Category Archives: New Year’s Day

Happy New Year 2015!

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The following youtube video, “Happy New Year – Auld Lang Syne by Sissel (Live).wmv.flv”, features phenomenal videography of panoramic vistas, endearing nature scenes, and of course the remarkable voice of Sissel Kyrkjebø, the Norwegian soprano.

WIDELY OBSERVED NEW YEAR SYMBOLS AND TRADITIONS

Resolutions: It is believed that the Babylonians were the first to make New Year’s resolutions, and people all over the world have been breaking them ever since. The early Christians believed the first day of the new year should be spent reflecting on past mistakes and resolving to improve oneself in the new year.

Fireworks: Noise-making and fireworks on New Year’s eve is believed to have originated in ancient times, when noise and fire were thought to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck. The Chinese are credited with inventing fireworks and use them to spectacular effect in their New Year’s celebrations.

SCOTLAND

The birthplace of “Auld Lang Syne” is also the home of Hogmanay (hog-mah-NAY), the rousing Scottish New Year’s celebration (the origins of the name are obscure).  The Torchlight Procession is the official start of three-days of spectacular Edinburgh’s Hogmanay events.

Credit: Lloyd SmithLast year’s event welcomed over 35,000 participants and spectators, joining the Up Helly Aa’ Vikings, massed pipes & drums and thousands of torch carriers as they illuminate the city from our start position on George IV Bridge to the finale viewing areas at Waterloo Place and Calton Hill. The Torchlight Procession fireworks finale can be viewed across the city and beyond! One of the traditions is “first-footing.”

Credit: Lloyd SmithShortly after midnight on New Year’s eve, neighbors pay visits to each other and impart New Year’s wishes. Traditionally, First foots used to bring along a gift of coal for the fire, or shortbread. It is considered especially lucky if a tall, dark, and handsome man is the first to enter your house after the new year is rung in. The Edinburgh Hogmanay celebration is the largest in the country, and consists of an all-night street party.

GREECE

Orestiko_New Year’s Eve

A different type of celebration for New Year’s Day is happening in Argos Orestiko, a town in Northern Greece.  From New Year’s Eve to January 2, the locals wear their carnival costumes and celebrate in an unusual way. Unlike the rest of the cities in Greece, Argos Orestiko celebrates with a carnival during Christmas and especially around New Year’s Day. In fact, this was a custom of western Macedonia in Greece, which had its roots there at the time while the country was enslaved by the Ottomans. In order for people of the area to celebrate freely, they were in disguise — the men dressed as women and vice versa. This celebration kept on for centuries, even after the liberation of the region in 1912, and now it offers unique moments of festivities under the sound of music and, most of the time, with very cold weather.

BELARUS


In Belarus, unmarried women compete at games of skill to determine who will get married first in the New Year. One game involves setting piles of corn and a rooster before each of the single ladies. Whichever pile the bird approaches first, is believed to be the one who is to be married first.

 JAPAN

In Japan, on New Year’s Eve people prepare for and welcome Toshigami , the New Year’s god. People clean their home and prepare Kadomatsu or Shimenawa to welcome the god before New Year’s Eve. Buddhist temples ring their bells 108 times at midnight in the tradition Joya no Kane. The rings represent the 108 elements of bonō, mental states that lead people to take unwholesome actions.  In most cities and urban areas across Japan, New Year’s Eve celebrations are usually accompanied by concerts, countdowns, fireworks, and other events to mark the beginning of the New Year.

People gather around the Zojoji Temple to release helium balloons up in the sky containing New Year’s wishes and watch the lighting of Tokyo Tower with a year number displayed on the observatory at the stroke of midnight.

THE NETHERLANDS

The Dutch burn bonfires of Christmas trees on the street and launch fireworks. The fires are meant to purge the old and welcome the new.

SPAIN

At midnight, Spaniards eat twelve grapes, each one bringing luck for one month of the year. The actual countdown is primarily followed from the clock on top of the Casa de Correos building in Puerta del Sol Square in Madrid. It is traditional to eat twelve grapes, one on each chime of the clock. This tradition has its origins in 1909, when grape growers in Alicante thought of it as a way to cut down on the large production surplus they had had that year.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

New Year celebrations in the USA

On New Years Eve, at 11:59 pm, millions of Americans tune in to watch the dropping of the giant ball in Times Square in New York City. The ball, which is made of Waterford Crystal, weighs 1,070 pounds, and is six feet in diameter, reaches the bottom exactly at midnight. What most people don’t know is that this ritual is carried out five times, as local news stations replay the event at midnight in each time zone.

HAPPY5

and best wishes for health, happiness and prosperity in 2015

from Martin, Dave, Louise

MARTIN, DAVE, LOUISE FOR BLOG
~ Rainsoft Ottawa ~
Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year’s_Eve
http://ryanseacrest.com/2010/12/28/9-strange-new-years-traditions-from-around-the-world/
http://www.infoplease.com/spot/newyearcelebrations.html

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014! ~ MAGNIFICENT DISPLAYS!

