Ok...that got everyone's attention... : ) There are many ways the world celebrates the New Year... And I had some fun looking up a few of them.
The Chinese greet others with "Gung Hay Fat Choy" which means "Wishing You Prosperity and Wealth"!! The Chinese New Year (which is being celebrated Jan. 23rd this year) in 2012 is the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese culture. People will pour out their money to buy presents, decoration, material, food, and clothing. It is also the tradition that every family thoroughly cleans the house to sweep away any ill-fortune in hopes to make way for good incoming luck. On the Eve of Chinese New Year, supper is a feast with families. Food will include such items as pigs, ducks, chicken and sweet delicacies. The family will end the night with firecrackers. Early the next morning, children will greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes. The Chinese New Year tradition is to reconcile, forget all grudges and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone. That doesn't sound too bad...
Imagine streets full of people wearing polka dots and dinning table full of round shaped food and fruits on one single day of the year. Philippines believe that this will bring them prosperity by associating the round dots to coins and wealth.
In Spain and many Latin countries, the tradition is eating 12 grapes at midnight, which is supposed to bring you 12 months of happiness.
In Denmark, it is a good sign to find your door heaped with a pile of broken dishes at New Years. Old dishes are saved year around to throw them at the homes where their friends live on New Years Eve. Many broken dishes means that you have many friends. And a lot of clean-up!
In Germany, people eat cabbage to represent money and wealth because the cabbage is green. Every New Year's Eve, at midnight, Germans watch the British show “Dinner for One.” It is so popular that even the punch line “same procedure every year” now is a catch phrase in Germany.
In Wales, the back door is opened with the first toll of the bell and then shut to release bad omens from the last year. With the 12th stroke of the bell the front door is open to welcome New Year.
In Australia, suckling pigs are considered to bring good luck and hence, traditional foods are prepared with sucking pigs. In dessert they offer peppermint ice cream in the shape of four-leaf clover.