We’ve all missed out on a lot of travel this year, so to celebrate the end of 2020, let’s plan a trip around the world without leaving the house! New Year’s Eve in the United States is all about ball drops, fireworks, and champagne toasts, but in different parts of the world, people celebrate New Year’s in different ways, like eating grapes, smashing plates, or getting tapped with an onion.
What are family traditions?
Family traditions provide a sense of identity and bonding within the family unit by being repeatedly experienced by family members. These traditions can be transferred from generation to generation.
A family tradition can be created at any time by doing a sentimental family-building activity over and over again. This will bridge a connection between the past, the present, and the future and increase unity and compassion between each member.
You can perform these experiences daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, or even seasonally. Each time you partake in a family tradition, you will feel the warmth it brings to your soul as you are reminded of the previous times you’ve done this family tradition.
Benefits of Family Traditions:
- Nurtures a family’s connection between each family member
- Increases a child’s self-esteem
- Gives each member a sense of belonging
- Can increase the excitement of celebrations
- Creates cherished memories
- They provide a sense of security and nurturing
- Encourages respect between each family member
Begin your own family traditions to reap the benefits and increase the happiness in your home as well.
Are they hard to keep up with?
You don’t have to do anything big or complicated to create traditions. In fact, it’s often better to keep things simple. That way, it’s easier to stick to the traditions and they don’t come across as being too stressful. Plus, the little things often mean more, anyway.
How to build a family tradition?
Integrating new customs into your family life can be engaging for everyone! Brainstorm with your kids about what they would like to do differently, and consult this list for inspiration. If you come across a new tradition that you want to test out but it turns out not to be as enjoyable as you’d hoped, don’t hesitate to abandon it in favor of something else. The most important thing is to choose activities that everyone will enjoy and that create a sense of closeness within your family.
Family Traditions To Encourage Love + Unity
Family traditions help to create a warm and loving family atmosphere. They can help to build unity and encourage connection and belonging. They can also help to set a foundation of strong core family values.
Celebrate a Birthday Morning the Same Way Each Year
We always start my children’s birthday mornings with a special birthday balloon avalanche. It’s somewhat easy to do and my children look forward to it every year. The night before their birthday, the birthday girl or boy goes to bed a little earlier than normal, and then each family member helps build the birthday balloon avalanche as an act of love.
Create Special School Lunches for Special Days
On my children’s birthdays, I make them a special lunch. For their birthday, I include a lunchthemed toward their new age. On their first day of school, I make them a chicken burger with cheese letter cutouts.
Create a Tradition of Special Family Gatherings or Family Reunions
Describe a tradition your family has. My family has a tradition of going out to eat on my birthday. We usually go to my favorite restaurant and then go home for cake and ice cream. It’s a really fun way to celebrate my birthday and it’s something I always look forward to.
Have a Weekly Family Meal Tradition
Friday nights are for pizza and ice cream at our house! It’s a fun family tradition.
Meal Family Tradition Ideas:
- Saturday morning is pancake morning
- Sunday night is burger or barbeque night
- Monday night may be a soup night,
- Taco Tuesday’s
Choose a simple food to make for your family one night a week. Find a night that works for your schedule and stick to it. This will be a fun tradition for your family.
Enjoy a Special Family Vacation Spot
I often suggest traveling to new places with my children, but they currently want to go back to the same vacation spot every year. It gives them a source of comfort. I know that we won’t likely go to Turk’s and Caicos every year for the rest of our lives, so maybe you can stick to a 5-year vacation spot. Go to the same place every year for five years. Not keen on Turks and Caicos? Then try doing a yearly winter ski trip, a yearly Las Vegas trip, or wherever else may be close by to you, and make it your special spot to create special memories.
Family-Friendly New Year’s Traditions from around the World
Please enjoy these unique New Year’s traditions from around the world with your family. If you’re looking for more fun ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve at home with your kids, we have plenty of ideas for you!
12 Grapes (Spain)
In Spain, people eat 12 grapes at midnight when the bell strikes 12 times. This is believed to bring good fortune and prosperity. Eating grapes at noon (or any other hour) can bring just as much good fortune to kids.
Good Wishes Bread (Armenia)
To make your favorite bread as they do in Armenia, add sourdough and knead in some extra good luck for the new year. Although you can’t order good luck from Instacart, you and your kids can talk about all your happy thoughts and ideas for the future as you bake together.
