Countries and communities across the world will be celebrating the new year this week, with unique folklore and traditions to bring good fortune in the coming year. Since we could all use a bit of extra luck in 2021, we have compiled a few of our plant-related favorites:
Plant a Tree: In Siberia, jumping into frozen lakes and planting a tree symbolizes starting over. While we do NOT recommend jumping into an icy body of water (or planting your tree there for that matter), planting a new tree can bring life to your garden and serve as a symbol of growth. We have a beautiful selection of trees in stock here... or double down on your luck and get a "money tree!"
Ring a Bell: Throughout Japan, bells will be ringing to usher in the new year… 108 times in fact, which represents the 108 earthly desires according to Buddhist teachings. When the bell is finished ringing, it is believed you will be cleansed of your worries from the previous year. We have several lovely bells and chimes available in-store.
Hang the Onions: In Greece, it is customary to hang onions from the front door on New Year’s eve as a symbol of resilience and rebirth. In the morning, children are gently tapped on the head with the onions to wake them. We say skip the waking of the children piece, and plant those onions instead! See our in-stock onions here.
Eat Grapes: Just in case you still have grapes from your vine hanging out in your freezer, consuming 12 green grapes at each stroke of midnight in Spain, brings 12 months of good fortune… but beware! Failure to eat all your grapes results in misfortune! Be ready for next year with grapes off your own vine. Shop here.
Throw White Flowers: In Brazil, jumping seven waves and throwing white flowers into the sea on New Year's Eve is a local tradition said to appease the Goddess of the Sea. It is said to bring you seven granted wishes, prosperity, and good fortune. As an alternative, you could try jumping up and down on your sidewalk seven times and throwing white flowers over your balcony or porch! We have some white pansies in-stock that are so pretty, you won’t want to pick them!
Take a Quick Jog: ...With an empty suitcase or bag, that is. Columbian tradition suggests running around the block with an empty suitcase or bag on new years will guarantee a year full of travel. Why not take that brisk jog in style?? We have the cutest shopping bags in-store right now!
Smash a Plate: In Denmark, folks run around throwing dishes at people’s front doors on New Years Eve... The more broken glass on your front stoop the next morning, the better your fortune. We aren’t sure your neighbors will be very pleased to find a pile of glass on their front door step on New Years Day, but maybe a lovely onyx vase placed carefully on their doorstep with a nice note will do the trick…
Stick to Circles: Many Filipino people incorporate circles into their New Year's Eve celebrations as a symbol of money and good fortune. Round fruits (often 12 of them) are displayed as part of their traditional midnight meal. Many of our citrus trees are producing right now, making these the perfect symbol of a prosperous new year!
Smash a Pomegranate: Or at least plant one. A long-standing tradition in many parts of the world, including parts of Armenia, Greece and Turkey, smashing a pomegranate on the ground is a symbol of health and fertility. We have a few pomegranate plants in-stock that might just fit the bill.
Decorate with Red: For many countries, like China and Italy, red signifies prosperity and good fortune. For Chinese New Year (on February 12th this year), red cut-outs are placed in the windows and doors are painted red, inviting good luck into the home. Surely a few potted red primrose on your front steps will have the same effect? We have several available in-store only!
New Years' Dinner: This year in particular, having the time to indulge all those amazing recipes you’ve collected, you’ll need fresh herbs to bring out the brightest flavors. Get your own organic herb plants at Cornell Farm to harvest from and then plant for 2021, when you’ll still have time to be the gourmand you always wanted to be. You can also use some of your dried or preserved onion and garlic from your summer harvest. "Hoppin' John" is a long-standing tradition in many of the southern sections of the USA, with versions of this dish found in Italy and Ireland as well. The general components are the same: black-eyed peas (or another type of lentil depending on your tradition's origin), ham/pork, greens (collard or kale), and cornbread (or a golden bread to represent prosperity). The round lentils represent good fortune, as does the greens (the color of money). It is said that consuming this dish on New Years' Day will bring peace and good luck!