This New Year’s Eve will find those of us at Parker Sanpei & Associates celebrating in different ways, from grand parties on the town to quiet get-togethers with family to a daytime barbecue with loads of kids in attendance and a quiet night. But how about the rest of the world? Here’s a list of highlights (care of Wikipedia) with recipes and wines to match.
Mexicans celebrate New Year’s Eve, Año Viejo in Spanish, by downing a grape with each of the twelve chimes of the bell during the midnight countdown, while making a wish with each one. Mexican families decorate homes and parties during New Year’s with colors such as red to encourage an overall improvement of lifestyle and love, yellow to encourage blessings of improved employment conditions, green to improve financial circumstances and white to improved health. Mexicans celebrate by having a late-night dinner with their families, the traditional meal being turkey and mole, a tradition which has now spanned worldwide.
Many Danish people go to parties or entertain guests at home. The evening meal is more exclusive than usual, with desserts including the marzipan ring cake Kransekage along with champagne, and mains traditionally include boiled cod, or stewed kale and cured saddle of pork. However, in recent years expensive cuts of beef as well as sushi have become increasingly popular.
Italians call New Year’s Eve Capodanno (the “head of the year”) or Notte di San Silvestro (the night of St. Silvestro). Dinner is traditionally eaten with parents and friends. It often includes zampone or cotechino (a kind of spiced Italian sausage) and lentils. At 8:30 pm, the President reads a television message of greetings to Italians. At midnight, fireworks are displayed across Italy. A lentil stew is eaten when the bell tolls midnight – one spoon per bell. This is supposed to bring good fortune; the lentils represent coins, being round in shape.
Pair Mario Batali’s Cotechino and Lentils with a light-bodied, everyday Northern Italian Barbera such as those from Marchesi di Gresy ($18).
Also known as “Last Day of the Year,” the Philippines is one of the few countries having New’s Years Eve as an official non-working holiday (special holiday). Filipinos usually celebrate New Year’s Eve with the company of family and close friends. Traditionally, most households stage a dinner party named Media Noche in their homes. Typical dishes include pancit, hamon, lechon (roasted pig), which is usually considered as the centerpiece of the dinner table. Barbecued food is also an integral part of the menu.