Vasilopita is a sweet yeast bread that is traditionally eaten at midnight. A coin is baked into the bread, and it is sliced and distributed from oldest to youngest. One piece of the bread is set aside for St. Basil, and another piece is set aside for those in need. Whoever gets the coin in their slice is in for a year filled with luck.
Piggies (Austria and Germany)
You don’t need to roast an entire pig for good luck in the new year, marzipan or chocolate piggies will do just fine. This tradition is practiced in Austria and parts of Germany, and it’s still popular in some parts of Dutch Pennsylvania. It’s said that eating pigs is lucky because pigs are always rooting forward, and people want to move forward in the new year. If marzipan isn’t your favorite, try making adorable piggie cupcakes instead.
Toshikoshi Soba Noodles (Japan)
Soba noodles eaten on New Year’s Eve are called “toshikoshi soba.” They are slurped to melt away the hardship of the last year and welcome what lies ahead. This is a beautiful sentiment for this particular year, and it’s usually pretty easy to get kids to eat a bowl of delicious noodles in the broth.
Traditions that Bring Luck in the New Year
White Flowers and Wave Jumping (Brazil)
Many people believe that Yemoja, a water deity, has control over the sea. People looking for luck often throw white flowers into the ocean and jump seven waves while making seven wishes. Even though it may be too cold to stand in the ocean at midnight, this tradition can be done during the day on the last day of the year.
Chair Leaping (Denmark)
Kids will love being in charge of this tradition from Denmark. Arrange chairs in a circle and have the kids stand on them. At midnight, have everyone jump off the chairs simultaneously and shout “Happy New Year!” Doing this supposedly brings good luck.
Break Some Plates (Denmark)
The tradition of throwing china at friends’ and neighbors’ doors comes from Denmark. The more broken dishware at the door, the better your luck in the new year. We’re not suggesting you throw your Corelle at unsuspecting neighbors, but if you have a few old chipped mugs or plates, it’s a great way to get the last of the 2020 aggression out by letting the kids smash a few plates on your doorstep, all in the name of tradition.
Wear Colored Underwear (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Italy)
Be sure to check your underwear before New Year’s Eve! In several countries, it is thought to be lucky to wear special, typically red or yellow, underwear on New Year’s Eve. Wearing rainbow underwear might be fun to see what sort of luck it might bring!
Smashing Pomegranates (Greece)
Smashing a pomegranate on the front door of a house is considered to bring good luck in Greece. The amount of luck that it is said to bring is directly proportional to the number of seeds that spill out of the fruit. Therefore, the more seeds that come out of the pomegranate, the luckier the upcoming year is supposed to be.
New Year’s Eve Traditions Kids Will Love
Pour Cream on the Floor (Switzerland)
Feed your pet a dollop of cream to ensure a prosperous year.
Bread Banging (Ireland)
Why eat carbs when you can hit them? The Irish believe hitting bread against the wall on New Year’s Eve will chase away bad luck and evil spirits. Get a couple of baguettes and let the kids go crazy releasing their energy.
Empty Suitcase Parade (Colombia)
If you would like to travel more next year, you may want to try out a Colombian tradition. People in Colombia take empty suitcases for a walk around the block to symbolize the travel they wish to take in the upcoming year.
Onion Tapping (Greece)
Some parents in Greece start their kids’ New Year’s Day by tapping them on the head with an onion. Though it may sound silly, the onion is actually a symbol of rebirth in the country. Of course, this tradition requires parents to be up before their kids on a holiday morning.
Joya no Kane (Japan)
This text describes the Japanese New Year’s Eve tradition of Joya no Kane, in which a bell is rung 107 times, followed by one final ring at midnight. Children typically enjoy taking part in this activity, which is usually performed outdoors.
Salt Sprinkling (Turkey)
In Turkey, people sprinkle salt on their doorsteps as a way to start the new year fresh. This is traditionally done at midnight, but you could also do it at the same time that it is midnight in Turkey, which is between 1 pm and 4 pm in the United States.
Water Splashing (Burma)
In Burma, people splash water on each other to purify the soul. This tradition can be fun to incorporate into a bathtime ritual!
Make a Wish, Drink the Ashes (Russia)
Russians have a tradition of writing their wishes on a piece of paper and then burning it. The ashes are then put into champagne which is drunk before midnight.
Sing “Auld Lang Syne” (UK)
This particular song has come from across the pond, so while very few people know the words, most of us can mumble along with the chorus.