Happy New Year! “Feliz año Nuevo” and
“Gong hey fat choy”! Welcome back to “On the go with EF”.
I hope you had a nice Christmas and maybe tried making some sugar
cookies or the eggnog I showed you. It’s soon time for New Year’s Eve
and, this being EF’s vlog, I figured I’d share some New Year’s
traditions from around the world. I talked with friends from different EF schools and they told me about some crazy
New Year’s Eve traditions. Let’s get started. Let’s start with New Zealand since it’s one
of the first countries to see the New Year. Why? You ask. Because it’s situated in
the first major time zone. It’s popular for families to ring
in the New Year with a barbecue or, for young people, to go to the beach. If that sounds strange to you, it’s because you don’t live south of
the equator, like in New Zealand, where in January it’s actually
the middle of the summer. In Japan, long buckwheat noodles symbolize long
life, which is generally considered a lucky thing. So, just before the clock strikes midnight,
people in Japan enjoy a bowl of soba noodles. But there’s one catch.
You can’t break them. I think it would take me a few years to get
my slurping strong enough to manage that one. In Singapore, a big family-size
dish of yusheng – or fish salad – is served to bring in
Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year. The family gathers around the dish while
tossing the ingredients high up into the air and yelling out well-wishes.
The higher the toss, the more luck. Since fish symbolizes good luck
throughout Asia, it’s no surprise that in China, New Year’s dinners often have at
least one fish dish – often served whole. In Greece, as soon as the New Year is
at your doorstep, so is a pomegranate. It’s tradition to smash a pomegranate on your
neighbor’s doorstep to reveal its plentiful seeds. The more seeds, the more prosperity. In Germany, it’s common to ring
in the New Year by melting lead and pouring it into water to see
what’s to come in the New Year. After all that fun, they often enjoy a donut
called “Berliner Pfannkuchen.” In Italy, they feast on a traditional
dish of “cotechino e lenticchie,” or pork sausages and lentils. Lentils are thought to bring prosperity and good luck
in the New Year since they look like money. Ancient money, not Euros.
It’s a very old tradition. In Spain and in many Spanish-speaking countries, with each stroke of the clock at
midnight, a grape has to be eaten. I’m told by my EF friends in Spain that
this is much harder than it looks. Each grape signifies a month of the year,
so you’d better take note of any sour grapes because those are likely not
going to be your best months. Alright, I’m going to try this.
Let me grab my twelve. Alright, start the clock. Did I make it? Last, but not least…. In the southern U.S., on New Year’s Day,
people enjoy a dish called Hoppin’ John, which is black-eyed-peas and rice. Along with that, they also eat collard greens,
which are kind of like kale, and cornbread. The black-eyed peas are supposed to bring luck
because, like in Italy, they look a lot like coins. And the greens? Well, that’s
the color of American cash. Both of these symbolize wealth for the New Year, which seems to be a popular
theme around the world. Those were a few New Year’s traditions. Now it’s up to you to decide
how you’re going to celebrate. But, first, I want to hear from you. Do you have any interesting New Year’s
traditions in your family or country? Comment below and I’ll send
one of you this nice tray, so you can have your New Year’s grapes on them. Bye guys! And Happy New Year!