There are many New Years Day traditions from around the world! How many of these did you and your friends celebrate?! What are some of your traditions? Twisted History would love to hear!

Make Some Noise

Making a lot of noise—from fireworks to gun shots to church bells—seems to be a favorite pastime around the world.

  • In ancient Thailand, guns were fired to frighten off demons.
  • In China, firecrackers routed the forces of darkness.
  • In the early American colonies, the sound of pistol shots rang through the air.
  • Italians let their church bells peal
  • the Swiss beat drums
  • North Americans sound sirens and party horns to bid the old year farewell.

Eat Lucky Food

Many New Year’s traditions surround food

  • The tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight comes from Spain. Revelers stuff their mouths with 12 grapes in the final moments of the year—one grape for every chime of the clock!
  • In the southern US, black-eyed peas and pork foretell good fortune
  • In Scotland people parade down the streets swinging balls of fire.
  • Eating any ring-shaped treat (such as a donut) symbolises “coming full circle” and leads to good fortune. In Dutch homes, fritters called olie bollen are served.
  • The Irish enjoy pastries called bannocks.
  • In India and Pakistan, rice promises prosperity.
  • Apples dipped in honey are a Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) tradition.
  • In Swiss homes, dollops of whipped cream, symbolising the richness of the year to come, are dropped on the floors—and allowed to remain there!

Have a Drink

Although the pop of a champagne cork signals the arrival of the New Year around the world, some countries have their own beverage-based traditions.

  • Wassail, a punch-like drink named after the Gaelic term for “good health,” is served in some parts of England.
  • Spiced “hot pint” is the Scottish version of Wassail. Traditionally, the Scots drank to each others’ prosperity and also offered this warm drink to neighbors along with a small gift.
  • In Holland, toasts are made with hot, spiced wine.

Give a Gift

New Year’s Day was once the time to swap presents.

  • Gifts of gilded nuts or coins marked the start of the new year in Rome.
  • Eggs, the symbol of fertility, were exchanged by the Persians.
  • Early Egyptians traded earthenware flasks.
  • In Scotland, coal, shortbread and silverware were traditionally exchanged for good luck.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

In Scotland, the custom of first-footing is an important part of the celebration of Hogmanay, or New Year’s Eve day.

After midnight, family and friends visit each other’s home. The “first foot” to cross a threshold after midnight will predict the next year’s fortune. Although the tradition varies, those deemed especially fortunate as “first footers” are new brides, new mothers, those who are tall and dark (and handsome?) or anyone born on January 1.

Turn Over a New Leaf

The dawn of a new year is an opportune time to take stock of your life.

  • Jews who observe Rosh Hashanah make time for personal introspection and prayer, as well as visiting graves.
  • Christian churches hold “watch-night” services, a custom that began in 1770 at Old St. Georges Methodist Church in Philadelphia.
  • The practice of making New Year’s resolutions, said to have begun with the Babylonians as early as 2600 B.C., is another way to reflect on the past and plan ahead.

New Years Folklore

Some customs and beliefs are simply passed down through the ages. Here are some of our favorite age-old sayings and proverbs.

  • On New Year’s Eve, kiss the person you hope to keep kissing.
  • If New Year’s Eve night wind blow south, It betokeneth warmth and growth.
  • For abundance in the new year, fill your pockets and cupboards today.
  • If the old year goes out like a lion, the new year will come in like a lamb
  • the darkest person would renter the house first – a tradition relating to coal mining days
  •  No washing clothes on the last day of the year as you will wash someone out of your life! 

