Celebrating the New Year with Time-honored Traditions

HappyNewYear2016images.com

HappyNewYear2016images.com

Dear Readers,

In a few days, we will say goodbye to 2015 and hello to 2016, and I am so excited.  2015 has been filled with moments of great challenge and promise.   At several points this year — due in large measure to extreme doses of grace and mercy — I have been able to “review, revamp and relaunch” many of the projects I have been working on.  I cannot wait to share them with you in 2016.

I would also like to take this time to say “thank you” for supporting me and Brooklyn Legends.  This has been a wonderful journey and this blog is only the beginning.  I value your commitment and encouragement.

Last year, USA Today published an article on the origins of some of the world’s most cherished New Year‘s traditions;  from the familiar to customs that may be unfamiliar.  In the spirit of the season, I am pleased to share this list with you again this year.

Celebrating in New York City’s Times Square

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Before the ball, there were fireworks. The first New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square in New York City was held in 1904, culminating in a fireworks show. When the city banned fireworks two years later, event organizers arranged to have a 700-pound iron and wood ball lowered down a pole, according to the Times Square website. In the years since, it’s become a tradition for Americans to watch the ball start dropping at 11:59 p.m. and to count down the final seconds before the new year begins.

 Auld Lang Syne

The song literally means “old long ago.” The work by 18th-century Scottish poet Robert Burns has endured the ages and spread beyond Scotland and throughout the English-speaking world. The song is about “the love and kindness of days gone by, but … it also gives us a sense of belonging and fellowship to take into the future,” according to Scotland.org, a website of the Scottish government.

Kissing at Midnight

Perhaps you’ll have a New Year’s Eve kiss that was the defining moment in a sweeping love story – similar to the kiss Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan shared in the 1989 movie When Harry Met Sally. Or maybe you’ll pucker up with the person who happens to be standing next to you because, well, that’s just what people do. But why? Not doing so will ensure a year of loneliness, according to tradition. The custom may date to ancient European times as a way to ward off evil spirits, the Montreal Gazette reports.

Black-eyed Peas

It’s a tradition to eat Hoppin’ John, a stew made of black-eyed peas, in the American South. “Many Southerners believed that the black-eyed peas symbolized coins and eating them insured economic prosperity for the coming year,” wrote Frederick Douglass Opie, a food historian, in his blog Food As A Lens.

Colorful Lingerie

In some Latin American countries, including Mexico and Brazil, it’s believed the color of your undergarments will influence what kind of year you’ll have. Tradition holds that yellow underwear will bring prosperity and success, red will bring love and romance, white will lead to peace and harmony and green will ensure health and well-being, according to Michael Kleinmann, editor of The Underwear Expert website.

12 Grapes

In Spain and some other Spanish-speaking countries, one New Year’s custom is to eat 12 grapes for 12 months of good luck. But here’s the catch: to bring about a year’s worth of good fortune, you must start eating the grapes when the clock strikes midnight, then eat one for each toll of the clock. The best strategy? “Just take a solid bite and then swallow, pips and all,” writes cookbook author Jeff Koehler on NPR’s blog.

Molten Lead

Instead of reading tea leaves to tell the future, some in Germany and Austria read the molten lead. Here’s how: Heat up some lead in a spoon. When it’s melted, pour the molten lead into cold water. The shape of the lead will tell you what’s ahead of you in the coming year (although the shapes are open to interpretation). If you don’t want to actually melt metal, there’s an app to do it for you.

Fireworks

It’s not surprising that China, the country that invented fireworks, also makes setting them off a central part of New Year’s celebrations. It’s believed the noise scares off evil spirits and misfortune. The Chinese observe the lunar New Year on February 19, 2015.

Polka dots

Many in the Philippines wear polka dots because the circle represents prosperity. Coins are kept in pockets and “are jangled to attract wealth,” according to Tagalog Lang, a website about Filipino language and culture.

On behalf of everyone at Brooklyn Legends, have a wonderful New Year!

