Check out how different countries around the world celebrate and welcome the NEW YEAR:
People pop a grape into their mouth at midnight each time the clock strikes. Twelve grapes symbolize good luck for each month of the year.
In Spain it is customary to eat grapes at midnight.
British Columbia, Canada
Traditionally, the polar bear swim takes place on New Year’s Day, where people of all ages dive into the icy water.
At midnight everyone goes in the front door and out the back door for good luck.
The French mix health and wealth and usher in the new beginning with a stack of pancakes.
The French eat pancakes for breakfast on New Year’s Day.
Children receive gifts on New Year’s Day, also known as St. Basil’s Day, instead of at Christmas.
Residents go out onto the streets and make toasts and celebrate with neighbors. At midnight, kids shoot off fireworks.
Jack Straw in Hungary.
People burn effigies, or a scapegoat known as “Jack Straw”. The scapegoat represents the evils and misfortunes of the past year. Burning the effigy is supposed to get rid of the bad luck.
Times Square in NYC.
Probably the most famous tradition in the U.S. is the dropping of the New Year ball in Times Square, New York City, at 11:59 P.M. Thousands gather to watch the ball make its descent, arriving exactly at midnight. The ball is made of Waterford Crystal, weighs 1,070 pounds, and is six feet in diameter.
The beginning of a NEW YEAR is a time to celebrate and definitely a time to SMILE. We wish you all health and HAPPINESS with the coming of 2013!
Happy New Year SMILES to you!