NYE Traditions Everyone Should Adopt
by Xan Holbrook
I will fight anyone that has a problem with me saying this is the most wonderful time of the year. However, I won’t disagree that ‘tis the season for crap journalism. This usually falls into three possible categories:
The first crap type is the end of year round-up. I don’t give a flying fuck about your top ten records of the year – I listen to music as a coping mechanism now and Mumble Rap is a load of bollocks on toast.
The second type is the smug, Prius-driving cousin of the first: the round-up of the year ahead. I find this more insidious in a way, as it serves as a way of holding future potential in stasis, or, in the words of DJ Shadow, a big pile of broken dreams.
The third is exactly the type I’m writing right now. The one where fat white Anglo-American sacks of garbage look at the NYE rituals of other cultures, point like chimps and laugh like jackals. As if our own isn’t the most sordid of the bunch. As if it was not so disgraceful, that it achieves its own Caravaggio-like beauty and elegance.
So, rather than go down this well-trodden quagmire of a route, I’ll instead look at a couple of rituals from around the world that we all should adopt. The message for the future ought to be one of unity and solidarity, after all, especially as we look to the 2020s for bigger and better things than this preceding shit-show.
Does the Tradition Spark joy?
I must admit, even as a man who spends more time in his kitchen than most people do with their families, that those who hate cooking hate the Holidays by default, and I can’t blame them. It’s especially taxing when one has to find room for turkey and all the trimmings, in an oven the size of a letter box.
I’m pleased to inform the Mageirocophobics amongst us that the tradition of taking all your infuriating, unloved, unused kitchenware and sending it the shadow realm has variants all over the globe.
In Italy, the tradition is well established (I should point out that Italian NYE traditions are some of the brightest, sexiest and most bonkers I’ve come across, and thank goodness that they exist). In the North – as in Denmark – its traditional to smash your old shit on your neighbors’ and friends’ doorsteps. That’s one way to exorcise the demons of a stressful yuletide, as well as providing bespoke bangs and crashes in the absence of fireworks.
In the South, the tradition is pushed even further by having household goods and clothing sail out the window into the street below. In our increasingly conscious, minimalist world, we should embrace our inner Marie Kondo and chuck all our pointless shit into the street to harken new beginnings.
Those of you who have read the linked article about Italian NYE traditions will have read the intriguing tidbit about the wearing of red underwear, in a nod to passion and fertility (its as if they used to have Gods dedicated to these things…).
Our cousins in Southern Europe are not the only ones to employ this practice, however. Across South and Central America too – Bolivia, Mexico and Brazil, to be precise – color-coding your smalls is a way to nod at what you wish for in the coming 365 days. The wearing of red for passion, yellow for riches and white for peace has a strong precedent south of the border. By this measure, I wish to usher in eternal night and misery for my fellow man, but hey ho. We can’t all be bloody romantics.
No Grudges Held
Doug Stanhope fans can appreciate what I mean when I say that our New Year celebrations are violent and ugly.
Anyone who bitches about people “using their gyms” in January can be countered by the fact that they use our bars in December, and can’t hold their sauce. As a result, chaos, screams, blood, ruined nights and swamped ambulance services.
Peru has circumvented this process by making it possible for you to settle your grievances from the past year by inviting you and your opponents to a ring, where you will kick ten shades of shit out of one another and then bury the hatchet.
Although America carries on making strides in this area (Streetbeefs are simply a magnificent bunch), Peru’s masterstroke is bringing it in time with the new calendar. No need for a purge, or gun violence, or a broken beer bottle – simply call that bleeder out, slug it out for a few mins, then go home refreshed for all the new enemies you’ll be making in the coming twelve months, you mad bastard.
So there we have it. Happy New Year, one and all. Or, rather, Hail the Green Man, protected by the ejaculation of Serpents. If you’ll excuse me, I have an appointment to keep…