Monique

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Credits:
This article was published by Jolie Lee, Dec. 26, 2013 – news10.net.
Time Square Images: Timessquarenyc.org, wikipedia.org, madamtussauds.com, babble.com
Auld Lang Syne: chivalry.com, en.wikibooks.org, grumpyvisualartist.blogspot.com, squirrelqueen2.blogspot.com
Black-eye Peas: New York Time, blog.appliancefactory.com, foodandspice.blogspot.com
Grapes: commons.wikimedia.org
Fireworks: blog.livingonhudson.com, nyhabitat.com, retenna.com

Music to My Ears

Dear Readers,

Thank you for the email messages and feedback regarding this year’s playlist. I appreciate the suggestion to put all of the artists on one page so that everyone can see the complete list. So, as requested, here are the extraordinary women and men featured this year.

Oleta Adams – Get Here
Louis Armstrong – What A Wonderful World
Ray Charles – Sweet Potato Pie
Celine Dion – Thankful
The Jacksons – Good Times
Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Prayer
Whitney Houston – I Believe in You and Me
Alicia Keys – If I Ain’t Got You
Stephanie Mills – Home
Stevie Wonder – Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing

Have a wonderful day!

Monique

My Thanksgiving Playlist #10 – “Good Times”

Dear Readers,

I am so happy I was able to share 10 songs with you this year. The last song, an older Jackson Five hit from 1976, is dedicated to all of our family and loved ones who are no longer with us. While moments of sadness may come, and the tears may sometimes fall, let’s try to encouraged and remember all the Good Times.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fondly.
Monique

My Thanksgiving Playlist #9 – “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing”

Dear Readers,

I was thinking earlier today, I simply cannot have a playlist without Stevie Wonder. There is one song I’ve been listening to a lot lately Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing. As I listen to this song, I will make note of Stevie’s advice.

Fondly,
Monique

My Thanksgiving Playlist #8 – “I Say A Little Prayer”

Dear Readers,

I can think of no greater voice to celebrate this time-honored holiday with the Queen of Soul – Ms. Aretha Franklin. When I was growing up, learning the words to I Say A Little Prayer was a rite of passage, and decades later it never gets old. It took a while for me to couple the words of this song with the dance moves, but once I mastered these 2 things, I was allowed into the big girls “club.”

Fondly,
Monique

My Thanksgiving Playlist #5 – “If I Ain’t Got You”

Dear Readers,

We are counting down the hours before the “big” day and I’m moving through my Thanksgiving playlist. Today I am delighted to share one of my favorite songs of all time,  If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys. The one thing I know for sure is all that I have would absolutely mean nothing if I had no one to share my triumphs and setbacks with. For this I’m truly grateful.

Fondly,
Monique

My Thanksgiving Playlist #4 – “Thankful”

Dear Readers:

I hope your day was productive and lived up to your highest expectations. As you can see I am committed to completing my playlist in time for Thanksgiving. This evening I would like to share Celine Dion’s Thankful, which is such a treasure.

Have a great evening.

Fondly,
Monique

 

My Thanksgiving Playlist #2 – “Get Here”

Dear Readers,

Earlier today I shared the 1st song from my Thanksgiving playlist – What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.  My goal is to share 12 songs with you between today and Thursday which means I need to step up the pace.

My 2nd selection is Get Here by Oleta Adams, a beautiful and talented vocalist whose songs are enjoyed by her fans around the world. Have you thought about your playlist yet? If not, there is still time. For now, please enjoy one of my favorite songs.

Fondly,

Monique

 

My Thanksgiving Playlist – “What A Wonderful World”

Dear Readers,

Each year I look forward to sharing the songs on my playlist. Since Thanksgiving is just a few days away it would be impossible to post each song that I cherish. However, I hope my selections will provide some inspiration as you create your playlist.

The first song is Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World.  I hope it inspires you to relax and remember the good things in your life.

Enjoy!

Monique