In Spain, wacky New Year’s Eve revelers stop whatever they’re doing before midnight and engage in a mad scramble for grapes. The rule is that everyone must eat 12 grapes, one for each chime of the clock, in order to ensure good luck for the next 12 months.
People of Sonoma County, how could we let ourselves be so up-staged? No one in the world has finer grapes than we do, so we should own this tradition, not some silly country in Europe.
What do we have here in the U.S.A.? Kissing someone at midnight? Nice, sure, but booooring.
For 2013, we at Sonoma County Tourism are offering a challenge. What inventive New Year’s Eve tradition can we call our own, to symbolize our unique personality, our creative spirit, and our never-ending quest for more love, peace and luck (ok, money is good, too) in the New Year?
Please post your ideas in the comment section below. Our esteemed judges will stop sipping sparkling wine long enough to thoroughly review each comment, letter, video, carrier pigeon note, message-in-a-bottle, and telegram we receive. Along with your ideas, please explain why the celebration is purely Sonoma County.
Entries must arrive by 3:23 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 21, and a winner will be selected at 10:08 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 26. The winner will be notified before the end of that day.
Besides the bragging rights of going down in history for the first-ever Sonoma-style New Year’s tradition, the grand champion will receive a Sonoma County tote bag with Wine Country goodies. We will publish all suggestions on Inside Sonoma, and if we remember to and get really inspired, we might even put together a Sonoma County New Year Eve’s party for 2013 where all attendees will showcase your suggestion. But, probably not. You know what they say, it’s the thought that counts.
Central and South America – Wear your lucky underwear, in bold, bright colors. Red skivvies bring love, while yellow lingerie brings money.
Ireland – Take a firm grip on that loaf of bread and hammer it against the walls. Lore says that the bread guarantees plenty of food for the next year, and banging it on the walls drives out evil spirits.
Scotland – The saying goes that the first person to walk through your door on New Year’s sets the tone for the rest of the year. It’s called “First Footing,” and the best luck supposedly comes from a tall, dark and handsome man bringing you a gift – preferably Scotch Whisky. Of course, you may choose your own idea of the perfect good-luck person and gift (we vote for an organic farmer carrying Sonoma County wine).
Netherlands – Forget fireworks, start off the New Year by dragging your Christmas tree into the street and lighting it on fire. Supposedly, this gets rid of the old before ringing in the new, but we at Sonoma County Tourism must don our Fire Marshal hats and say, “No, no, no – too dangerous!”
Brazil – Fill a boat with candles and flowers. Make a wish, set the boat free, and if the tide takes the boat out to sea, your wish will come true. This could work in Bodega, or at the Petaluma Marina, but please be sure that the boat you are filling and freeing actually belongs to you.
Japan – Ringing in the New Year with laughter brings good luck. So picture some South Americans in their brightly colored Speedos setting fire to their Christmas trees in a boat.
Denmark – Hurling dinner plates at your friends’ front doors throughout the evening is somehow the cool thing to do. The more broken dishes you find outside on your threshold, the more friends you have (take that, Facebook!). At midnight, climb on top of your chairs and jump off, to show “leaping into the New Year.”
Philippines – Circle shapes are seen as good luck (think coins), so pile on the polka dot clothes. To cap it off, eat 12 round fruits at midnight (grapes count!).