December 31, 2018 – New Year’s Eve Around the World

It’s hard to believe that it’s the last day of 2018 already! For the last Wiki Corner of the year, I thought we’d take a look at how other parts of the world celebrate New Years Eve! Hint: It’s not with a ball drop! In Spain, they have a tradition called Twelve Grapes, where they eat a grape with every bell strike at midnight on New Years Eve. This is said to bring a year of prosperity. In Scotland, they celebrate with First-Footing. The first-foot is the first person to enter your house on New Years Day, and is seen to bring good fortune for the coming year. Apparently, it is desirable for the first-foot to be a tall, dark-haired male. The first-foot usually brings gifts, including whisky of course! in Ecuador, the main event of their New Year’s celebration is the burning of life-size effigies, which represent things they disliked from the previous year. They’re burnt right at midnight, to shed the new year and represent a new beginning. In Germany and Scandinavia, a huge part of their New Year’s Eve celebration is the airing of a British sketch called Party of One. It has nothing to do with New Years Eve! It’s about the 90th birthday of an upperclass English woman, who holds a celebratory dinner every year for all her friends. The problem is, she’s outlived them all! So her manservant makes his way around the table, impersonating all her friends (and drinking their wine) in turn. It’s been broadcast in Germany since 1972, and now holds the Guinness World Record for the most frequently repeated program of all time. Ironically, it’s virtually unknown in the UK!

No matter how you’re celebrating, I hope you have a safe and happy New Year! The wiki will be back with more useless knowledge in 2019!

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