Around the world, the New Year is filled with many symbolic traditions.
Austria has one of the most glamorous New Year’s celebrations. At the Imperial Ball, a tradition of the Hapsburg dynasty that has continued for hundreds of years, dancers wear white gowns and black jackets. At midnight, “The Blue Danube,”is played. The Strauss operetta, “Die Fledermaus, is performed each New Year’s Day
People around the world consider pork to be the luckiest food to eat on New Year's Day. Pigs are rotund, which represents prosperity. They also "root forward" with their noses, which is supposed to symbolize progress. Yes, bacon counts!
In Greece, a pomegranate is smashed on the floor in front of the door to break it open. The seeds represent prosperity and good fortune. The more seeds, the more luck you will have in the months ahead.
In Japan Soba noodles are eaten. These long buckwheat noodles symbolize long life, and are therefore lucky - but only if you eat them without chewing or breaking them.
The Greek bake a special lemon-flavored cake called a Vasilopita or St Basil's Cake. It's baked with a silver or gold coin inside. Whoever finds the coin gets a year of good luck.
In the Southern United States, it's traditional to eat black-eyed peas or cowpeas in a dish called Hoppin' John. There are even those who believe in eating one pea for every day in the new year. This traces back to the legend that during the Civil War, the town of Vicksburg, Mississippi, ran out of food while under attack. The residents fortunately discovered black-eyed peas and the legume was thereafter considered lucky.
Traditional wisdom warns that it's best to avoid certain food. Lobster, for instance, is a bad idea because they move backwards and could therefore lead to setbacks. Chicken is discouraged because the bird scratches backwards, which could cause regret or dwelling on the past. Another theory warns against eating any winged fowl because good luck could fly away.
Whether you follow any of these traditions or have a few of your own - all of us at Pryor Events wish you a happy, healthy and memorable 2012.