The address is one Times Square and expect one million people watch the ball drop to say farewell to 2010. The first party at Times Square was in 1904 with fireworks, and in 1907 a large illuminated iron and wood ball was lowered.
A lucky food on New Year's in the south is black eyed peas, but don't eat chicken or turkey because they will fate you to scratch in the dirt all year, bring poverty upon yourself. Eat pork - because poultry scratches backwards, a cow stands still, but a pig roots forward. Bearwiskers says... Happy New Year!
Auld Lang Syne is an old Scottish song first published by poet Robert Burns in 1796. Band leader Guy Lombardo popularizes the song and turned it into a New Year's tradition. Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians played the song on New Year's Eve party at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City in 1929, and a tradition was born. Bearwiskers has stayed at the Roosevelt Hotel, and it is a great hotel in a great city. If you see Guy Lombardo at the Roosevelt Hotel this New Years Eve, say hello for me.
In Britain the custom of first footing is practiced. The first male visitor to the house after midnight usually brings good luck for the new year. Usually they bring gifts like money, coal or food to ensure the family will have plenty of these things all year. Make sure the first person is not blond, red haired or a women as these people are supposedly bad luck. What about teddy bears? Happy New Year.
Santa is on his way. Have you been naughty or nice? Is the tree decorated, the presents wrapped? Have you started the cooking for the Christmas dinner? Are you going to church tonight, or maybe have a quiet evening with the family? How about a Christmas movie? Bearwiskers says... Merry Christmas all.
A typical Christmas menu in Australia will include seafood, glazed ham, cold chicken, duck or turkey, cold deli meats, pasta, salad, desserts, fruit salad, pavovas, ice cream, mince pies and fruit cake. Bearwiskers says... Yum Yum. Remember that Christmas down under is summer time, warm weather, sunny skies, wow let's go!
First day of winter, a special day, a lunar eclipse, the shortest day of the year, the celebration of Dong Zhi in China, MakarSankrani in India, Germanic Yule Festival. Wait there's more, the mistletoe is cut and hung in the door for good luck. If you see Bearwiskers... Give him a BIG hug, it's his special day too.
The Pennsylvania Germans in the Amish Country have a rich history of old and new traditions. Have you seen the Moravian Star, a 26 pointed star originated in Niesky, Germany, and can be seen on many porches of Litiz, Pa. Did you know that the first mention of a Christmas tree is found in the 1821 diary of Matthew Zahn, who lived in Lancaster, Pa.? The Christmas tree tradition was brought to America by the German settlers, and maybe Lancaster, Pa. is the home of the first Christmas tree in the United States. Bearwiskers says... Merry Christmas all.
Don't forget to put a candle in the window, to welcome Joseph and Mary. After the Irish Christmas meal, a loaf of bread filled with caraway seeds and raisins, a picture of milk and a large lit candle was placed on the table, and the door was left unlocked so that Joseph and Mary, or any wandering traveller, could avail themselves of the welcome. Bearwiskers says... Don't forget the soda bread and mince pies - Yum Yum!
Let's go to Italy to see the elaborate manger scenes or Cribs. The most beautiful Cribs or set up in churches and people go from church to church and compare the display and Cribs. Don't forget to set out the children's shoes in the hope that La Bafana, the female Santa Claus will fill them with toys, fruit and candy. Bearwiskers says... pass the Spumetti, Yum Yum.
Hungary has lots of Christmas traditions, the season starts with advent - waiting for Jesus. Christmas is a family affair, and usually the meal is fish or cabbage with special poppy bread called beigli. In Hungary, St. Nicholas is known as Mikulas, and visits childers accompanied with the Devil. There are small gifts for the good childern, but the Devil has a switch made of dry twigs to hit the naughty childern.
Hroniapola! In Greece a fasting period of up to 40 days before Christmas, mostly for religious reasons and also a healthful practice, would prepare everyone for the Christmas cookies. An older custom was that every family would raise a pig, or hiros, and would be served as the main dish on Christmas. Children sing carols, kalanda, from house to house, and are rewarded with sweets and candy. The word carol comes from a Greek dance called a choraulein, which was accompanied by flute music. Bearwiskers says... Bring on the melomacarona cookies! Yum Yum
Let's all go to the Weihnachtsmarkte, or the German Christmas Market, and listen to the brass band, have apple cider and some stollen or sugar roasted almonds. Christmas markets date back to the 14th century and are the place to be. The most famous Christmas market is the NurnbergerChristkindlesmarkt, which is at least 375 years old, and has over 200 vendors each year. Bearwiskers says... lassenSieunsgehen!
Today we celebrate Saint Lucy Day. Usually celebrated in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Malta, Italy, Bosnia, Bavaria, Croatia and Slovakia. Saint Lucy is also celebrated in the Bearwiskers house in the United Stated. Saint Lucy comes as a young woman with lights and sweets. What a great day! Merry Christmas Y'all!
French children put their shoes in front of the fireplace, in hopes that Pere Noel will fill them with gifts. Enjoy le reveillon, a symbolic awakening to the meaning of Christ's birth, and is the culinary high point of the season. Bearwiskers likes the traditional desserts - la buche de Noel, le pain calendeau, la galette des rois. Yum Yum! Don't forget the telling of the Marveiles qui advinrent en la Saint Nuit.
The Finnish Christmas is celebrated on December 24th. Most Finns have a tradition of going to sauna to start the celebrations of the evening. Then it's a family get together for Christmas dinner and maybe the reading of the Christmas gospel by St. Luke, describing the events at the time of the birth of Jesus.
Christmas - the time when everyone gets Santamental.
Papai Noel is the gift bringer in Brazil, and according to legend, he lives in Greenland. When Papai Noel arrives in Brazil he usually wears silk clothing due to the summer heat. I hope he brings a teddy bear for me.
December 7, 1941, more than 2,300 Americans die at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii after a sneak attack, an air raid from Japan. This was the tipping point which brought the United States into World War Two. God Bless the brave men and women who served in our Armed Forces at this time, and God Bless our troops who serve today.
My father and father in law were at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, at the time of the attack.