The New Year is a time of looking ahead with hopes for good things to come and people wishing each other health, happiness and success in the coming year. Festivities are varied, ranging from church services to fireworks, and sometimes include special meals or traditions. Of course, Americans are familiar with the singing of Auld Lang Syne, the Scottish song originally published by Robert Burns, and popularized more than a century later by bandleader Guy Lombardo. But some traditions are a bit more lively, a bit more tasty, and sometimes a bit more odd! Read on for a sampling of traditions and perhaps pick one to incorporate into your own revelry this year!
In a few villages in Peru, you could get an opportunity to throw some punches before the year ends! A tradition known as Takanakuy, this practice allows participants to settle old scores before the year ends, ensuring a fresh start. There is also music and dancing involved (it is an all-day celebration, not just a slugfest), which hopefully even the loser can enjoy after taking a beating! Odder still, in Switzerland, a tradition exists of dropping ice cream on the floor???? Tending toward gluttony myself, this tradition makes no sense to me, but I do like the approach in Estonia! They eat seven times on New Year’s Day to assure abundance in the coming year. Incidentally, they are known for their chocolate, as well as a real mouthful of a treat, vastlakukkel, a wheat bun stuffed with sweet whipped cream!
In Scotland, people visit their friends shortly after midnight to wish each other well, and it is considered especially good luck if the first person to enter your home in the new year is a tall, dark, handsome man (this is the land of Sean Connery, remember). Naturally, this person should also come bearing gifts. In Romania, people toss coins into rivers for good luck. In Puerto Rico, they toss water out of windows to drive away evil spirits. Italians get a bit heavier, literally, throwing old objects out the window, including clothes, pots and pans and even furniture! This tradition is not as widely practiced as it used to be. The gesture symbolizes letting go of the past, a common theme for the new year.
Some regions of South America observe a custom of carrying a suitcase on New Year’s Eve, either for a quick trip around the block, or all day and everywhere you go. Some say leaving the suitcase by the door will do the trick. The idea is, if you want the new year to contain exciting travel, grab your suitcase and go! Around the block or about your business. The real trip will come.
Of course, one of the most popular New Year traditions is the making of resolutions. These also cover a wide spectrum, including spiritual, professional, romantic, health-related, etc. The resolutions, whatever they may be, in and of themselves are an exhibition of optimism about the fresh start of the year.
With resolutions set, people return to work. If your work involves international depositions, there are a few resolutions you can make to streamline the process.
Partner with a court reporting firm that specializes in international depositions and has offices and teams throughout the world: This firm can alert you to special travel requirements (visa, passport), Hague considerations, etc. They can assist with any requirements unique to certain countries for which you may not be familiar, and perhaps offer a little extra insight into the area you will be visiting, enhancing your stay there!
Work with local reporters, videographers, and interpreters: This saves you and your client money, as any travel costs will be minimal. This also means you get the inside track on where to eat, shop, and visit. Basically, you get way more bang for your buck working with locals. Ask them about hidden gems you simply cannot miss — like that vastlakukkel!
Take advantage of the firm’s online repository: This provides you 24/7 access to all your transcripts, synchronized videos, exhibits, and related documents. The repository is secure and equipped with powerful search tools, enabling you to quickly locate exactly what you need, when you need it. There are no software licenses to purchase or manage.