As we say goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019, many of us will be "seeing the new year in" as the bells chime out over London and the rest of the world. 
 
There are a number of traditions that we stick to so we can celebrate a brand new year! 
 
For example, singing Auld Land Syne … we all do it, but why? Written by Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788, this New Year tune is set to the musical notes of a traditional folk song. 
 
Singing this song usually entails a linking of hands or arms with anyone close to you.  
 
This New Year tradition began north of the border, but is now popular across the British Isles and beyond. 
 
Another New Year tradition is the first footing. 
 
Again popular in Scotland and northern England, the first person to set foot inside a home after midnight is said to bring good fortune to that household. 
 
It is acceptable for an occupant of the house to be the first footing candidate, although ideally tradition states it should be tall, dark-haired male! 
 
The first footer should also bear several gifts, including a coin (silver if possible), bread, salt, coal, some evergreen and a drink, representing prosperity, food, flavour, warmth, long-life and good cheer respectively. 
 
Many of us will also remember the pinch and punch custom for the first day of a new month as a way of welcoming the first day. This tradition is supposed to protect you from bad luck. Some folks still say ‘pinch, punch, white rabbits, no return’ which means the pinch and a punch can’t be returned. 
There is also a Yorkshire tradition of saying ‘black rabbits, black rabbits, black rabbits’ in the closing seconds of the old year and then the words ‘white rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits’ uttered in the opening moments of the New Year. Guess it depends how much champagne you’ve had as to whether practice this tradition! 
 
Of course, the most practiced tradition at the start January is stating and keeping New Year Resolutions. 
 
Whether you hold stock with these or not, even if it’s a daft one like “I’m going to eat more chocolate!” the idea is that you’re turning a new leaf and enjoying a fresh start. 
 
Back in the 1660s, diarist Samuel Pepys wrote: “I have newly taken a solemn oath from plays and wine, which I am resolved to keep according to the letter of the oath which I keep by me.” So New Year’s Resolutions are nothing new, folks! 
 
Of course, there are other times of the year in which nations around the globe celebrate their own New Year. 
On Tuesday 5th February, the Year of the Pig begins in China. 
 
New Year is big business in China, with the celebrations beginning on Monday 28th January 2019 lasting until New Year’s Eve. 
 
The pig is the 12th sign of the Chinese zodiac, and those born under the Year of the Pig are realistic people, who enjoy life and work hard.  
 
Those born in the Year of the Pig enjoy having positions of power and status. Lucky numbers are 2, 5 and 8 and lucky colours are yellow, grey and brown. 
 
Previous 'pig' years include 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995 and 2007. 
 
So whether you celebrate New Year’s Eve, the Chinese New Year or both, may we wish you great happiness and health for 2019, from everyone at the Riviera. 
Tagged as: New Year 2019
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