Clay Logan hosts a New Year’s Eve opossum drop each year at his store in Brasstown, N.C., about two hours west of Asheville.
New Year’s Eve can mean many things: resolutions, fireworks, sequins, champagne (for the 21+ crowd), or a midnight kiss.
Millions tune in to all the major networks to watch the ball drop in Times Square at midnight on the East Coast. It will be the first time New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, ABC’s special, will be broadcast without Dick Clark, who passed away this spring.
Ryan Seacrest will be host the show solo this year, and he told USA TODAY he is planning a tribute to the late Clark, a New Year’s icon for the last four decades.
Not all New Year’s traditions are not as popular or as well-known as the festivities in Manhattan. Some are also influenced by regional, religious or cultural traditions, but all are well-loved — and sometimes quirky — traditions.
For the last 19 years, thousands have gathered in Brasstown, North Carolina for the annual Possum Drop.
The alcohol-free event features live bluegrass music, a singing contest and up until recently, the lowering of a live possum locked in a festively decorated, see-through box. PETA launched a successful lawsuit against the event’s organizers, so this year’s possum drop will feature a stuffed opossum (or a road-kill opossum) instead.
Karen Hill, 21, is one of many church-goers who spends New Year’s Eve at a midnight prayer service called Watch Night.
Although the tradition is originally Methodist and dates back to the 1700s, Watch Night (also known as Freedom Watch) became a black spiritual tradition in 1862, when free blacks and abolitionists prayed that President Abraham Lincoln would spend New Year’s Day 1863 signing the Emancipation Proclamation, according to The New York Times.
Hill attends Watch Night services at her church in the D.C. area, but it is revered tradition among many black parishioners, including in the New York and Philadelphia areas.
New Year, new you…new underwear? One Italian tradition is wearing red underwear for good luck, though some say that brings love instead (not entirely a bad thing, of course).
A fresh pair of yellow underwear is another popular wardrobe choice, especially among Latin Americans, and is said to bring happiness and prosperity in the New Year.
Many Filipinos opt for clothing with dots, since they are believed to attract money and fortune. (Maybe its best to dig out that pair of yellow underwear with red polka dots to cover all of the bases.)
One family tradition for Daniela Corrales, 22, is to run around the neighborhood with suitcases. Another variation is to simply place luggage on the doorstep on New Year’s Eve. Suitcase rituals are a good omen for travel, and Corrales, who was raised in Venezuela, is a believer — she traveled to China this year.
Usher in 2013 with a lucky and hearty meal or snack. For the Japanese, the last meal of the year is a bowl of noodles, since long noodles are associated with the passage of one year into the next. One popular tradition in Mexico, Colombia and other countries is to eat 12 grapes, one for each stroke as the clock strikes midnight, making a wish before you eat each one.
In the South, a meal of ham, cabbage and black-eyed peas is also good luck.
How will you ring in 2013? Any of your own unique traditions? Let us know in the comments.
Powered by Facebook Comments