New Year fireworks

Good-Bye 2017 – Hello 2018

I am very much looking forward to the New Year. While 2017 hasn’t been ALL bad, it’s brought more than its fair share of trials and tribulations – at least where I live. Hurricane Harvey left the Gulf Coast months ago, but reminders are everywhere. The three closest libraries to me are still under re-construction. My local pharmacy – with the ATM machine I use – closed. Piles of debris from gutting and repairing flooded homes – still there. But enough about Harvey.

On the positive side – the Houston Astros WON the World Series. The final winning game was taking place as I was sleeping in Germany. I was there as part of the 500th Reformation Anniversary tour. The time difference meant the game was playing while most of us were sleeping. A few of our group stayed up to watch it, so we knew by breakfast that we’d WON. This is really amazing. I’m afraid our tour guide that day didn’t quite grasp how totally awesome – and needed – that win was for my hometown.

How Other Countries Celebrate New Year’s Eve

Rather than recap the year I offer information about how a few other countries mark the close of one year and the start of another. My top five favorites are:

Denmark: The Danes mark the passing of the old by shattering their unused dishes and plates against the doors of their friends and family. I know that sounds odd, but after what Harvey did to us – smashing things actually sounds kind of therapeutic.

Ecuador: New Year’s Eve is for burning things. Ecuadorians celebrate by burning paper filled scarecrows at midnight – along with photographs from the previous year. This supposedly brings good fortune in the upcoming year.

Belgium: To show their gratitude for what they supply the family, farmers wish the cows a Happy New Year.

Bolivia: Bolivians practice a variation of the Mardi Gras King Cake tradition. They bake coins into sweet desserts. Those who find the coins are supposed to have good luck in the new year.

Scotland: The first person to cross a threshold of a home in the new year is supposed to carry a gift for good luck.

New Year’s Eve in My World

I suppose I’ll do the usual – try to stay up to watch the ball drop from Times Square in New York on TV. This is easier to do when I’m a time zone or two further west. Or, I might trust the year to arrive on its own and spend the cross over sleeping.

However, wherever, and with whomever you mark the arrival of 2018

Happy New Year!

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