Civilizations all around the world have celebrated the New Year for more than 4,000 years. Today, we consider New Year's Day as a start afresh, and we celebrate it by sipping champagne and viewing fireworks. However, there are some fascinating customs in other nations – so let's take a peek！ Additionally, we offer some comforting advice for those with low vision. Btw, if you think we overlooked some interesting rituals, do not hesitate to tell us! Enjoy the last days of the old year and get ready to dive headfirst into the New Year. Cheers to New Year!
Brazilians celebrate New Year's in a much more stripped-down, minimalistic fashion than the rest of us. For New Year’s Day, Brazilians are expected to wear white. However, it’s anticipated that the color of your underwear will influence your luck in the coming year! Looking for romantic success? Go for the pink underwear. Hope for financial stability, choose yellow one, whereas green underwear is thought to promote physical well-being.
Danish: Dishes Breaking
The Danes get a head start on spring cleaning by bringing out their broken or unused crockery and smashing them against the doors of their neighbors, friends, and relatives on New Year's Eve. The quantity of broken plates at your front door indicates how well-liked your family is! Ps, please pay special attention to safety today if you or a member of your family has a vision problem or is legally blind.
Created in the 1800s by vine growers in the Alicante region as a marketing strategy to sell more grapes at the end of the year， eating grapes has become customary on New Year’s eve. To bring good fortune and success to their households for the next year, the Spanish now enjoy the tradition of eating a grape for each of the first 12 bell chimes after midnight. By the way, it's not just a Spanish tradition to eat 12 grapes. People behave in the same way here in Venezuela. What a fascinating custom!
Hogmanay is the term given to the evening of December 31st, which is considered a very special celebration in Scotland. Many Scottish customs are carried out on this day, but “first footing” is among the most well-known. If you hope to bring good fortune into your home in the following year, a dark-haired man should be the first person to enter after midnight on New Year's Day. But why dark hair are preferred? That’s because, in ancient times, the last thing you wanted was a man with light hair and a huge axe showing up at your door!
Estonia: Seven Meals
When faced with the opportunity to make lifestyle changes, Estonians gorge themselves instead. The Estonians, like many other cultures, place great significance on the number seven and think that if they eat seven times on New Year's Day, they will have the combined power of seven people. Some people also associate this tradition with the concept that having a full pantry at the start of the New Year portends a year of plenty for the family meal.
Ecuador: Bonfires Burning
Bonfires serve as the centerpiece of New Year's Eve festivities in Ecuador. Huge paper cutouts of celebrities, politicians, and other celebrities are popular from the year prior. The practice of setting fire to old objects is called "ano Viejo," which translates to "Old Year," and it occurs at the end of each lunar year. At the stroke of midnight, they doused the figures in gasoline and lit them ablaze to forget the past and look forward to the future. Ecuadorians believed it is the best way to clear the world of all the negative things that happened during the past year and focus on a fresh start.
Most historians agree that the Japanese New Year can be traced back to the reign of Emperor Taiko, who adopted the lunar calendar from the Tang dynasty in China. At the midnight, Buddhist temples would strike 108 bells in what is known as New Year's Eve bell ringing. One explanation is that the 108 bells signify the exorcism of 108 devils; another holds that they represent the 108 gods and Buddhas. Either way, the 108 bells represent people’s aspiration to rid of misfortune and to invoke the favor of the Buddhas.
How Low-Vision People Enjoy New Year's Festivities?
New Year is a time to celebrate with family and friends. We believe that everyone should be able to experience the wonders of humanity, and we offer some tips for blind and visual impaired people on how to start the New Year safely.
Celebrations of the New Year often consist of parades and fireworks displays in many countries. Most people, however, overlook the risks that low-vision individuals may suffer. For example, due to limited eyesight, visually impaired people sometimes cannot avoid external injuries, such as accidents with others or objects; besides, fireworks may also cause serious eye injuries (which can even occur in persons with normal eyesight) during the viewing process. Therefore, environmental safety will always be a top priority when persons with limited vision go out for events. Wearing the proper protective eyewear or E-glasses is required. AR low-vision glasses are advised for outdoor activities for people who are color blindness, peripheral vision, central vision loss, etc.
Getting Ready for People with Low Vision
It's fascinating to see so many different customs at this time of year. Many people use this break time for overseas travel. Planning is beneficial for those with impaired vision who wish to take a trip or holiday that requires travel. There are a variety of options for people with the visually impaired, including independent planning, working with a travel agent, or hiring a tour guide. Ensure they are accustomed to helping tourists who are legally blind or have sight loss. There are a few reminders for you:
You never know what will happen when you travel, especially if you are blind or have trouble seeing. Having a backup power supply for your phone can save your life. Most low-vision people will bring handheld electronic video magnifiers as well, please choose the product with longer battery life and easy charging way. Luna 6 is a product that features with customized wireless charger and an incredible 5 hours of battery life, and the same series of Luna 8 has 8 hours of battery life.
Unexpected events may occur while traveling. Carry an extra magnifier or eyewear just in case yours breaks or gets lost. Pocket-size magnifiers Luna S (4.3-inch) and Luna 6 (6-inch) are highly recommended. Additionally, asking for help is always a good idea because most people are willing to help you, no matter for finding your gate, luggage, Uber pick-up points, etc.
Low vision aids for the visually impaired continue to evolve. Now is the moment to upgrade your low-vision aid if you haven't already. High-tech firms like Zoomax regularly launch innovative new low-vision products. Of course, the most well-known low-vision products, such as Acesight, eSight, OrCam, etc. are always safe bets. Take Acesight as an example, the head-mounted display has a small camera built into it that captures a live video clip of what the wearer is watching, then through the related algorithm enhances the footage, which is displayed in real-time on high-resolution screens. Moreover, the open design ensures that the user can move freely, making it the ideal travel companion for those with impaired vision.
New Year marks the beginning of change -- whether you are one of a low vision community or your relatives or friends who are experiencing low vision, please believe, New Year will be different! Hope you have a wonderful New Year's Eve and a fantastic start to the New Year in advance!