By Emily Crowe
CNJ staff writer
From eating black-eyed peas to wearing red underwear, people around the world have unique traditions when it comes to ringing in the new year.
Foods such as lentils, cabbage, pork and pickled herring are thought throughout the world to bring good luck and prosperity when eaten on New Year’s Day.
Italians believe that wearing red underwear to ring in the new year will bring good luck, while Cubans and Puerto Ricans stuff a large doll called Mr. Old Year with the past year’s memories and set him ablaze at midnight.
Closer to home, New Year’s traditions tend to center around family and food.
“My husband and I go to the movies and get out either right at midnight or close to it,” said Clovis resident Jeri Rardin. “This year we’re going to start a new tradition and go out to breakfast after the show.”
Martiya Johnson of Clovis said when she was younger, her family would order pizza, hang out in the basement and watch the ball drop in New York City on television.
“We eat blueberry muffins for breakfast New Year’s Day,” said Clovis teacher Rebecca Cottone. “This is a tradition my dad started with us and I now do with my family.”
Clovis resident Cindy Meneses’s family keeps mandarin oranges on the table and eats soba noodles around midnight to ensure a long and healthy life.
By the numbers
2000: Pounds of confetti dropped on the crowd in Times Square at midnight
11,875: Weight, in pounds, of the Times Square ball
22: Percent of Americans who admit to falling asleep before midnight
61: Percent of Americans who say a prayer on New Year’s Eve
1: Weeks most Americans stand by their New Year’s resolutions