Bringing in the New Year: Celebrating the start of 2020

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The new year is upon us and January is now in full swing, so how should you be keeping the celebrations going? There are all sorts of traditions across the globe that go years back to get people the world over into the new year spirit. With 2020 being the start of a new decade, there’s no better opportunity to wipe your slate clean and start as you mean to go on for the year and the decade to come.

New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day Traditions

New Year’s Eve marks the beginning of a day of excitement as the build-up to midnight begins. All over the world, friends and families unite to celebrate the start of a brand new year. As midnight hits and brings in the new year, there are plenty of traditions that happen across every country of the world. Fireworks are a popular choice as the clocks strike 12, as well as noise-makers and confetti. Throughout the evening, people can expect to enjoy an array of food, drink and music to get them into the mood for celebrating, and come New Year’s Day, there are also many parades and concerts all over the world.

As the bells chime to mark midnight and the new year, traditions from all kinds of cultures set in. In the UK and many other English-speaking countries, you can expect to hear Auld Lang Syne being sung from households, clubs and pubs over the country. Roughly translating as ‘days gone by’, this traditional song encouragers the singers to think back on the last year and toast the new one. Over in Spain and Mexico, as the clock begins to strike, celebrators will be popping a grape into their mouth, one at a time as the clocks chime towards midnight. Each of these 12 grapes symbolises good luck for each of the twelve months to come in the new year. In Denmark, people often stand on chairs and quite literally jump into January when midnight strikes, and in some colder countries close to the water, people often take the opportunity for a cold water plunge to celebrate the start of a new year.

Ring-shaped foods such as doughnuts or ring cakes represent coming full circle and are often consumed for good luck, and black-eyed peas are eaten in hopes that it will bring wealth in the new year. When the new year finally makes its entrance, many people will raise their glass in a toast for new beginnings. Others will share a new year kiss, and many will use the new year to reflect on the last year and look ahead to the possibilities their future holds.

New Year’s Resolutions

As the new year marks a clean slate and the opportunity for a new beginning, it’s no surprise that many people make New Year’s Resolutions in order to fight bad habits and better themselves. These resolutions are more often than not around the subjects of diet, exercise, health or bad habits. In recent years, dry January has really taken off, encouraging people who’ve had an indulgent December to reign things in and swerve clear of the alcohol for a month. Becoming more and more popular is Veganuary, where many people opt for a vegan diet for the entirety of January. This has become even more popular now people are becoming even more aware of climate change and the health implications of a vegan diet.

Other popular, positive resolutions for the new year could include spending more time with the kids, taking action towards upskilling yourself at work, reading more, watching TV less, being more organised and more thoughtful. If you’re one of those people looking to organise their lives, iGiftie is here for you. With the eGifts in our selection, you can now feel organised every time a birthday or special occasion comes around, allowing you to quickly send a gift in moments and tick that job off your list. What’s more, every one of our eGifts can be sent with a personalised message, helping you to become even more thoughtful whilst you’re at it.

New Year’s Gifts

The start of a new year is also an opportunity to show your friends and family how much you care for them and wish them luck for the year to come by adorning them with small gifts. Again, there are many traditions when it comes to new year gifts, which you can continue now in your own way! Giving gilded coins or nuts was once a Roman tradition, whereas the Persians opted to give eggs as a symbol of fertility. Early Egyptians traded earthenware to bring in the new year, and coal, shortbread and silverware were given in Scotland to bring good luck.

To give new year gifts in the modern age, you could consider giving time-based gifts such as calendars and diaries, and some stationery to go with them, or even a clock or a watch to mark the start of a new year. To bring fond memories to light, you could fill a photo frame or a photo album with photographs from the last year to give when the 1st January hits. Otherwise, why not make some new memories for the year by giving your friend a polaroid camera to mark your memories in the upcoming year? Other special new year gifts could include jewellery to allow your loved one to feel spectacular as they ring in the new year, or some books that you think they’d enjoy reading over the course of the next year.

Over at iGiftie, we’ve got gift cards and eGifts for department stores, supermarkets, electrical stores, jewellers and even national book tokens, so you can be sure that the new year gifts or January birthday presents you choose for your friends and family will be exactly what they need to start off their year with their best foot forward. Take a look at our selection to keep the new year celebrations at the forefront of your loved ones’ minds all year long.

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