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New Years Traditions

I find New Years to be one of my favorite holidays. Before the evening festivities, it’s usually a calm day of cleaning up from Christmas and preparing for a new year. Goals are made personally and professionally as well as a wish list of things I hope to do and places I hope to go over the next 12 months.

Normally New Years Eve is celebrated at home or with close friends in rural Oregon. One year I joined the chaos of Times Square with friends but have only had the pleasure of celebrating New Years in two countries outside of the US.

As a college student living in Japan I experienced many firsts including how spectacular Asian countries celebrate New Years. Hatsumode is the first visit to the temple or shrine to give thanks for the blessings of the past year and pray for good fortune in the new year. There is little emphasis on resolutions but more on introspection. It's a beautiful mindset of gratitude and optimism.

A number of years ago I visited a dear friend from Colombia and her family who shared the wonderful tradition of carrying an empty suitcase around the block (or apartment building hallway in our case) when the clock struck midnight. From what I recall the faster your ran the better your luck was of ensuring the fortune of traveling in the New Year.

This link from World Strides shares those and some other wonderful New Years traditions from around the world.

I wish you good fortune and safe journeys in 2022! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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