The Countdown

Japanese people eat soba noodles on New Year’s.

Japanese people eat soba noodles on New Year’s.

Kiera Mason, Staff Writer

5…4…3…2…1, the clock strikes 12:00 AM, and the New Year has arrived. New Year’s is a time of celebration and happiness. Many traditions arise around this time. Around the world, Americans watch the ball drop; people in Spain eat 12 grapes; the Japanese eat soba noodles; and those in Denmark throw old glass plates. All sorts of people have traditions they follow on New Year’s.

In America, watching the ball drop is what almost everyone does. New York City hosts the ball drop, where thousands of people gather. The workers serve hot chocolate and many different kinds of drinks. Once the ball drops, fireworks go off, couples share a kiss, and everyone welcomes the new year.

Spain has a different type of tradition. The people in Spain eat 12 grapes. The 12 grapes symbolize each strike of the clock every hour. The tradition was originals started in the late 19th century. This was believed to ward off evil in the coming year. The 12 grapes would only work if all grapes were eaten before the clock points to midnight. This tradition is very unique.

Japanese people eat soba noodles on New Year’s. This tradition came from the Kamakura period and is linked to the Buddhist temple, which gave out noodles to the poor. The idea is that since the noodles are long, thin, and break easily when the noodles are eaten and broken, it symbolizes a literal break away from the old year.

In Denmark, old glass places are broken and thrown. This tradition supposedly brings luck into the households. Loved ones and friends gather to break plates into many pieces. Tradition says that the more pieces there are, the more luck is brought into the household. Many people in Denmark do this tradition.