The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

Hispanic and European New Year’s Traditions

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Abria Joshua
Abria’s homemade creation of oliebollen! A tasty way to celebrate the New Year!

New Year’s Eve brings certain images to mind, a party, the ball drop, and confetti. To some people grapes, a pot of oil, suitcases, and pork would come to mind. Many Latin and European countries have unique and sometimes funny traditions. And you never know you might incorporate some of these into your next New Year’s celebration.

One staple in Dutch New Year’s Eve is oliebollen. Olliebollen is dough fried in a giant pot of oil and sprinkled with powdered sugar. It tastes a bit like a homemade doughnut and is a fan favorite in my house. There are a couple of different legends about where oliebollen came from but a common story is that back in pagan times people would eat them because they believed that the grease would deter spirits from eating them. 

There is also a popular polar dip in the North Sea, called the Nieuwjaarsduik, on New Year’s Day. Roughly 30,000 people jump into the North Sea at over 60 locations. The tradition started in 1960 when a swim club decided that it was a perfect way to kick off the new year. While you will not catch me there ever, it might be a fun activity for some of the more daring people out there. 

Many Latin countries have very similar traditions centered around bringing specific stuff into the new year. One tradition is to pack your suitcase with items you would need for a vacation and run it around a block to bring travel into your life. In some southern American countries, people will eat lentils to bring prosperity. In Ecuador, some families will hide money around their house 

Ms. Bittner, a Spanish teacher at Gateway, was asked about how her family celebrates New Year’s, she said, “On New Year’s Eve we eat 12 grapes for each of the 12’oclock  strikes at midnight to welcome the new year. We also serve “pernil” because pork is considered a good luck food.”

It does not matter if you are eating oliebollen, 12 grapes, or watching the ball drop, New Year’s is always a fun holiday. Now if you need me, I’ll be practicing eating 12 grapes in a minute for 2025. 

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About the Contributor
Abria Joshua, Staff Writer & Senior Copy Editor
Hi, My name is Abria Joshua! I’m currently a sophomore at Gateway and it is my first year here. I am in the book club, mock trial, stage crew, and the senior copy editor for The Chomp! Outside of school, this is my third year doing team policy debate through NCFCA. I want to go into something science or politics related to hopefully work in conservation. I love all things reading, art, and animals!
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