We asked our multicultural newsrooms what traditions they celebrate.
Fil Martino, 680News anchor
“Back home in Calabria, Italy, my mom and her family used to throw old things, like old plates and glasses, out the door and break them. She does one plate now just to keep up the tradition of out with the old and in with the new.”
Anna Vlachos, CityNews reporter
“In my mother’s village in Mantoudi, Greece, the church bell would ring at 6 am to ring in the new year. As a young girl, my mom would head to river with countless others from the village, with a round rock and a pitcher to fill with water. She put the rock in the pitcher along with some coins. No one was supposed to speak a word (to keep the good luck).
When she would get home, the door would be closed. She would knock and her mom would let her in. At that point, she would say ‘Happy New Year’ and wish her mom health and splash a bit of water on her and hit her forehead with the round rock to wish her strength as hard as a rock.
She would go around to the rest of the family members and do the same thing. She would also leave drops of water and coins around the home. People who would find the coins would get good luck for the rest of the year. The next day, whatever water was left in the pitcher would be poured at the four corners of the family home for extra luck.
My mom continued this tradition with me and my sister when we were young girls. She would wake us up at 6 a.m. on New Year’s day and wash our faces with water from a pitcher and then hit our foreheads with a round rock. Then my sister and I would run around looking for “good luck” coins.
It was such a nice tradition, and I’m glad my mom shared it with us. It always made New Year’s day extra special.”
Sladjana Tamindzic, 680News anchor
“Over the years, we’ve gone out and we’ve stayed home, but almost every year we do our major gift exchange on New Year’s Eve. There’s something sweet and a little luxurious about starting the new year with new things.”
Diana Pereira, 680News.com and CityNews.ca digital news editor
“I was born in Toronto, but my parents were raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
New Year’s Eve traditions in Rio originated in Candomblé, a religion mainly practiced in Brazil, said to have started there by enslaved Africans.
Tradition says you have to wear white on New Year’s Eve to ward off any demons and evil spirits.
People of all religions gather on Copacabana beach in Rio dressed in white from head to toe. As the midnight fireworks explode, people step into the ocean, making an offering to the god of the sea called Yemanjá often placing white flowers and candles in the water.
Fortunately, I participated in the tradition once while on Copacabana on Dec. 31, 2007. It was, as you can imagine, unforgettable!”
Winston Sih, Breakfast Television digital media correspondent
“When I was a kid we would get the pots and pans out. And you would give the eldest person in your family money, even if it was a toonie, for good luck.”
Christine Chubb, 680News.com and CityNews.ca web writer
“Sadly my tradition has been working on New Year’s.”
Patricia D’Cuhna, 680News.com and CityNews.ca web writer
“My ancestors are from Goa, India, so our family tradition is to go to church, light a candle, give thanks for the past year and pray for continued blessings in the year ahead.”
Kim Johnson, CityNews Tonight Producer
“A longstanding family tradition is ringing in the New Year at church. “Watchnight Service” at Christian churches is common in the U.S., parts of Canada and the Caribbean. The clock strikes midnight and we all exchange greetings as a ‘church family’ and hand out sweet treats to the kids (and kids at heart).”
Betty Harrison, 680News midday editor
“We always have dinner with a close couple friends of ours then we head off to a party at another friend’s condo.
In Scotland the tradition is ‘first foot.’ If two people arrive at your doorstep, usually the tallest and dark haired one is invited in first. It supposedly brings good luck and visitors traditionally bring shortbread or a lump of coal. My husband Iain’s first visit to my mom 30 New Year’s Eves ago was accompanied by shortbread!”
Irene Preklet, 680News reporter
“While I always like to run on the last day of the year, I feel it makes me feel strong and healthy and gives me time to reflect. I started today, the last day of the year with a 10 kilometre run before work. That leads to my traditional New Year’s Day run, which makes me feel that I am starting the new year off right, taking things one step at a time.”
Adrian Ghobrial, CityNews reporter
“I’m British-Egyptian. On the British side, we go to the local pub and drink to the new year. On the Egyptian side, we go to church and pray for the new year to come. So it’s the best of both worlds.”
What are your New Year’s Eve traditions? Share your traditions in the below comments.