Happy New Year! Many people, in many languages, exchange this greeting. In some countries or religions, the "new year" doesn't start on January first, but whenever it starts, a fresh year can be a new beginning.
To celebrate 2022, many people in the United States will watch a certain holiday movie or parade. Sporting events are important in the celebrations of some. In New York City's Times Square, the shiny ball has dropped at midnight since 1907. A kiss at midnight, a traditional toast, and singing "Auld Lang Syne" are other customs frequently observed in our country.
In some cultures, households feast on round or circle-shaped foods, like oranges and small cakes, to symbolize long life and good health. Before the clock strikes twelve in Spain, people will try to eat twelve grapes. Eating rice indicates prosperity in India and Pakistan. Apples dipped in honey are part of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. In the American South, the custom is to eat black-eyed peas for good luck.
Latin Americans who want to travel in the next year, will walk around the block with a suitcase on New Year's Eve, while others will clean the house for a bright start. The Greeks sing special carols, and Danish people jump over the threshold right into the new year. Chinese New Year includes fireworks, lanterns and dragon parades. In Brazil, wearing white for the new year is thought to bring good fortune. The Dutch plunge into the freezing North Sea.
No matter what the tradition, everyone tries to look ahead with optimism, hoping that the troubles of the old year will be washed or rung or swept away, while something clean and good will bring future happiness.
Here's to a great new year!
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