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With 2023 nearly over and Christmas celebrations now just a memory, we are looking at another New Years Eve. As a child our New Year was always spent with family at our grandmothers. A happy house full of fun, food and much laughter from both adults and children. We always looked forward to this evening and cherished those memories and continue to do so as adults with children of our own.

For hundreds of years there have always been many traditions linked to New Year’s Eve. In our grandmother’s house, as soon as the clock struck twelve and we had finished the obligatory embraces and singing of Auld Lang Syne, it was time to let the old year out and the new one in. Out the back door, through the back gate, down along the canal and back up through the front door with a piece coal; It was such a small tradition but one that we always remember.

Looking back at that tradition it is easy to see how over time that has evolved to suit the needs of those celebrating. With our family it didn’t matter who took on the task. But traditionally, people open the back door to let the old year out and then ask the first dark haired man to be seen to come through the front door, carrying salt, coal, and bread.

Today it is very common to see fireworks on New Years Eve, London certainly has a wonderful show. For many years it has always been a tradition to make lots of noise to see in the New Year, from ringing bells, blowing horns, and singing.

In Scotland, New Year is referred to as Hogmanay, celebrations in Edinburgh take shape in the form of joyous street parties, Ceilidh, and live music.

Whilst in Brazil it is traditional to wear white on New Years Eve, to head for the sea at midnight, jump seven waves and throw in white Roses or Peonies, in honour of Lemanja, the goddess of the sea.

And finally, let’s not forget the shivery but rejuvenating New Years Day outdoor swim. Sea or pool, take your pick! A tradition originally started by a Dutch swim club that received national attention in 1960. So, if that is your thing, why not head down to Sandford Park Lido this New Years Day and see in the New Year with a splash!

Traditions are important to so many of us because they are often a link to our past and those that may no longer be with us. They keep memories alive and allow us to re live those precious moments whilst passing on those traditions to the next generation, who in turn get to know a little more family history, feeling connected to a time when they were not present but can imagine how it might have been. For that reason, traditions are a rare gift at a such a special time of year. They open a door to the past and enable us to look forward to the future and the year ahead with comfort and positivity.

From everyone at The Bespoke Life, we hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and we wish you good health & happiness for this coming year!