It is a night when Happy New Year! will be heard in almost all of the more than 3,000 languages and dialects around the globe. Romanians will surely prefer to send messages such as La mulţi ani!, An nou fericit! or even Un 2017 fericit!, but what do other people say on the New Year’s Eve?
English speakers will surely say A Happy New Year! and the French speakers – Bonne Année! It is also important to know that this wish is the same in all languages: Chestita nova godina! (Bulgarian), Xian nian hao! (Chinese), Ein frohes neues Jahr! (German), Kali chronia! (Greek), Boldog uj evet! (Hungarian), S novim godom! (Russian), Un feliz ano nuevo! (Spanish) or even Yeni yliniz Kutlu olsun! (Turkish).
Also, New Year’s Eve comes with a lot of traditions and superstitions all around the globe: in Denmark, leaving the old tableware on the doorsteps when nobody can see you, for good luck; in Spain, eating 12 grapes at midnight, one for each month of the year; in Japan, 108 bell rings at midnight symbolize the 108 sins that a soul may commit during a lifetime.
However, Romanians seem to have the most diverse superstitions that most people still believe in: we smack the whip or use firecrackers and fireworks to chase away evil spirits; we must have money in our pockets at midnight to earn a lot of money in the new year; we always have fish on our New Year’s Eve table to be particularly agile in the new year; we get rid of all our debts to avoid money problems in the new year; on the 1st of January, the first person that we must invite into our house must be a man, for protection; we must wear a new red piece of clothing on New Year’s Eve to keep evil spirits away from us; we eat grapes, just like the Spaniards; we make a wish at the turn of the year; we light a candle in order to have a bright new year; we open the windows to let the last year’s negative aura get out of our house.
No matter how many superstitions we may have at the turn of 2016-2017, the fact is that, this time, we leave behind a year that robbed us of a number of cultural, music and movie stars, such as Mircea Albulescu, Sebastian Papaiani, Ioan Gyuri Pascu, Radu Beligan, Prince, David Bowie, George Michael, Carrie Fisher etc.
Looking towards 2017 with confidence and hope, we wish you a Happy New Year!