Well, it’s been a helluva year. I don’t know about you, but between COVID-19, elections, hurricanes, wildfires, shootings, and everything else, I’m done with 2020. I won’t miss it or get nostalgic. I don’t want the like ever to appear again. To make sure of that, I’m going to follow a raft of New Year’s traditions to guarantee a healthy, happy, and not horrible 2021.
In Burma, splashing water on someone is considered good luck, so I’ll start the day by waking my husband by throwing a pail of water on him. He'll probably complain he’s not Burmese, but tough. He needs to suck it up. The other option is to smack him on the head with an onion which is considered good luck in Greece. I haven’t decided yet. I think I’ll keep it a surprise. Perhaps, I’ll do both.
Residents of Johannesburg, South Africa throw appliances out the window. No mention is made whether they call out a warning to neighbors walking by first. In Denmark the tradition is to smash dishes on your neighbor’s doorstep. I have the kind of neighbors that might take issue (especially if it’s a dish I borrowed.) However, I’ll simply remind them smashed china is better than having a smart TV heaved at your head. Danes apparently also jump off chairs. What do they put in the water in Denmark?
In Italy, wearing red underwear is lucky. I don’t have any red underwear, but I do have a bunch of red Christmas napkins and I’m pretty good at origami. In Argentina, the tradition is pink underwear, so I could give my napkins a good dose of bleach first. Thanks to COVID-19, bleach is plentiful. Bolivians wear yellow underwear. I happen to have a pair, so I believe I’ll wear all three for triple the good fortune. Perhaps, on my head in Walmart as a morale booster to others. Nothing says Happy New Year better than looking like a lunatic on a shopping spree.
Peruvians celebrate with the Takanakuy festival which is nothing more than one big fist fight and is supposed to wipe the slate clean for the next year. Although I suppose if I go around the neighborhood belting people, they’re likely to complain and I’ve already broken their china.
New Year’s often involves visitors. In Scotland the first person over the threshold is supposed to bring luck and the luckiest visitor is a dark man with coal. I’ve emailed Idris Elba several times with an invitation and even offered to supply the coal. I finally received a reply from his attorney threatening legal action if I didn’t back off, but I’m sure if I explain one more time, he’ll be here.
To top off the day, I’ll serve a sumptuous feast of traditional lucky foods; black eyes peas (American South) served on top of pickled herring (Poland) served on top of marzipan (Austria) served on top of tamales (Mexico) and all covered with soba noodles (Japan). Anyone who can survive that dinner should be able to meet 2021 head on, if they don’t end up in the hospital with gastritis.
Happy New Year.