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The following video from Taipei, Taiwan, ‘2014 Taipei Midnight Fireworks’ is a memorable event with a fireworks display, music and dancing featuring many of Taipei’s youth singing. The smiling faces of these children and their delightful joy is contagious.  I find the fireworks shooting from and spiraling out and up from skyscrapers really impressive! (Must find out how they accomplish that.)

New Years Midnight Fireworks Dubai, Burj Khalifa, Full Show HD ~ stunning effects – again using the skyscrapers ~ accompanied by a symphony orchestra.

The following video is a must to help ring in the New Year with Abba’s classic “Happy New Year”!

Happy New Year!
Best wishes for health, happiness and prosperity in

NEWYEAR 

from Martin, Dave, Louise

MARTIN, DAVE, LOUISE FOR BLOG
Rainsoft Ottawa ~
Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc.

CHRISTMAS/NEW YEARS QUIZ ~ HAVE FUN WITH THIS!

 CHRISTMAS QUIZ  

  CHRISTMAS BLOG ANIMATED4~ SCROLL DOWN FOR ANSWERS ~

1)  Who invented electric Christmas lights?
Thomas Edison
Gottlieb Daimler
James Naismith 

2)  How many people in the world know the carol “Silent Night”?
10 million
1 billion
3 billion

3)  What is the ninth candle in the Hanukkah Menorah for?
It lights the other candles
It’s blown out first
It’s a candle for children

4)  Who flies through the air and fills children’s stockings with candy and presents?
Santa Claus
La Befana

5)  British people wear paper crowns at Christmas events because of
The Three Kings
Queen Elizabeth
Christmas crackers

6)  What does “Auld Lang Syne” mean?
Old friends
Long, long ago
Good memories

7)  Why do Southerners eat black-eyed peas and greens on New Years’ Day?
To honor farmer forefathers
To cure a hangover

8)  Who first used live people in a Nativity scene?
St. Francis of Assisi
Queen Victoria
Pope Pius XII

9)  How much does the New Year’s Eve ball in Times Square weigh?
5,619 pounds
11,875 pounds
21,200 pounds

10)  Candied lotus seeds are a popular Chinese New Year’s treat and are said to bring:
Good luck
Better finances
Boy children

11)  Pointsettias get their name from?
Their lovely, pointed leaves
The Spanish word for flower
A U.S. minister to Mexico

12)  What sports activity is celebrated on Christmas Day in Ireland?
Cross country skiing
Skating
Swimming

13)  What do children leave outside the door in Germany on Nikolaustag on December 6th?
toque
mitten
boot

14)  In areas of France what burns in homes from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day?
incense
simmering fruit
a log

15)  What do Norwegian families hide on Christmas Eve?
boots
knives
brooms

CHRISTMAS BLOG ANIMATED4      ~ Here are your answers ~ 

CHRISTMAS STRING LIGHTS1)  Thomas Edison – he not only invented the electric light bulb, He also created the first strand of electric lights. He hung them outside his New Jersey lab during Christmas season in 1880. Lights for Christmas trees weren’t sold to the public until 1917.

SILENT NIGHT2)  3 billion – Of the roughly 7 billion people on Earth about 3 billion are familiar with “Silent Night.” The carol was first heard on Christmas Eve 1818, in Oberndorf, Austria, and was written by Joseph Mohr and Franz Gruber. It has been translated into more than 300 languages

HANNUKKAH MANORAH3)  It lights the other candles – The ninth candle is the “shamash,” which is used to light the other candles. Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday marking the defeat of an army that had invaded Israel. After the victory, the Jews celebrated at the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. They found enough oil to light the lamp for only one day. But the oil lasted eight days and nights, and it’s celebrated as a miracle.

SANTA CLAUS4)  Both – American children know Santa, but Italian children wait for La Befana, the good witch who rides a broomstick the night ofLA BEFANA January 5th. The children wake up on January 6th – the Feast of the Epiphany – to find toys, candy, and fruit that she left. Some families in Hispanic communities in the U.S. practice traditions brought from Latin  American countries. Children place hay and water under their beds the night of January 5, for the camels of the Three Kings, and wake up to find presents.

CRACKERS5)  Christmas crackers (pretty paper tubes that you pull apart) – are a British tradition. The tubes pop open with a bang when pulled. Inside, there’s a small gift like a mirror and a joke written on a piece of paper. There’s also a paper crown, a nod to the Lord of Misrule, an old custom that put a peasant in charge of village Christmas events. Brits wear the crown and read the joke out loud.

AULD LANG SYNE6)  long, long ago – This well-known New Year’s Eve tune is from a poem by Robert Burns, based on a Scottish folk song. “Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne.” It’s a tribute to days gone by.  The words are in the Scots language, which today is spoken in the Lowlands and Northern Isles of Scotland.

