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Holidays in America: New Year Celebrations


In the Holidays in America series, we’ve talked about Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the very busy month of December, from Black Friday to Christmas Day.

Finally, Americans close out the year (and the festive season) by celebrating New Year’s Eve on December 31st. This is typically a more adult holiday, with people dressing in their sparkly best and partying into the early morning. New Year’s Eve traditions include toasting with Champagne, throwing confetti, and counting down to a midnight kiss in order to ring in the new year on a hopeful note.

New Year’s food traditions reign supreme in cultures the world over – the Spanish eat twelve grapes at midnight to ensure a fruitful year. Many Greeks bake a cake with a gold coin in it – whoever gets the slice with the coin is said to have good fortune that year. In the American South, the first day of the new year is commemorated with a large meal (really, when do Southerners not commemorate something with a large meal?) consisting of foods connected to deep-rooted Southern lore. For instance, many think that eating collard greens and black-eyed peas (representing dollars and coins) and cornbread (representing gold) will bring you good financial luck in the new year. Some families add a shiny coin to the peas – whoever comes across it in their bowl is blessed with extra good luck for the year to come.

After all that food and fun, many people decide to scale back by making a New Year’s resolution or two. Although they typically don’t stick for longer than a few months, the resolutions can range from weight loss plans to professional goals.

Thanks for reading Wetzel’s Holidays in America blog series – check back next year for more great content. The Wetzel Services staff wishes you a happy and successful 2014!