As 2014 draws to a close, you may sit back and reflect on the year past, and contemplate upon the year to come. Or, as many people all over the world, you may be planning the biggest celebration of the year, and how and where to spend it.


The very first New Year starts at 10am (GMT) on the 30th December, in Kiribati, Samoa and the Christmas Island, and Auckland New Zealand follows, an hour later. The last new year is at 12 midday GMT on the 1st January, in a small part of America called Howland Island.


I’ve travelled the world for several New Year’s celebrations and something that they all had in common was champagne, with the popping of the cork to bring in the New Year with a bang whilst watching fireworks booming in the sky above. In Frankfurt and Moscow, there seemed to be no regard for health and safety and the fireworks were being let off all around us. For a reserved English person, it was a little frightening, but I loved the wild freedom of it all.


In Russia, they have the New Year’s tree, instead of a Christmas tree, and a fella called Grandfather Frost brings gifts and sweets for the children, wearing blue, and with his granddaughter the Snow Maiden. The celebration is a family one, with great food and drink to accompany the celebrations.


In Madrid, we congregated in Puerta Del Sol square and ate twelve grapes at midnight, one for each chime of the bell, to bring us good luck and prosperity in the next twelve months.


All countries seem to have great traditions of noise, fireworks and staying awake past midnight to bring in the new year and hope for peace and abundance. My Dutch family serve Olliebollen and spiced wine in a cosy but cheerful family celebration.


The Scots, I hear, do New Year very well, with Homogamy, and the tradition of first-footing, to set the tone of luck for the following year. A tall dark man (preferably) will bring a gift for the head of house and food and drink for the guests.


Have you had any spectacular New Year’s eves? Or do you know of any strange traditions? How will you be celebrating the start of 2015?


However it may be, I wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year.

Written by our regular contributor Catherine.

Website: http://www.mummylion.co.uk
Twitter: @mummylion

All views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Room To Grow.

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