January 1st, 2011.
First New Year’s Eve I’ve slept through since I was about 10 years old!! It was nice to do it differently this year, and just wake up to the new year already humming along without any help from us!
We did learn about some great New Year’s Eve customs this year, that are worth putting down here. Buy new yellow and red underwear and wear them through New Year’s Eve. The yellow symbolizes wealth, and the red brings love. Green clothes attract a year of good health, and dressing in white invites good vibrations and assures a good year spiritually. Just before midnight, some people walk around their houses with brooms and they sweep out the old cobwebs and clean up, ready for a fresh start. New Year’s Eve dinner is a very late feast, that often includes tamales and grapes, 12 grapes each to be exact. As the clock bongs the 12 bongs at midnight, we gulp down the 12 grapes, one at a time, to assure luck in each of the upcoming months. (I like this tradition best. I think it’s a grape idea.) Another interesting tradition is to pick up an empty suitcase and walk around the house with it, so we will get to travel in the upcoming year. And of course, there is always kissing and hugging anyone close, to pass on wishes of health, happiness and prosperity. The tradition that landed closest to (and farthest from) home, I read in a Mexican newspaper. It talked about the most important Canadian New Year’s tradition (which I have sadly never even heard of until now, never mind experienced) of running a hot bath and have a soak in the tub as the clock strikes 12 !?? I think it was the same guy who wrote that the Polar Swim was a farce ...
So, we did the Polar Swim today, from the Jacuzzie to the cold pool for us Canadians, and back again. It feels good to be a Canadian, even if our traditions do get a bit twisted in translation!
This evening, my family and I decided to focus on spiritual awareness this year. It was a late-breaking, spontaneous decision, but it seems like the right thing to do. I feel pretty good about it. I also feel surprisingly laid back about it, like it’s not a huge task, but a daily ritual instead. We shall see how it plays out in the long run!!