 

Some Information courtesy of www.almanac.com

 On This Day – August 7, 1913

When going through the many statements taken for the information of the coroner in connection with the murder, on August 7 last, of the old woodcutter, Richard Knight, outside his hut in the bush between Lilydale and Coldstream (says the Melbourne ‘Argus’). Detective-Sergeant Arthur and Detective Keily discovered certain discrepancies in the stories of several boys living in Coldstream. Information concerning their movements around the time of the murder was proffered in such a manner that many possibilities were presented, and in order to satisfy themselves that the boys were not purposely withholding certain facts, the two detectives yesterday returned from Melbourne to Coldstream. Each of the boys was seen, and though they all presisted in their previous statements, they were not able to explain whether certain of their actions were, due to a coincidence or otherwise. They could not be shaken in their first statement that they had not seen the old man after he was shot at, though one of them admitted having been at his hut just previous to the time when two residents of the neighbouring bush heard two shots fired in the direction of the hut. The boys were questioned separately, but they showed no signs of wavering, neither did their statements contradict each other. In view of this, the detectives came to the conclusion that it was useless prolonging the examination.  Unless something unforseen happens nothing more will now be done until the inquest, the date of which the coronor (Dr. Cole) will probably fix within the next few days.  Altogether, about 20 witnesses will be subpoenaed, as the police intend having everyone present who may possibly be able to assist the coroner in determining when, how, and by whom Knight was killed.

On this day …….. 6th of August 1906

A lunatic by the name Thomas Parker Ewing, whilst being transferred from Dr. Mailer’s home in Ballarat to the Ararat Asylum, escaped on the 6th of August 1906, from his attendant at the railway station. Ewig was found the next morning hiding in a railway carriage in the yards. On making his escape Ewing travelled as far as Warrenheip, and when darkness set in he returned to Ballarat and pawned his watch. It is said that this was the second occasion on which he had escaped from custody, Ewing was taken back to Ararat Asylum.

 

ON THIS DAY …….6th August 1938

After a retirement of four hours a jury in the Criminal Court found Edward Allan May aged 30, laborer, not guilty of having murdered Mrs. Yoland Joan Shirley Bordin aged 21, of Carlton, but guilty of manslaughter. He was remanded for sentence after having admitted to prior convictions, including a gaol sentence of five years for armed assault with intent to rob. Mrs. Bordin, who was living apart from her Italian husband, was found bleeding to death from a knife wound at Carlton early on this day in 1938. Some distance away was a long-bladed hunting knife.

ON THIS DAY …….6th August 1955

Domenic “Mick” Gatto was born on the 6th of August 1955. Mick is an Italian-Australian man widely suspected to be involved in the Melbourne underworld. Gatto is a ‘professional mediator’ within the building industry in Melbourne. He runs a company, Arbitrations and Mediations Pty Ltd and has an interest in the crane company, Elite Cranes. In 2004 Mick Gatto was charged with the murder of suspected underworld hitman Andrew Veniamin and remanded in custody for 18 months. He was found not guilty at trial, during which Gatto claimed he had acted in self-defence after Veniamin pulled out a .38 and threatened to kill him. Gatto claims that during a struggle he was able to turn the gun around on Veniamin and fire one shot into his neck, and one shot in the eye. He also claimed that during the argument, Veniamin had implicated himself in the deaths of Dino Dibra, Paul Kallipolitis and Graham Kinniburgh.

On This Day ……. 6th of August 1873

The notorious Emily Green, who for some time past has been diverting herself at Ballarat by getting drunk and uncontrollable, and destroying Government property when incarcerated, has again visited this town. Last evening she was found by Constable Digby, near the top of Yarra street, in the centre of a numerous group of boys and men, and apparently suffering from a fit. The constable speedily defined the cause of her illness, but although a cab was procured it was only with the utmost difficulty she was conducted to the watch house, where she subsequently made the ells melodious, before being taken to the Geelong a Gaol.

 

ON THIS DAY …….5th August 1947

Twin brothers were in the City Court on this day in 1947, one charged with attempted murder and the other with having conspired to murder. The charge followed the shooting of Keith Kitchener Hull, at St. Kilda on the 27th of July. The men are Charles Martin (26), of St. Kilda, who faced the charge of attempting to murder Hull, and Ernest Alfred James Martin, of South Yarra. who was charged with having conspired to murder Mrs. Thelma Hull, on the 30th of July.  George Barrett (34), of St. Kilda, was also charged with having attempted to murder Hull. Bail was refused on the attempted murder charge, but Ernest Martin was allowed bail. Detective H. R. Donnelly, in evidence, said that Hull would not tell the police who shot him. The accused were remanded to August 12.

