We’re in full swing planning for 2023 here at Hughes Private Capital. Like every year, 2022 was a mix of highs and lows, but ultimately we know good things are on the horizon for next year.
In the spirit of the occasion, I wanted to share with you some interesting — and dare I say “kooky” — ways that the New Year is celebrated around the world. Maybe this will inspire your own festivities.
• Japanese diners enjoy a bowl of soba noodles during “toshikoshi soba,” or “year-crossing noodles.” The long, thin shape of soba noodles is said to signify a “long and healthy life.” Plus, the main ingredient in soba noodles is buckwheat, known to be an especially resilient crop.
• Also in Japan, Buddhist temples ring their bells 108 times on New Year’s Eve (technically, 107 on the eve and 1 on the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day). This number signifies the number of evil desires in every person that will be cleansed for the new year.
• In Spain, Spaniards eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight — one grape for each of the first 12 bell strikes. This is believed to bring good fortune and prosperity.
• In Russia, brave divers delve into the frigid depths of Lake Baikal and “plant” an artificial fir tree more than 100 feet below the icy surface. This has been going on for 25 years.
• Another fascinating Russian New Year’s tradition is to consume ashes — don’t worry, not human ashes. Russians write down their wishes for the new year on pieces of paper that they burn with a candle and then add the ashes to champagne that they drink at midnight.
• Greeks hang a strand of onions near a doorway. The onions are thought to encourage growth throughout the new year.