with a container of old coins. Right at midnight. When I was younger I thought there were three things going on here. First, the jumping up and down was supposed to help one grow taller in the year to come. Second, the coins were supposed to invite prosperity. Finally, jumping with the coins was supposed to generate noise in lieu of noisemakers. Speaking from experience, I can say that a.) I obviously did not jump nearly enough in my younger days, b.) I have no idea if it works but I’d rather assume it did, and c.) yes, it does make quite a bit of noise.
  • Run around the backyard with an upturned umbrella. My personal favorite. We each go one round out back (which isn’t too large an area, mind), holding the upturned umbrella above our heads. In theory, the umbrella is supposed to catch all the good luck falling from the skies after midnight, for which reason we make it a point to use the largest umbrella lying around the house as we can find. When the last of us is done with his or her run we keep it upturned and try to close the umbrella without tipping it over.

    Incredibly, our neighbors have been polite enough not to spread nasty rumors about those lunatics next door and their strange antics. I suppose that’s as good a start to the new year as any.

  • Comments»

    1. barookie - January 2, 2007

    I always thought it was 13 fruits during new year.

    The rest I have heard about except for the one regarding the umbrella.

    Happy New Year!!! see you again when school starts.

    2. Brian L. Belen - January 2, 2007

    I had thought the same, actually, until I was corrected by my mom (who as a rule, is never EVER wrong).

    Either way, I’m just glad that watermelons aren’t in season this time of year…

    3. Josephine - January 4, 2007

    This is a funny blog, bruce! 🙂

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