On this day …….. 5th of August 1898

A boy named Watts was crossing a paddock on Oliver Anketell’s farm near Dandenong, Victoria, on this day in 1898 when a large eagle swooped down and grabbed his dog, burying it’s talons in to it’s back. The bird rose in the air with the dog before the boy could come to the rescue. The dog howled in pain as it struggled in vain attempts to free it’s self. They were high in the air before the dog managed to catch it’s captor’s wings and hold on. The eagle used it’s beak with terrible effects, but the dog instinctively kept it’s hold on the wing, and the pair, tumbling over and over as they fell to the ground. The boy ran to his dog’ said and managed to kill the eagle by bludgeoning it to death with heavy blows to the head from his stout walking stick. The dog was alive but badly injured around the head and body from attacks by the birds claws and beak. The eagle measured two metres from tip to tip of it’s wings. The dog which weighted about 10kg made a good recovery.

 

ON THIS DAY …….5th August 1946

Bleeding from extensive knife wounds in the forearm, John Kickert, 65, Dutchman, staggered into a confectionery shop at Fairfield at 8pm, on this day in 1946, and slumped into a chair and died. The main arteries in Kickert’s arm had been severed and apparently he bled to death. As he entered the shop, Kickert produced a knife with a 16-inch razor-like blade and said to the proprietress, Mrs. Valda Wild, ‘Look, Miss.’ Police followed the trail of blood from the shop for more than 300 yards to a house in Gillies Street, where Kickert lived with his wife and daughter. They found the house in disorder. Every window in the house had been smashed, and there was evidence a violent struggle. They were told a quarrel had occurred between Kickert and a man. , Kickert had called at Mrs. Wild’s shop at 6.45pm. He was then bleeding from face and head injuries, arid alleged he had been beaten’ up. He asked Mrs. Wild to telephone, the police, and two con constables came to the shop. They then accompanied Kickert back to his home,, and police, thinking there would be no further trouble, left Kickert at the house. Later police were told that there was another quarrel in which Kickert received the death wound. Police are searching for a man.

 

ON THIS DAY …….5th August 1941

Ratcliff Lawson, aged 51 years, from Essendon, and his son, Peter, aged 20 years, were found dead on this day 1941, in a gas filled motor car at Kangaroo Ground, 25 mile, from Melbourne. Police believe that it is a case of murder and suicide. The father had a deep affection for his son, who was a patient in a mental hospital.

 

 

On this day …….. 5th of August 1938

CENTENARIAN’S PARTY

Mrs. Isabel Munro, aged 104 years, of Fitzroy, believed to be the oldest woman in Victoria, went to a party last Friday night. She returned to her home at 2.30 a.m. and at 11 o’clock she complained to a visitor that she was being kept in bed. ‘They say it’s cold,’ she said, ‘but I’m not cold, and I’m not tired. I’d sooner get up. I like
to get up at 6.40. Her daughter Mrs. McIntyre, with whom she lives, said that her mother had never had a serious illness, and did not suffer from headache, ear
ache or toothache. She is eligible for toothache, however, as three new teeth appeared about six years ago.

 

On This Day ……. 5th of August 1880

Two larrikins named William Worzeldine and Walter Daniels were charged at the police court on this day in 1880, with being found in a public place with intent to commit a felony. There was a second charge of vagrancy. Sergeant O’Hare stated that about 10 o’clock on the evening of the 29th of July, he observed the prisoners loitering about in a suspicious manner, and then go up the lane at the rear of Messrs. Bright and Hitchcock’s establishment. He followed them, and arrested Daniels, and Worzeldine was afterwards found in an empty packing case behind the drapery shop. He had not known the prisoners do anything for a living. Mr. Cakebread stated that on the 28th ult., his office was broken into. On the morning of the 29th he found a blank cheque on his desk with the word “bearer” written on it by one of the robbers. Sergeant O’Hare stated that he got Daniels to write the word “bearer,” and the writing was similar to that on the blank cheque. Worzeldine, in defence, stated that he was in the employment of a night man when he was arrested, and always earned an honest livelihood. Daniels made no defence. Worzeldine was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, and Daniels to nine months’, in the Geelong Gaol.