New Things to Do on New Year’s
If New Year’s Eve celebrations have grown a bit dull, incorporate some (or all) of these ideas from around the world to give your party new life:
- Save all chipped dishes through the year; at midnight on New Year’s Eve, smash them against the doors of your family and friends (a Danish tradition). The family with the largest pile of broken dishes is considered the luckiest (though in America this may not be appreciated).
- Drop ice cream on the floor at midnight—on purpose (Swiss tradition).
- Wear colorful underwear (red for love and yellow for money) to bring good luck (a tradition from Mexico).
- Wear polka dots and eat round fruit to join in with the Filipino tradition. Circles are considered lucky, especially for finances.
- Melt lead (a tradition from Germany and Austria). Molten lead is poured into a bowl of water. Whatever shape the lead takes on as it hits the water is supposed to predict things that are likely to take place in the new year.
- Burn pictures to leave memories from the past behind (Ecuador).
- Jump off chairs at midnight (Danish tradition).
- Walk the street with torches of fire as they do in Scotland for the Hogmanay Festival. Men swing the balls of fire overhead (originally a Viking tradition) to bring purification and sunshine.
- Walk around your block with an empty suitcase to increase your odds of new travel adventures.
- Eat a grape with each bell strike at midnight
Great Ball of Fire Tradition in Scotland via Smashing Lists
New Things to Drop on New Year’s
Where did the tradition of dropping the ball come from? Fireworks were prohibited in New York City’s New Year’s celebration in 1906. But Adolph Ochs, owner of the New York Times, wanted to give the crowds something to watch outside his building. So he conferred with the paper’s chief electrician and the result was a nautical-inspired spectacular time sphere that worked with electricity—the tradition of the Times Square ball drop was born.
And now, all sorts of things are dropped on New Year’s Eve. In Bethlehem, PA, a giant Peep is dropped (that’s where the candy is manufactured). In Mobile, AL, a 350-pound moon pie is dropped. An olive is dropped in Bartlesville, OK, and it falls perfectly into a martini glass.
A six foot conch shell, a pirate wench or a drag queen is dropped in Key West, FL (anything goes in Key West). A 10-foot-tall acorn is dropped in Raleigh, NC; a 3-foot lighted pickle drops down the flagpole in Mt. Olive, NC, and an 800-pound fiberglass and foam peach is dropped at midnight in Atlanta, GA.
Check out Wikipedia’s complete list of what’s dropped, state by state.
Some cities raise something at midnight, instead of dropping it. An orange wearing sunglasses is raised for New Year’s in Miami, FL; a giant Hershey’s Kiss ascends in Hershey, PA; a watermelon ball goes up in Vincennes, IN (and when it gets to the top it opens to release 12 real watermelons that drop with a splat).
New Tricks with Lights for New Year’s
Try some new decorating ideas for your New Year’s party. Some of the best ones involve lights. LED cascading tube lights are spectacular for New Year’s celebrations because they look like fireworks. Use lights inside for your party as well. Drop LED lights into empty wine or champagne bottles to use as centerpieces or to make party chandeliers. Battery operated LEDs work best.
Make DIY “candy lights” by using cellophane (of different colors), multi-colored LEDs, clear plastic corsage boxes (or other similar containers), pipe cleaners, and tape.
Make your own ball to drop using a large Styrofoam ball covered with squares cut from old CD’s. Decorate the sphere with battery operated LED lights wrapped around the ball.
Make a 2016 marquee number sign to welcome guests and the New Year. Cut the numbers out of particle board or heavy duty cardboard (spray painted gold or silver). Cut openings along the center of each number and insert LED light spheres for a dramatic look.
Happy New Year!