A monumental New Year in Europe

Anush Yepremyan

The New Year is the most awaited and celebrated holiday in Europe. Everybody looks forward to it, regardless of their age. The holiday is full of joy and magic. Its approach always gives us the sense of excitement.

According to the eastern calendar, each year is dedicated to a particular animal, and the New Year table varies depending on preferences of that animal. For example, the symbol of 2015 will be the Goat or Sheep, which is believed to bring wealth to the family. Since the animal is herbivore, it is expected to have vegetables and various green goodness such as lettuce, carrots, cabbage and beets.

Fruits, dairy products and numerous kinds of cheese will please the animal, and it is believed that it will bring you luck in the coming year.

People prepare for the holiday in advance in order to make it perfect and memorable because in Europe, there is a saying, “How your New Year’s Eve goes, so the whole year goes.” For that reason, everybody wants to celebrate it in prosperity and luxury.

We start cooking starting Dec. 30. Everything has to be fresh. There are so many things on the table, starting from entrees and finishing with fanciest dishes and desserts.

The whole family takes part in decorating the Christmas tree and the whole house. In my family, we have a tradition: my dad is the one who puts the star on the top of the tree. We set a fancy table with candles; we put all the presents under the tree. When it gets closer to midnight, we start dressing up. Usually people buy something new to wear that day. At 11:45 pm, the whole family sits at the table and watches the President give a speech and wish everyone a Happy New Year.

After that, the countdown begins. Clinks of glasses filled with champaign, laughter, fireworks and joy take place when the clock strikes midnight. It is also important to make a wish at that moment.

While everyone is enjoying their food, it is believed that Santa sneaks and puts the presents under the tree. However, our Santa is a little bit different. He wears a red long coat, like a robe. He also does not come alone. He is accompanied by his daughter, Snow White. She has pale skin with a slight blush on her cheeks and a long blond braid. She wears a light blue coat with white fur and boots.

Friends and relatives can come over at any time. After the monumental dinner, it is high time to exchange presents. Then we dances, tells jokes, have contests and a lot of fun. Usually everybody ends up staying awake until 6 a.m.

If you ever have a chance, go to Europe to celebrate this special day!