Best Wishes for 2016!

new-years-countdown-clock I suspect that on New Year’s Day, you have better things to do than reading a blogpost at the Risky Regencies! All the same, I’m here, so whenever you are reading this, I want to say thank you for reading during this past year, and I wish you a new year filled with joy, health, luck and prosperity!

I hope you ate food on New Year’s Eve that might be thought to bring those in the coming year. My guests last night dined on:

Shrimp: symbolizing long life (Japan)

Cheeses: gold colored foods symbolize prosperity and good fortune (Asia & South America)Sweet potato-pumpkin bisque

Soup: sweet potato and pumpkin bisque (sweet and also gold colored, both considered “lucky” for New Year’s)

Pork Tenderloin: pork, and pigs, symbolize both prosperity and moving forward in the new year (Western World) pork tenderloin

Sliced carrots with waterchestnuts: foods that resemble money –coins for instance –are lucky

Parmesan potatoes: gold, again (we added a bit of food coloring), and besides, yummy!

Poppyseed muffins: poppyseeds are considered lucky in Poland.

Bread & butter pickles: coin-shaped, more or less!

For dessert we had plum pudding (with hard sauce) just because we hadn’t used all of it at Christmas, but that fits the tradition of “finishing up old matters” before the year ends. ChristmasPud4

We toasted the new year with champagne, of course. Then just after midnight we each had twelve grapes meant to signify how sweet or sour our 12 months of the year are going to be (Spain, and Spanish influenced countries). I don’t have a clock that strikes (you’re supposed to eat them on the strokes), and we figured we had a better chance of tasting a sweet year if we ate them after the tart champagne!

Mind you, these aren’t Regency customs and beliefs, just ones culled from all over the world. But the universality of some kind of traditions to bring in the new year is quite consistent. In Regency England, country people would be the most likely to observe quaint practices like opening the back door to let the old year pass out at the first strokes of midnight, and then opening the front door as the strokes ended to let the new year in. Or to make a big production over who the “first-footer” (first visitor to set foot in the house) after midnight on New Year’s Eve would be. Or to make certain nothing of substance should leave the house during New Year’s Day –in some locales, housekeepers even retained the dust sweepings and food scraps from the day until January 2!

How did you ring in the new year? Will you do anything special today? Are there old customs or traditions your family observes? However you celebrate, or even if you don’t, I wish you a year full of delightful reading and discovery of many new books and authors for your pleasure! Stay tuned here at the Riskies and we’ll try to help you with that.

New-Years-Eve-2016-Champagne-05

Happy New Year!

About Gail Eastwood

Gail Eastwood is the author of seven Regencies that were originally published by Signet/Penguin. After taking ten years off for family matters, she has wobbled between contemporary romantic suspense and more Regency stories, wondering what century she’s really in and trying to work the rust off her writing skills. Her backlist is gradually coming out in ebook format, and some are now available in new print editions as well. She is working on the start of a Regency-set series and other new projects. Stay tuned!

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2 Responses to Best Wishes for 2016!

  1. ki pha says:

    Happy New Year!! I didn’t do anything but stay at home alone, had cheese, crackers, and pepperoni with a can of coke, and a glass of wine. But I am hoping to get my hair trimmed and clean out my closet and drawers. Plus organize my books and stuff so we’ll see if that happens.

    • ki pha, glad you checked the blog so I could keep you company for a few minutes! 🙂 Sometimes it’s a precious gift to have some time alone at home. I hope you got at least some of your organizing goals accomplished! That’s a great way to start a new year. And I’d say you ate some auspicious food –cheese for gold, and coin-shaped pepperoni (and maybe the crackers, too, if they were round!) I hope your year will be filled with good fortune.

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