Once again another year has come to a close. And, just like the rest, it featured joy and sadness, birth and death. For some people the end of the year holidays are a maudlin time where they dwell on opportunities missed, and loved ones lost. Others take the time to wipe the slate clean and plan for a better future. Whichever path you choose I would like to advise you to tread lightly. The past is gone and can not be changed. Gnashing your teeth over what might have been accomplishes nothing. The future, while within your control to some degree, is not a given to any of us. Just because you want to be a famous whatever doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. What is given is the here and now. Do the best you can with that and the rest will work itself out. You don’t need a self help book to tell you that, you know it inherently. I have a friend, a priest, who always says “God gives us many gifts. It’s up to us to use them wisely.” That is good to remember no matter the date on the calendar. Control what you can, do your best, and let life sort itself out. Trust me, you’ll be fine.
Still, this is the day when people are expected to do SOMETHING GOD DAMNIT! so I’m here to help. If kissing strange drunks isn’t your thing, here are a few alternatives you can try.
Oliver Wheaton, at Metro (UK), takes us around the world to look at some holiday traditions.
Romanians try to heal their ill farmyard animals by whispering into their ears.
If they are successful it spells good fortune for the coming year (also, they apparently discover a magical ability they have).
Venice is one of the most romantic cities in the world, which might be why they take the old ‘midnight NYE kiss’ to a whole new level.
‘Mass kissing’ events are held in the piazza of St Mark’s square, where hundreds of passionate Italians and tourists have a smooch under the fireworks.
This is a weird one – people in Ecuador take their empty suitcases for a walk around the neighbourhood on New Years Day.
Folks in the northern states of the USA are a hardy bunch, which might be why this happens in Lake Michigan.
(P)eople punch through the ice and swim around in the sub-zero waters. Looks like fun.
People in Spain probably have to take it easy on the Champagne, as they need space in their bellies for grapes.
An old tradition in the country sees people eat a grape for each time the bell strikes at midnight – meaning they see off 12 grapes in almost as many seconds.
In South Africa…
For South African scavengers January 1st is also shopping day.
We’re not sure if this is a ‘tradition’ or just good sense, but New Year’s Day is also a sort of ‘throw out your old furniture day’ in South Africa.
People from Johannesburg especially get involved in the practice, however be careful as tradition dictates that you throw your old beds and sofas out of a window.
Try not to get them mixed up. God knows what you’d tell the cops if you got caught kissing your goat while walking your suitcase.
All we can ask of you is that you be safe and come back to read more weirdness in 2016.
Happy New Year!
BTW, if you end up doing something like this, please send pics.