Reasons to hoot and holler around the world

Heather Hacking

The idea of holiday traditions has intrigued me this year, partly because I’m sad to see some of my favorite traditions fade away. Change is constant but this does not mean I have to love this fact. However, it’s not as if we are tearing down antiquities. Some of the traditions from my lifetime have only been around for a few generations.

The giant tree in Rockefeller Center in New York City? This began as a relatively small tree in 1931, and without any ornaments. Younger generations expect to see ginormous trees in this location every year. Fairly soon, I won’t be surprised if there is a plastic tree, or even a metal tree-shaped frame instead of a live monster tree. The tradition now is that ¾ of folks who opt for an indoor tree choose plastic.

“Grandma, when you were young did people really cut down trees and bring them inside?”

Elf on a shelf has only been around since 2005. However, if you ask a young parent in 2105, she might believe the elf tradition is as old as Santa Clause. Modern Christmas card marketing began in 1915. These days we’re more likely to give someone a Starbucks coffee card than a holiday greeting card.

“Grandma, why did people send cards to each other in the mail at Christmas?”

Grandma of 2035: “Because social media had not been invented and paper was not as expensive.”

If you search many modern traditions, you’ll find that the ideas emerged and/or perpetuated because someone had figured out a way for the idea to earn money:

Blow-up lawn ornaments shaped like Peanuts cartoon characters sold at a big-box store near year. For several hundred dollars you can buy a 13-foot skeleton lawn ornament, and dress him for most holidays.

“Grandma, why do people wear black plastic top hats on New Year’s Eve?”

Grandma: “I don’t think anyone remembers.”

Religious traditions tend to stick around for a long time and continue to have meaning for people. Other traditions leap out of nowhere and disappear just as quickly.

When I poked around the Internet last week I found some traditions I thought were a bit wacky around the world. However, folks in other countries might think it’s odd that millions of Americans turn on video livestreams to watch a 12-foot wide crystal ball drop from a pole. Next, the crowd at the bottom of the ball scatters tons of garbage in a public square while yelling and blowing paper horns.

After reading about other traditions throughout the world, I asked my friends in other countries to share their personal New Years traditions:

(Shared by WhatsApp)

Erica from Peru: “When the clock strikes midnight, people wear new clothes in particular colors. Green is for wealth. Red is for love and yellow (the most popular) is for luck and happiness.”

She said folks also put a handful of dried lentils in their pockets, because the lentils will lead to more money jangling around in your pockets.

Several of our friends from South America said a tradition is to pack a suitcase and carry it around the block. If you want to travel to the beach, pack beach clothes. Warm clothes for the mountains, etc. Orlando in Venezuela said the day is sacred, for thanking God and spending time with family, but also jumping in the ocean to wash away the previous year.

Eli of Burkina Faso, said most people go to mosque or church and ask God for blessings and grace for the new year.

In Chile, people eat 12 green grapes, explained Carla. In Panama, “dolls” are made to look like corrupt politicians, stuffed with fireworks and burned at midnight.

In the recent past, people in Ukraine gathered for fireworks and dancing. Also, there are presents under the New Year Tree.

Many of the international teachers said they stayed home with family, watched fireworks, attended religious services or went to light festivals (think Turtle Bay Garden of Lights, but in the snow,

The new year is here, and that’s as good a reason as any to celebrate. The fact that we are still stuck by gravity to this planet is a reason to hoot and holler.

Heather Hacking Home and Garden,Latest Headlines,Local News,Things To Do,Local Columns,Sow There

2024-01-05 11:35:47 , Chico Enterprise-Record

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