Toasting the Birth of 2013 (by

Posted: January 1, 2013 by wynmaker in Alcohol, Beer News, Celebrities, MCC, Research, Sparkling, Vintage, Wine, World wine news
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Happy 2013!

Happy 2013!



Old rites for new year.

As the clock strikes midnight on Monday, millions will pop Champagne corks and light fireworks while others indulge in quirkier New Year’s rituals such as melting lead, leaping off chairs or gobbling grapes.

One of the world’s oldest shared traditions, New Year’s Eve celebrations take many forms, but most cultures have one thing in common: letting one’s hair down after a long, hard year.

For much of the globe this involves sipping bubbly with friends until the sun comes up, seeing out the old year with bonfires and flares, and off-key renditions of “Auld Lang Syne.” But others have rather more curious habits, often steeped in superstition.

In Finland, people pour molten lead into cold water to divine the year ahead from the shape the metal sets in. If the blob represents a ship it is said to foretell travel; if it’s a ball, there will be good luck in the year ahead.

In Denmark, merrymakers stand on chairs and jump off in unison as the clock strikes midnight, literally leaping into the new year. (The Danes also throw plates at their friends’ homes during the night; the more shards you find outside your door in the morning the more popular you are said to be.)

The Dutch build massive bonfires with their Christmas trees and eat sugary donuts – one of many cultures to consume round-shaped New Year foods traditionally believed to represent good fortune. Donuts are also served in Germany, traditionally filled with jam apart from a single pastry containing mustard to trick one unlucky reveler. The festivities are accompanied by a glass of sekt (German sparkling wine), and on the dot of midnight, the skies are lit up with fireworks, as groups of party-goers and families let off lavish displays of crackers and rockets.

In France, oysters and Champagne are the order of the day, while Spaniards gobble a dozen grapes before the stroke of midnight, with each fruit representing a month that will either be sweet or sour.

Read on …

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