Design Toscano’s 15 New Year’s Customs from Around the World

Design Toscano’s 15 New Year’s Customs from Around the World

“Auld Lang Syne, (Old Long Ago)”
 –Poem by Robert Burns, 1796

“Out with the old and in with the new” is not just a saying, in many countries New Year’s customs include literally throw old items out the window or door! While we don’t recommend anything that extreme, we at Design Toscano are here to help you with a huge selection of brand new garden sculptures, useful furniture and home décor and amazing art for your walls. Find something to start the New Year off right!

Japan (GMT +9)

At midnight on New Year’s Eve, Buddhist temples all over Japan herald the New Year by ringing their bells 108 times, one ring for each of the one hundred and eight of the human sins in Buddhist belief. The Japanese believe that the ringing of the bells can help rid them of the sins from the previous year.

Our Design Toscano-exclusive Meditative Buddha Grand Temple Statue (AL1614) is a perfect addition to any spiritual or meditative space and will be a wonderful way to help start a New Year’s resolution. This peaceful Buddha captures the essence of serenity, and will help you make your home or garden a sanctuary.

China (GMT +8)

The Chinese celebrate the New Year for sixteen days and they have many customs from buying and wearing new clothes, hiding the knives so no one can cut themselves, to painting the front door red as a symbol of happiness and good fortune.

With a vibrant red as the main color in this Asian Zen Dragon Garden Welcome Statue (QM15006) it is sure to bring you good luck! According to the Chinese the dragon should face the house to help keep in the wealth. Our Design Toscano-exclusive welcome dragon, with the pearl of wisdom grasped in his paw, is hand painted red with gold accents to represent good fortune. This Zen Dragon sculpture will be a welcome showpiece anywhere, even in a New Year’s display!

Thailand (GMT +7)

Although their New Year is on April 13th, the Thai celebrate a festival called Songkran, where roads are blocked off, and they hold the world’s largest water fight. Participants use fire hoses, buckets and water guns, even elephants join in throwing water.

The Thai Teppanom is a guardian angel said to have come to earth. Design Toscano’s traditional peaceful Teppanom has been transformed into a piece of exceptionally decorative side table. The Thai Teppanom Beautiful Being Glassed-Topped Asian Décor Table (KY4129) will hold your drinks with amazing exotic style.

Romania (GMT +2)

In Romania, they open their doors at midnight symbolizing the letting go of the old year and starting the new. On New Year’s Eve traditionally Romanian farmers attempt to communicate with their animals and if they are successful it means they will have good luck all year long.

With over nine million sheep in Romania, I’m sure they will be answered. You won’t be able to resist trying to talk to this sweet pair of Yorkshire Lamb Garden Statues: Sitting Lamb and Standing Lamb (QL957573). Our Design Toscano exclusives fluffy white lambs are so realistically sculpted that you will be tempted to make sure they are tucked safely away in the barn on cold winter nights.

Belgium (GMT +1)

Children in Belgium write holiday letters in school to read to their parents and godparents on New Year’s Day. They spend a lot of time decorating the letters with golden cherubs and angels, colorful roses and garlands of ribbons.

One of our most popular angel statues was sculpted exclusively for Design Toscano by artist Evelyn Meyers Hartley. In God’s Grace Angel Statue (DB383093) has arms outstretched and face raised to the heavens in a wondrous expression of joy and celebration of the wonders of the gifts God has provided.

Austria (GMT + 1)

Austrians see pigs as a symbol of good luck as they always eat moving forward which means you will advance in the New Year. They give Glucksbringer, gifts and tokens featuring pigs and pig-shaped marzipan, fudge and chocolates and eat meals featuring pork.

From the Acorn Hollow Garden Statuary collection these two super cute Sandman and Porker the Piggies Garden Statue (QM92241) are exclusive to Design Toscano. Celebrate like the Austrians, and give and receive the gift of good luck with these so adorable realistic pink piglets.

Italy (GMT +1)

In Venice, Italy people gather in St. Mark’s Square for the biggest party ever! With live music and a massive kissing session at midnight followed by a toast with all the bells ringing, and the grade finale is watching fireworks.

Saint Mark’s Square or Piazza San Marco, is a very popular meeting place, everything in city revolves around it, but it is also famous for its flocks of doves. Toscano’s life-size, lovely little girl has formed a connection with the doves that alight on her hands. The Doves of St. Mark’s Square Sculpture (KY113465) is hand painted to replicate aged marble is a graceful presentation of a loveable child feeding her beloved birds.

Spain (GMT +1)

In Spain and Latin America, to secure yourself a “Very Happy New Year,” they add a grape to their mouth at every stroke of midnight until they have filled their mouth full with 12 grapes. If you can hold them all, you will have good luck all year long. Concerts and plays are interrupted, pausing so the patrons can carry out this ancient custom.

