In the translation industry, we pay close attention to differences in tone, voice, and terminology. We also tend to see recurring themes and concepts regardless of language and culture.
Apply our translation approach to various New Year's traditions and you'll find that while there are vast differences in celebrations and rituals, some common concepts can be found in nearly every culture.
Take a look at these five interesting New Year's celebrations from around the globe, and try to pinpoint some underlying themes!
1) Coins in the Cake
In Bolivia, a coin is usually baked into a cake or pastry. Whoever gets the piece with the coin will have good luck for the year to come.
2) Leaping into the New Year
In Denmark, people climb up on couches and chairs in order to jump into the new year when the clock strikes midnight.
3) Water out the Window
In Puerto Rico, cups, buckets, and pales of water are poured out of windows to ward off the bad spirits.
4) 12 Grapes, 12 Seconds
In Spain, the custom is to try to eat 12 grapes in 12 seconds. If successful, you will have good luck in the new year.
5) Fist Fighting Festival (Takanakuy)
In Peru, a small community celebrates the coming of the new year with a village-wide fist fighting festival. Men, women, and children partake in the festivities as a means to settle their differences before the new year.
So, how did you do?
We've found that in nearly every culture, the New Year signifies a new beginning, a blank slate, or another chance for good luck, accomplishment, and prosperity.
Whether you're pouring water out of your window or fist fighting with your neighbor, the goal is to start fresh and bring on good luck for the upcoming year.
However you celebrate, we want to wish you a happy, lucky New Year!
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