We have a family tradition of serving 12 round fruits for the new year. Only criteria is they should be unique fruits (having green apples and red ones doesn't count as 2) and they should not be sour (so that your luck for the new year doesn't get sour?). So despite the fact that I was celebrating the new year alone, I still bought the requisite 12 fruits. Let me see if I remember it correctly: apples, oranges, grapes, pears, guava, chickos, melon, watermelon, honeydew, pomelo, papaya and kiwi. OK so the problem is how to eat all of these fruits before they get spoiled :S
Do you have similar traditions for the new year? I can think of several more - some makes sense, others are a result of superstition and some are just plain silly.
- People I know believe that what you do during the new year will reflect what they will be doing the entire year. Or the condition of something during the new year will be the same throughout the year. For example, if you just laze around the house and not do your chores, you will be lazy for the rest of the year. Or if you did not clean your house in time for the new year your house is doomed to be dirty for the rest of the year. I think I have slept the entire day during the new year. Does that mean I will be sleeping for the rest of the year? hehe.
- My mother likes to wear read polka dotted dresses during the new year. *snicker* I'm not going to comment on the fashion implications of this outfit for fear of reprisal but she claims it symbolizes money and good fortune (it's a Chinese thing I think)
- Some people stretch out, jump and hang on to overhead bars in an attempt to increase their height for the new year. Haha don't deny it, you know who you are. :p
- Loud noises like firecrackers are supposed to drive away the old year and welcome the new. Some say it bring good luck and still some believe it drives away bad spirits (whatever that means - probably stale alcoholic drinks hehe).
- Shaking piggybanks full of coins creates noise and is similar to the previous item. Also applicable are trumpets, gongs and other noise making objects.
- All doors are opened at the moment of the new year to let "good fortune" in. How they can tell if it isn't the bad fortune scared silly by all that racket outside that goes in the house to take refuge I don't know. Perhaps that's what the coin shakers are for (normally they are the ones too scared to go outside because of the firecrackers so they just use trumpets, gongs and coin banks inside the relative safety of the house).
- And finally, the most sensible tradition I know of, is ending the new year with a nice feast so everybody can replenish their energy from all that merrymaking :)