PEAS AND GREENS7)  To bring wealth in the New Year – The black-eyed peas stand for coins. The greens or collards stand for paper money. Eating these dishes is supposed to bring good luck and wealth in the coming year.  Cultures around the world celebrate the New Year with foods meant to bring prosperity: fish in China, lentils in Italy, and gold-colored food in Peru. (The tint often comes from the spice turmeric.)

NATIVITY SCENE8)  St. Francis of Assisi – widely known today for his love of animals — created the first live nativity scene, in 1223 in the Italian village of Greccio. He recreated the scene of Christ’s birth with people playing Mary and Joseph and animals from the village as the creatures in the stable.

N Y EVE BALL9)  11,875 – It’s also covered with 2,688 Waterford crystal triangles. Americans began dropping a giant ball at New Year’s Eve in 1907. The first was a 700-pound iron-and-wood beauty lowered from a flagpole atop One Times Square.

LOTUS10)  Boy children – In China, lotus seeds symbolize male children. Eating the sweetened seeds is supposed to bring boy babies into your family.

POINTSETTIAS11)  U.S. minister to Mexico – The poinsettia is native to Mexico, where it’s used to decorate churches at Christmas. It gets its name from American diplomat Joel Poinsett, who introduced the flower to the U.S. in the 1800s. The red and white parts of the poinsettia — which some people think are petals — are actually colored leaves called bracts.

IRISH12)  Swimming!  There are some intrepid people who get out in the open air and away from all the excess on Christmas morning, though it can be fairly miserable out there at that time of year.  One long standing tradition in Sandycove, a suburb of South Dublin is the Christmas Day Swim – in the sea. Yes, in Ireland, in December, they swim in the freezing Irish sea – and let me tell you it is MUCH colder even that it looks in the picture! Crazy, but they say it’s fun!

BOOT13)  On December 6 is Nikolaustag, St. Claus day. A shoe or boot is left outside the door on Dec.5 with hopes the following morning you find presents, if you were good – or, unfortunately a rod if you had been bad.

BURNING LOG14)  In southern France, it is a tradition among some families to burn a log in their homes from Christmas Eve until New Year’s Day. In olden days, farmers would use a part of this log to make the wedge for the plough as good luck for the next harvest. In Lyon, December 8th is annually celebrated as the Festival of Lights or ‘fete des lumieres’ in honour of Mother Mary for all the blessings through the year. Other important French traditions include the Nativity Scene, the midnight feast called ‘le reveillon’ and Pere Noel.

BROOMS15)  Norwegian legend has it that when Christmas Eve arrives it brings with it a series of evil spirits and witches.  The evil spirits and witches could not just walk from place to place but needed a form of transportation to fly around and they often used brooms for this.  It is Christmas tradition for Norwegian families to hide all brooms, mops and brushes on Christmas Eve so that these trouble makers can not use them.

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link ~  http://www.webmd.com/balance/rm-quiz-holiday-traditions?ecd=wnl_wmh_122513&ctr=wnl-wmh-122513_ld-stry&mb=rHKmwhyk2PvM%40wJ88MZOheHnVev1imbCTxvaq5IOIhg%3d

     

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013 ~ AWESOME!

FIREWORKS


I hope you enjoy this rather creative YouTube video, uploaded by flashdance987, artistically mixing ABBA singing their Happy New Year song with the pan flute music of Dinu Bomha.
 

“Happy New Year,
Happy New Year,
may we all have a vision now and then
of a world where every neighbour is a friend…”

The exhuberance of the children singing in this video is CONTAGIOUS!

YouTube video, “HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013 -The Fantastikids, english children choir” Uploaded on Dec 29, 2010,  the Fantastikids & Monsieur Nô wish you “HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013”
This English children’s choir is made up 20 pupils from Ermitage International School of France. They sing to help Plan International France, www.planfrance.org  Welcome on http://www.thefantastikids.com/ andyou can see many video-clips on YouTube -The Fantastikids

LYRICS ~ Happy Happy New Year another reason to rejoice is here – 52 weeks to make your heart sing and see what four new seasons will bring.
Happy Happy New Year, toss out bad memories by their ear.
Gather up new ones in a bouquet, ring out the old ring in a new day.
Happy Happy New Year our resolutions now we will hear.
If we could all run toward the light so many wrongs could be put right.
Happy Happy New Year lets not forget about the things that we’re so lucky to have in our lives – our sons and daughters, husbands and wives.
Happy Happy New Year, let there be summer,let there not be fear.
The clouds will pass over our heads, and let the sun shine on us instead.
Happy Happy New Year, another opportunity is here to just believe in what we can be and see our dreams become reality.

MUSIC ICON TRANSPARENTI’ve included the following Abba Happy New Year video because I felt that in the first video the music mixing is dominated by the pan flute (as lovely as it is – you can’t hear the lyrics).

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Happy New Year!
Best wishes for health, happiness and prosperity in 2013 to all our readers
from
Rainsoft Ottawa ~
Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc.