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Tomorrow is National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day!
On the third Friday of December each year, people all over the
U.S. decide to don hilariously hideous Xmas sweaters and inflict this sight on
everyone around them. From garish green and red colors to pom-poms and
nonsensical designs, there seems to be no end to the dreadfully silly designs
on display. You’ll see these knit monstrosities at the office, out on the
street, and especially at holiday parties. This isn’t happening by accident.
The fashion-savvy and playful hearted participants in this trend are celebrating
National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day.
When Did Ugly Sweaters First Enter Public Consciousness?
How did National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day get it start?
Like many trends, this one began in fits and starts and has waxed and waned in
popularity over the decades. The ugly sweater first became a household meme in
the 1980s with The Cosby Show’s, Bill Huxtable leading the way. Chevy Chase’s
character in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation added the holiday twist to
this look. These well-known leading actors were playing decidedly unhip
characters, who had no fashion sense at all. But for some reason, the idea of
wearing awful sweaters as an ironic statement, somehow caught on. For a while, ugly
holiday sweaters for women and men were easy to find. Then things
kind of petered out in the nineties. Perhaps the trend was no match for a
decade that was having a love affair with drab emo apparel?
The First Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Revives the
In the early 2000s, the first ugly holiday sweater party
was held in Vancouver, Canada. All the guests were instructed to wear a hideous
sweater, and interest in ugly sweaters was reborn. Today, the party is still an
annual hit and the event routinely sells out the Commodore Ballroom. Not
surprisingly, the U.S. picked up on the idea and now there are thousands of
ugly sweater parties held all over the nation each year. They can be
fundraisers, office holiday parties, community events, pub crawls, or private
affairs. The only rule is that they take place in mid-December and everyone
MUST wear a tacky sweater. You can read
This is my last Christmas
2019 video. Please click on the image to
How about some New Year’s Folklore and
One of the more popular beliefs is that kissing your beloved at the stroke of
midnight ensures twelve months of continuing affection. Failing to do so is
said to produce the opposite effect.
Never begin the New Year with unpaid debts.
Empty cupboards at the turn of the year foretell a year of poverty.
Comings and Goings:
The first person to enter your home after midnight foretells the kind of luck
you’ll have in the coming year. A tall, dark, handsome male bearing small gifts
is said to bring the best luck. According to this same tradition, no one should
leave the house until someone first enters from outside, and nothing should be
removed from the house on New Year’s Day.
Air It Out!
Opening all doors and windows at midnight lets the old year escape.
Babies born on New Year’s Day are said to have the best luck throughout their
Best Foot Forward:
A Polish tradition states that if you wake up early on New Year’s Day, you will
wake up early for the rest of the year. And if you touch the floor with the
right foot when getting up from bed, you could expect a lot of good luck for
whole new year
You can read more here.
Here are some Superstitions that are attached to the
beginning of the New Year!
Letting the Old Year Out: At midnight, all
the doors of a house must be opened to let the old year escape unimpeded. He
must leave before the New Year can come in, says popular wisdom, so doors are
flung open to assist him in finding his way out.
Loud Noise: Make as much noise as possible
at midnight. You’re not just celebrating; you’re scaring away evil spirits, so
do a darned good job of it! According to widespread superstition, evil spirits
and the Devil himself hate loud noise. We celebrate by making as much of a din
as possible not just as an expression of joy at having a new year at our
disposal, but also to make sure Old Scratch and his minions don’t stick around.
(Church bells are rung on a couple’s wedding day for the same
The Weather: Examine the weather in the
early hours of New Year’s Day. If the wind blows from the south, there will be
fine weather and prosperous times in the year ahead. If it comes from the
north, it will be a year of bad weather. The wind blowing from the east brings
famine and calamities. Strangest of all, if the wind blows from the west, the
year will witness plentiful supplies of milk and fish but will also see the
death of a very important person. If there’s no wind at all, a joyful and
prosperous year may be expected by all.
Born on January 1: Babies born on this day
will always have luck on their side.
Many New Year’s traditions surround food. Here are a few:
tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight comes from Spain. Revelers stuff
their mouths with 12 grapes in the final moments of the year—one grape for
every chime of the clock!
black-eyed peas and pork foretell good fortune.
