Whichever country or culture we look at, the turn of the year always has something magical, charming and special. One looks back on the old year, concludes it in thought and turns to the new year. For the New Year one usually hopes for more happiness, satisfaction, health and often a new beginning. Superstition and traditions are an integral part of this special night.
The Beviale Family – the global network for the beverage industry
Two years ago we already asked the members of the Beviale Family how they welcome the New Year in their countries and which is their favourite drink to toast. The Beviale Family – the global network for the beverage industry – is growing steadily. It is now represented with eleven events in many parts of the world: BrauBeviale in Nürnberg, Beviale Moscow, Beviale Mexico (first time in July 2020), CRAFT BEER ITALY, CRAFT BEER CHINA and CRAFT DRINKS INDIA are events organized by the NürnbergMesse Group itself. In addition, there are cooperations with Feira Brasileira da Cerveja, Expo Wine+Beer (Chile), SIBA’S BeerX in the UK, KIBEX (Korea) and SEA Brew (South East Asia).
And this is how we celebrate in:
Germany – Happy New Year
A “good slide” is what people in Germany wish for before New Year’s Eve. But even if there could be black ice at this time of year, this has nothing to do with “sliding” into the New Year. The saying can be derived from the Yiddish “Gut Rosch”, which means “a good start”. Other traditions should not be missed at the turn of the year either. For example the fireworks display – public or private – is indispensable. One celebrates the evening with friends or family. Those who celebrate at home often eat raclette or fondue with their guests.
No matter where you are, at midnight the last seconds of the old year are counted down and the new year is welcomed with “Prosit New Year”. One toasts with sparkling wine or champagne and wishes each other a “Happy New Year”. Small lucky charms are gladly given away, for example a four-leaf clover, a lucky pig made of marzipan or a small chimney sweep figure. If you want to find out what the coming year has in store for you, you can do lead casting, or more recently wax casting, in which molten lead/wax is poured into cold water and from the mould that is created, predictions for the new year can be made.
Russia – С новым годом – s novym godom
New Year’s Eve is a very special highlight in Russia. Due to the Gregorian calendar, Christmas is only celebrated on 6 and 7 January. So New Year’s Eve is the prelude to a week full of festivities with good food and presents. One usually ends the old year together with the family at home, decorates a Christmas tree and puts the presents underneath. Some traditional dishes should not be missing on the richly set table, such as the famous Olivier salad, “herring in fur coat” and red caviar. When the table bends under all the delicacies and you are wearing new, pretty clothes almost nothing seems to stand in the way of a happy and prosperous year.
At midnight most Russian families listen to the chimes of the Spasskaya Tower in Moscow on TV or radio and concentrate on their wishes for the New Year. When the twelfth stroke has faded away, they toast with champagne, kiss and hug each other and wish each other a happy new year. Fireworks and sparklers are of course not to be missed. Afterwards you sit together for a long time, celebrate, eat and drink until dawn.
Mexico – Feliz y próspero año nuevo
In Mexico you also hear bells at midnight, namely the bells of the cathedral in the center of the capital Mexico City. It is the largest and oldest cathedral on the American continent. With each of the twelve bells you eat a grape and form a New Year’s wish in your mind. And like almost everywhere in the world, Mexicans toast with champagne, hug friends and family and wish “¡Feliz y próspero año nuevo! – a happy and successful new year!
Tequila should not be missing at the “Fiesta mexicana” – how could it be different?! But if you usually drink it slowly and in small sips, it is quite common on New Year’s Eve to drink a whole glass at once. If you also have a glass of water at hand, it is advisable to pour it on the street: It will drive away tears and worries in the coming year, so they believe. Of course, Mexico is not only drinking, but also organizing a feast. A widely spreak dish is a shrimp broth that you eat like a small soup. Fried turkey or codfish in red sauce are also popular. Whatever ends up on your plate, all dishes are very special and not commonplace to welcome the New Year.
Those who have not yet got rid of all their presents at Christmas, like to give away red or yellow underwear for New Year. These have to be worn the whole New Year’s Day, the red one promises happiness in love and the yellow one brings the money blessing home. To be really sure, you should probably combine both colours.
Italy – Buon Anno
Like everywhere else, of course, Italy also likes to celebrate in a convivial way. Whether at home, in a good restaurant or outdoors in central squares or parks – friends and family like to get together to end the year together.
At midnight you can toast classically with champagne or sparkling wine and wish “buon anno” (a happy new year). To help good luck in the coming year, Italians like to wear something new and eat the traditional cotechino (cooked pork sausage) at midnight. There are also fireworks – especially in southern Italy the (amateur) pyrotechnicians enjoy themselves extensively.
China – 新年快乐 – Xin Nian Kuai Le
In China, the traditional New Year is not coincident with the Western New Year, but is based on the Chinese lunar calendar. In that respect, the 31st of December is more of a Western festival, such as in Shanghai, which younger Chinese in particular like to take as an occasion to celebrate. This then proceeds in a classic “western” manner: friends, dinner, toasts, fireworks…
The Chinese New Year usually takes place around February and is celebrated traditionally with the family and a big feast. The dishes vary greatly from region to region, but each dish is assigned a characteristic such as happiness, money, harmony, etc. Beside tea one drinks Bai Jiu, Chinese rice liquor. Occasionally coins are hidden in the dumplings. Whoever finds them will be especially lucky in the coming year – at least that’s the hope. Further precautions for a happy new year: windows and doors are opened and the light is left on at night to allow luck to enter. It is better not to buy shoes on these days, because the Chinese word for shoes is very similar to the word for “bad/evil”. The same applies to cutting hair.
In China one wishes 新年快乐 – Xin Nian Kuai Le (happy new year) and presents children with the so-called Hong Baos, small red envelopes with money. But this tradition also continues among adults, meanwhile the envelopes are even sent digitally. In general, the colour red predominates, as it stands for happiness. For the public there are countless TV shows, parades with Chinese dragons and traditional robes.
India – Sal Mubarak
The land of Bollywood is four and a half hours ahead of German time. Nevertheless, we wait in vain on New Year’s Eve for a broadcast of the spectacular fireworks from Mumbai, when TV stations around the world switch to the time zones that have already welcomed the New Year. As in China, New Year’s Eve in India does not have the same significance as in Europe. In many places, the night of December 31st is a night like any other. The turn of the year is celebrated here at a different time.
Northern India begins the new year in autumn with the Hindu festival of lights Diwali. Here streets and houses are decorated with oil lamps and strings of lights are hung up. Dishes like the sweet dumplings “Gudjiaas” are served, “Jalebis”, fried dough rings, or even gold are presented and the evening ends with fireworks. Elsewhere, people celebrate on the first day of Baisakh month, in spring, New Year. Depending on the region and religion, cultural performances and festive meals consisting of rice, vegetables and a meat dish or readings from the holy book are on the program.
Only festivities in some big cities with western influence like Bangalore remind us of the New Year’s Eve we know. Here you meet with friends or family, review the past year, visit a bar or discotheque or dangle your feet in the warm sea water on the beach.
Regardless of when and how you celebrate – in the end it’s “Sal Mubarak” for everyone!