Auld Lang Syne.

What exactly does “Auld Lang Syne” mean, anyway?  Well, the world-wide-interwebs tell me that it’s actually a Scottish poem(huh?) written by Robert Burns in 1788 (although he may have liberated pieces and parts from older folk songs and stories) and wasn’t really meant to be a holiday song.  But for us, it’s traditionally a song that means looking back on another year gone by.

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2015 was a pretty great year all around for my family.  It saw Hallee slowly gaining some ground on a health issue that consumed us for many months and gave me more than my fair share of sleepless nights.  There were visits from family, my youngest having a birthday that made me Mom to two teenagers, saw Mark & I elope and so many other blessings.

Some folks get melancholy about losing another year, but I’m a glass-half-full kind of girl and I’m always excited by what’s yet to come.  Like the fact that Mark and I just found out that we’re going to be grandparents this coming fall through my step-son Travis and his wife, Jess.  This will be grandchild number seven for us and I’m still freakishly young and reasonably attractive.  Rock on, young Nanas.

I’ve been looking online for New Year’s Eve traditions that can start.  We don’t really have any.  We don’t drink, we both hate crowds and we have kids still at home, so going out isn’t a big draw for us.  Usually one or both of us falls asleep on the couch watching TV and the 13 year old eventually yells downstairs, “Happy New Year!” and we trundle off to bed.  Wild, I tell you.

There are many New Year’s Eve/Day traditions all over the world, here are some of my favorites…

In Denmark they all jump off chairs at midnight and throw plates at their neighbor’s front doors.  Denmark knows how to have a good time.  They just moved up on my “Places to go” list.

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The American South..ah..genteel ladies and dashing gentlemen with impeccable manners..and NASCAR.  Down there it’s black-eyed peas and collard greens, which are said to bring good luck and money.  I do love me some black-eyed peas and collards, although I’ll pass on NASCAR nowadays.  My love for it died with Dale, Sr.

In Scotland (hello, Robert Burns), Hogmanay is the celebration of the Scottish New Year and it’s tradition to clean the house on the 31st of December (out with the old and such) and to pay off any debts before the New Year.  They need to hang with the Danes.  But they also have the tradition of “first footing” where at midnight on New Year’s Eve, a handsome man bearing whiskey, bread and coal steps in as your first visitor of the New Year.  OK, makes up for the cleaning and bill paying.

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The Ireland they hit the walls and door with bread to scare away evil spirits and had the tradition of throwing barm brack (a fruit-filled bread) at the wall to insure the family wouldn’t know hunger that year.

So what about you guys?  What traditions do you follow for New Year’s and where do they come from?  Be safe and have a wonderful New Year’s Eve!  And don’t forget that Union Street Towing will get you and your car home for free in Bangor/Brewer if you’ve had one too many on New Year’s Eve.  Wishing you all a very Happy and safe New Year!

Allyson Sorenson

About Allyson Sorenson

Bangor mom. BDN blogger. Volvo lover. Coffee drinker.