Scotland—where Hogmanay is
celebrated—people parade down the streets swinging balls of fire.
ring-shaped treat (such as a doughnut)
symbolizes “coming full circle” and leads to good fortune.
homes, fritters called olie bollen are served.
enjoy pastries called bannocks.
and Pakistan rice promises prosperity.
dipped in honey are a Rosh
Hashanah (Jewish New Year) tradition.
homes dollops of whipped cream, symbolizing the richness of the year
to come, are dropped on the floors—and allowed to remain there.
You can read more here.
10 Food Traditions for Good Luck in the New Year
Buttered Bread: New
Years Day in Ireland is also known as Day of the Buttered Bread (or Sandwich,
depending on the Gaelic translation you use.) Tradition says buttered bread
placed outside the front door symbolizes an absence of hunger in the household,
and presumably for the year to come.
in Spain says 12 grapes or raisins eaten just before midnight (one at each
chime of the clock) will bring good fortune for all 12 months of the year, as
long as you finish all 12 before the final stroke!
of their deep emerald color (think money), hearty greens like kale, spinach,
and collards are believed to bring wealth (And of course health!) to those who
enjoy it early and often in the New Year. For legume or meat-based dishes, a
garnish of parsley is also said to ward off evil spirits.
on the bacon! Because pigs root forward while they forage for food (as opposed
to cows, who stand still, or chickens, who scratch backwards), pork in all
forms is enjoyed by many hoping to embrace the challenges and adventures that
await in the coming year.
Signifying longevity in Asian culture, a stir-fry of unbroken noodles is a
tradition believed to bring good health and luck in the New Year. Those who can
eat at least one long noodle without chewing or breaking it are said to enjoy
the longest lives and best luck of all!
Resembling tiny coins, the custom of enjoying lentils in the New Year is a
common Italian tradition said to bring wealth.
Golden yellow and inarguably delicious, cornbread is especially popular in the
South. Because it’s color is similar to that of gold, this bread is enjoyed by
those hopeful for a prosperous year.
Cakes, pastries, cookies, and round fruits like clementines are often enjoyed
on New Year’s Day as their shape signifies that the old year has come to a
close and the New Year holds the promise of a fresh start.
In Chinese culture, serving fish whole (both head and tail intact) symbolizes
prosperity, abundance, and a good year to come (from start to finish!)
The information came from here.
New Year's Eve traditions around
the world said to bring you good luck
A common tradition in Colombia is to run hard and fast around the house with a
suitcase in hand to ensure a year of traveling. Great for someone who suffers
No, the Danes do not smash plates on each others' doors, despite the
Viking-esque rumors. They do, however, stand on chairs and jump off of them at
the stroke of midnight. By taking your feet off the ground in the final moments
of the year, it is said that you'll leave all the bad spirits behind as you
"jump into" a fresh, new year.Germany
In Germany, many people rub chimney ashes on their foreheads for good fortune
and health. Like many Nordic countries, they also indulge in a fortune telling
ritual by pouring molten lead into cold water, and the shape of the cooled
metal predicts your fortune. Shapes such as a heart or anchor will predict new
love or hard times ahead, respectively.
In Greece, the pomegranate has held strong symbolic meaning since ancient
times. A common tradition on New Year's Eve is to throw pomegranates on the
ground, and break them apart. The more they burst, the more abundance your
household will have.Ireland
A very old custom, and still practiced by some today in Ireland, is for the
unmarried women to place mistletoe leaves under their pillow. This is believed
to bring good fortune, hoping to find love in the new year.Mexico
Mexicans celebrate by eating 12 grapes, one for each of the 12 clock chimes at
midnight, making a wish with each one. The grapes also represent the 12 months
of the new year, and each wish is to ensure a lucky month. However, a sour
grape will represent a particularly unlucky month and a wish unfulfilled.Russia
New Year's Eve is a big deal in Russia, and is very similar to how we celebrate
Christmas in the West. One wish-making custom on New Year's Eve is to write
your wish on a piece of paper, burn it, and mix the ashes in your champagne
glass before drinking it at the stroke of midnight.Scotland
In Scotland, they celebrate Hogmanay, and the most popular tradition is the
"first-footing," which involves the first person to "cross the
threshold" (enter the front door) of a friend's house that will determine
that household's fortune of the new year. The first foot is expected to bring
luck-bearing gifts of coal, salt, bread, whiskey and a coin, and enter saying "A
happy New Year and good tidings to you and yours!"United States
Passed down from English and German folklore, Americans kissing their special
someone at midnight has been a common tradition said to bring good fortune and
erase bitter memories. Originally, it was believed that the first person you
encountered at the start of the new year would determine whether you had good
or bad luck in the new year, so you'd kiss them to seal the deal. Over time,
the custom changed to selecting who you wanted your good fortune to be shared
Venezuelans wear bright yellow underwear for luck, and typically showcase it
for the world to see. Whether that means wearing underwear on the outside or no
pants at all, each are supposedly good luck. Other variations of the same
ritual include wearing different colors for what you want to have in the new
year: red for love, gold for wealth, and white for peace and a fresh start.
