It’s the last few days of December, when we are all on Christmas break, unwinding and relaxing because we deserve some peace after the past three months at university.
Personally, whenever I don’t have to go to lectures and read articles for tutorials, I notice that my brain goes into holiday mode. This means that instead of using my time to be productive and work on myself, I spend even more time than usual on the Internet.
Whether you celebrate or not, I think you all know that Christmas is known for being that time of the year when everyone has to be a bit nicer. Still, every year some people decide to honour this by starting dumb discussions on the web. Since I’m a sucker for drama, I read all these virtual fights and, besides the recent tea between Greta Thunberg and Andrew Tate, my favourite content has been people beefing over traditions.
Maybe it was out of boredom, or maybe these people hate to see their favourite holiday being disrespected, I genuinely have no idea, but what I got out of it is that people love to tell others the dos and don’ts of holiday celebrations. As if there’s a right or wrong way to celebrate.
Who decided what was “right” or “wrong” anyway? And why do some feel the need to criticise how others celebrate? People are not going to change their own culture because a stranger online told them so! Plus, this is what is so fascinating about traditions: they are all so different and unique, so it’s always a bit special when someone shares their customs with us. After all the contrasting comments I read on social media on how to properly celebrate, I got curious, so I decided to educate myself and look up different ways to spend New Year’s around the world. It goes without saying that I found a lot of stuff online.
First of all, why are so many countries into red underwear? It is said to bring good luck so if you are a superstitious person, I suggest you get yourself some scarlet-coloured undergarments for the upcoming year.
Another tradition I liked was the Argentinian one: apparently, the country likes to celebrate by throwing shredded paper out of the window, as it is supposed to symbolise getting rid of the past and getting a fresh start to the year. And it seems that Argentinians are more chill than Italians, who used to celebrate in a really similar way: the only difference was that, instead of the paper, they threw out of their windows PIECES OF FURNITURE… you will be pleased to know that today this is no longer done, so you are safe to take some walks outside on New Year’s Eve.
For those of you who do not want to be in the furniture throwing range, there’s always Spain: here tradition says that when midnight strikes, you have to eat twelve grapes, one for each month of the year, at every chime of the clock. Shoutout to all Spaniards for not choking to death every 31st December, I’m sure that requires a lot of skills.
I left out of this post many countries and traditions, one more fun of the other. If you are bored over the break, I recommend looking them up and trying some with your family and friends next time Christmas rolls around. Who knows, maybe you’ll find something to spice up your holidays!
Written by: Federica Pastella
Editor: Nimrat Kaur
Visuals by: Lindy van Dijken