By Shannon Kringen from Seattle (seattle new years eve 2011 Uploaded by X-Weinzar) [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons
In Seattle, we welcome the new year with a bang. Actually, with a lot of bangs (and booms and oohs and aahs). Every year, the fireworks display at the Space Needle brightens the dark winter night and gives us Seattleites a brilliant finish to the old year and welcome to the new.
People around the world have many different traditions and rituals to bring good fortune in the new year. When I lived in China, I was always reminded to wear some new clothes on the first day of the new year (of course, that was the Chinese lunar calendar, not the Gregorian calendar). Because I often forgot about this, I usually bought something at the last minute, and it was usually socks.
To learn more about the many ways the new year is welcomed, have a look at this article from Discovery.com and this one from Business Insider. I particularly like the Columbian tradition on the Discovery list: Run around the block with some empty suitcases if you want your new year to be filled with travel! Come the stroke of midnight on January 1st, you might find me tearing down the streets with some Samsonite!
Since 1972, the Northwest Folklife Festival
has been celebrating beats, rhythms, melodies, movement, art, and food from around the world and bringing them all to Seattle Center. For all four days of Memorial Day weekend (that’s this weekend, May 22 – 25, and that includes Friday!), you can see music and dance from right here in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and South America. It’s like a mini study abroad program that happens right here in Seattle. We can’t always be trotting the globe, so sometimes we need to bring it all to us.