Inika Superfoods - December 17th, 2023

How Cultures Around the World Celebrate the New Year with Health in Mind

6 hands with sparklers

“Giving does not only precede receiving; it is the reason for it. It is in giving that we receive." – Israelmore Ayivor

As the calendar turns the page to a new year, it's fascinating to explore how different cultures usher in fresh beginnings with a focus on wellness and health. Join us on a journey around the globe as we discover diverse traditions that blend celebration with well-being.

Brazil: Colorful Offerings to Yemanjá

In Brazil, New Year's celebrations often include offerings to Yemanjá, the goddess of the sea. Locals present flowers, candles, and even small boats filled with offerings to the ocean, symbolizing a connection to nature and a desire for health and prosperity.

Japan: Oshogatsu – Cleansing Body and Soul

In Japan, Oshogatsu is the time-honored New Year celebration where families engage in "osouji," a thorough cleaning of homes to sweep away the old and welcome the new. This physical cleansing ritual symbolizes a fresh start for the mind, body, and spirit.

a person sweeping the floor

Denmark: Jumping into the New Year

In Denmark, it's a tradition to leap off a chair at the stroke of midnight. This playful act is believed to banish evil spirits and bring good luck. The physical activity kickstarts the year with a burst of energy.

Greece: Pomegranate for Good Health and Happiness

A tradition dated all the way to ancient Greeks, breaking a pomegranate at the household’s doorstep on New Year's Eve symbolizes prosperity and good fortune for the upcoming year. The red superfood seeds represent life, prosperity and abundance and the pagan ritual is believed to release positive energy and blessings, reflecting the desire for a fruitful start to the new year.

A pomegranate opened on a table

Thailand: Water Festival for Renewal

Songkran, the Thai New Year, is celebrated with a water festival, symbolizing purification and renewal. Thais engage in water fights, cleansing rituals, and the pouring of scented water over Buddha statues, fostering a sense of spiritual and physical cleansing.

Spain: Grapes for Good Luck

Spaniards have a unique tradition called "Las doce uvas de la suerte" (The twelve grapes of luck). As the clock strikes midnight, people eat twelve grapes, each symbolizing good fortune for each month of the upcoming year.

It's a fun and nutritious way to ring in health and prosperity.

A bowl filled with green grapes on a wooden table

Scotland: The Invigorating Plunge of Loony Dook

Scots embrace the brisk waters of the North Sea in the "Loony Dook" tradition. Taking a refreshing dip is seen as a way to purify and invigorate the body for the challenges and opportunities the new year may bring.

South Africa: First Footing for Fortunes

South Africans celebrate New Year's with a tradition known as "First Footing." It involves being the first person to enter a home after midnight, bringing good luck for the upcoming year. It's a symbol of positivity and a warm start to the new chapter.

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From cleansing rituals and symbolic traditions to invigorating plunges and mindful offerings, each culture adds its unique touch to welcome the new year with a focus on well-being. As we enjoy the richness of diverse customs, let's all embrace the common wish for health, happiness, and renewal that connects us on the journey into the new year.

Love,
Inika Superfoods

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