While there are all sorts of traditions, some based on myth, about celebrating the new year, it bears mentioning there are some activities people just cannot engage.

If you live in the Henderson city limits, the popping of fireworks is still against city ordinance. 

However, in most unincorporated areas of Rusk County, it will be possible, despite the provisional burn ban.

The current bun ban, according to county officials, is not a full-blown burn ban. County officials urge caution, as always, when using fireworks. 

• Clear out an area from which to launch your fireworks

• Have a fire extinguisher handy for any mishaps

• Don’t allow toddlers or young children to handle fireworks

• Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks

• Never point or throw fireworks at another person

• Never try to re-light or pickup fireworks that have not ignited fully.


Food and drink

There are more traditions under this category than there are pages into today’s edition. But here are some offerings for you to try.

Black-eyed peas have been a tradition in the US for decades, but the origins date back at least 1,500 years and were originally a Jewish custom.

The tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight originated in Spain. The concept is stuffing grapes one by one at each chime of the clock at midnight.

From the Dutch, comes a tradition of eating anything round (doughnut) is seen as ‘coming full circle’ and can lead to good fortune.

In some Eur-Asian cultures, eating rice promotes good fortune and prosperity. 

The American culture toasts with Champaign and kissing at the stroke of midnight as a way to bring in the New Year.

Wassail, a Gaelic term for ‘good health’ comes from the British Isles.


Other traditions

In Ecuador, burning a scarecrow is a way to rid any bad fortune from the previous year. They also believe in burning old pictures that represent bad memories.

In Denmark, people break old plates against their neighbor’s doors as a way of bringing in the New Year. 

In Peru, bare-knuckle brawling is the mode of the day in sanctioned boxing. The locals, under the watchful eye of policemen, take a one-round match of friendly sparing each other. 

Finally, in Mexico and South America, wearing different colored underwear is a signal of things to come. For instance, wearing red would indicate your need to find love. Yellow underwear is a warning against gold diggers. Most opt for white as a safe way to bring in the New Year.

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