New Year Traditions

January 1, 2012 by staff 

New Year TraditionsNew Year Traditions, Hopefully you’ve already stocked up on black eyed peas — don’t worry, it’s not another Y2K scare — black eyed peas just seem to be a popular New Years tradition. New Years Eve and Day are packed with traditions — some so ingrained nobody thinks to mention them, while others are more unique. Some traditions are looked upon fondly, while others might cause a bit of gagging. Some Juneauites have offered to share some of these traditions, from pots and pans to dishes and kisses.

Here’s a given — New Years Eve is a night to be spent with family and friends, whether it’s a cozy night at home or a big night on the town. As the year draws to a close, people the world over want to welcome the New Year in the company of loved ones.

When it comes to parties, many host their own, while others head to the restaurants and bars providing live music and dance floors.

Options this New Years Eve included a good old-fashioned barn dance or some newer traditions like Juneau Jazz & Classics’ second annual Swing in the New Year dance with Thunder Mountain Big Band or KXLL’s first annual Block Party at the Wharf.

Then there are the more family oriented traditions, though one ought not assume that translates to quiet.

Peggy McKee Barnhill tells about a tradition her family has shared for years, even as technology has required some changes.

“Our family has a tradition of looking through our family photos from the past year on New Year’s Eve. We all gather around the photo albums and start at January of the waning year. We always take a photo of ourselves looking at the photos, and that’s where we start the next year. The past few years we’ve used a digital camera (we came late to the digital age) and we really miss those photo albums. Now we make a slide show on the computer, complete with our favorite music.”

A group of long-time friends in their 20s will welcome the New Year in a cabin, surrounded by nature, according to Alex Miller. They’ll toast to new beginnings and old friends when their iPhones strike midnight.

Midnight. There are a host of traditions that commence the second midnight arrives. Midnight kisses, champagne toasts, watching the ball drop in Times Square, lighting off fireworks and making lots of noise.

Callie Conerton has grown up living on Telephone Hill and fondly recalls banging pots and pans and generally making as much noise as possible with neighbors while looking out over downtown.

The Barnhills’ celebration continues with “lots of noise — my husband plays the bagpipes — and (we) shoot off confetti poppers at midnight. The confetti gets all over the living room — we can usually find a piece or two left over when we put up our Christmas tree the next December.”

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