You can view all of this information here.
7 New Year’s Good Luck Traditions
Around the World
1. Keep your money under the carpet - To have more money
next year, consider saving it all up for New Year’s Eve – just like some Romanians like to
do. Among this group of Eastern Europeans, rumor has is that putting bills
under the rug before the clock ticks midnight guarantees a prosperous year
ahead. To enhance your chances at that fortune, be sure to wear red
underwear and break some glasses while chanting the classic “Happy New
2. Burn an “old man.” - It might sound quite brutal, but
many of our southern neighbors say it’s totally fine. In some parts of Mexico, mainly in
the south, people put the past behind them by making a human-size dummy called
“el viejo” (the grandpa) or “año viejo” (past year) that they set ablaze at
midnight on New Year’s to close an old cycle and start afresh. The
tradition can be found in other Latin American countries, such as Ecuador,
where it’s OK for these dummies to look like anything from politicians to evil
cartoon characters. Go wild.
3. Turn the oven on and music up - In many cases, more
money and overall prosperity come with some sweat. So if you want to make it
big in 2018, many in Trinidad and Tobago believe the key is to get the house
all nice and tidy and engage in some holiday cooking. Dreams will come true, so
the locals say, only if you cook some black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. Jazz
it up with some parang,
a type of folk music played around the holidays for good luck, and there’s
truly nothing stopping you in the following year.
4. Do good. Eat good - If you really want all the good
vibes sent your way, start by doing good yourself: It's a move that will make
Afghans proud. In the landlocked, mountainous country they say your year will
go well if you start by engaging in good actions on day one, so give it your
best for over 360 days of fortune. Also, make sure you wear green while cooking
green things. And speaking of cooking, if you happen to be in Afghanistan
on New Year’s, which – piece of information – is not in December, but in
March, and is known as Nowruz, you’d want to make a seven fruit salad. Haft
Mewa is usually made of dried fruits and nuts such as walnuts, almonds,
pistachio, hazelnut, cherries, apricots and raisins. If you combine them right,
locals say, you’ll definitely score more points in 2018.
5. Wave bad luck goodbye - Those more into extreme
traditions than sitting at home and cooking, might consider ringing in the new
year in Brazil.
If you go to Rio de Janeiro on New Year’s Eve, make sure you bring beautiful,
white clothing that rumor says will bring peace of mind in the following year.
Brazilians believe midnight should catch you nowhere else but in the water,
jumping seven waves, if you want to enhance your chances of success next year.
Mind you – some say you are not supposed to
turn away from the ocean when you’re jumping; Otherwise you’ll get quite
the opposite effect.
6. Fill your house with money - and some round fruit. There's no need to head to the ocean for good luck on New
Year's in the Philippines.
Instead, people wear clothes with polka dots and jump as much as possible at
midnight, also hoping to get a few inches taller. To bring more prosperity in
the new year, Filipinos also scatter coins in every room when the clock ticks
midnight. Another good luck tip from the country: Keeping the lights on and
round fruits on the the dinner table.
7. Pop some grapes and grab a suitcase - Fruits are also
the main protagonist in this Latin American tradition: In some countries, such
as Venezuela or Bolivia,
people believe good luck comes from eating exactly 12 grapes at midnight. For
those yearning to travel in the coming year, there’s another trick – rolling a suitcase
down the block or around the house so you’ll explore numerous destinations
in 2018. Some Latin Americans believe that ending the night by counting money
will give you more to spend on upcoming travels.
You can view all of this information here.
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