Proclaim a wonderful welcome and a Very Happy New Year to all with Toscano’s quality designer resin Salute! And Mangia! Wall Sculptures (AH923111). Wonderfully complementary with any décor from classic Tuscan to modern contemporary style, you can extend warm greetings to all in Italian to all your family and friends with the “Salute!”—To your health!—and “Mangia!”—Eat! Adorned in rich grape clusters, the plaques are a memorable hostess gift and house warming present for any room where you eat and drink and celebrate!

Netherlands (GMT +1)

On New Year’s Eve in the Netherlands they have an old tradition of making a bonfire of their Christmas trees to purge the old and welcome in the New Year.

Honor this tradition by lighting up the night with our exclusive Christmas Tree Stained Glass Lamp Illuminated Sculpture (TF10019) that is hand crafted with 250 hand cut art glass 27 cabochons. All decked out for Christmas Toscano’s stained glass tree is draped with garlands and jeweled ornaments, then topped with a glowing yellow star. What better way to celebrate the New Year?!

England (GMT)

England has many New Year’s Eve customs, but kissing at midnight, according to old English and German folklore, suggests that the one you kiss should be the person you want to keep kissing the rest of the year, or could even set the tone of your relationship for the rest of the New Year.

Pucker up for that all important New Year’s Eve kiss! People can’t help but be reminded by this Pop Art Lips Wall Sculpture (NG32917) how important it is to give or get kisses. An icon of pop art, this pair of candy apple red-finished Lips is a fun way to brighten up someone’s New Year or remind yourself of the 1960s with this timeless piece of retro wall art.

Iceland (GMT)

There are many magical traditions that take place in Iceland on New Year’s Eve, such as: seals can take human form, the dead can rise, elves may show up and sing songs about the hidden folk and cows are able to talk!

A Design Toscano-exclusive, the realistically detailed Clarabelle the Cow Farm Animal Statue (JQ5999) is the sweetest calf on the farm. Outdoors in the pasture, in the garden or in a byre, this black and white hand-painted, delightful baby Clarabelle is looking for friends and she will always answer to her name.

Brazil (GMT -2)

Every year in Brazil thousands of people throw white flowers in the ocean as an offering to the Goddess of the Sea in the hope that she will grant their wishes for the New Year.

The Birth of Venus Bonded Marble Resin Statue (WU74518)—another goddess of the sea—riding on an enchanting shell that transports the goddess of love and beauty is captured in her sumptuous form in a dazzling sculpture. Pay homage to the mythic goddess Venus, with this wondrous work of art crafted in bonded marble resin.

Chile (GMT -3)

Legend has it that a family in Talco, Chile broke into a cemetery to be with their family on New Year’s. Today the gates of the cemetery are thrown open and thousands visit every year to add extra meaning to their New Year celebration.

Just like the Day of the Dead, honoring your ancestors is always a sound idea. This dramatic Grim Reaper Dark Passage Statue (JQ9369) was sculpted exclusively for Toscano and symbolized the fragility of all things. Let this dark angel of death enfold you into his realm.

Canada (GMT -5)

Many cold cultures close to water have some form of “the Polar Bear Plunge.” In Canada, they began in the 1920s to jump into the English Bay in freezing temperatures for an annual New Year’s Day tradition, the Polar Bear Swim. You can now find plungers in many parts of the U.S., the U.K., Siberia and the Netherlands, all freezing in the name of charity.

If you can’t stand the cold, and don’t want to take the plunge you can still join in the fun with The Polar Bear Pair Sculptures (KY1837). This frosty, Design Toscano-exclusive loving pair of a mother polar bear tenderly cuddling her tiny cub is crafted with intricate details and hand painted with icy fur, huge paws and warm realistic faces.

Colombia (GMT -5)

In Columbia, on December 31st if you wish to travel or have an adventure in the New Year, you should carry with you a suitcase as you walk around the block; and don’t forget to put your right foot forward after midnight.

Travelers from all over the world have seen something resembling our North American Bigfoot seen here ready to jump the next flight out of town. Whether they are called Sasquatch, the abominable snowmen, or the wild men of the forest there seems to be something like Toscano’s exclusive Bigfoot Garden Yeti Statue (NE110119) in almost every culture.

Many countries customs still included making lots of loud noises with bells, horns and pans to chase away evil spirits. Today almost everyone uses fireworks or has a huge firework display that serves as a substitute for noisemakers. Of course people around the world gather with families and friends to eat well, party and stay up to midnight or dawn.

“What you do on New Year’s Eve you will do all year”
–Anonymous

Wishes and wonder to you for the New Year from Design Toscano!

And don’t forget to place money in your shoes so you’ll be prosperous in the New Year!

Posted by Sue Mell

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