New year is one occasion that it celebrated all across the world with the same spirit of welcoming the new but letting the old pass by gracefully.
Though different people follow different traditions and customs to live up to the spirit, yet the true essence behind every such ritual is to enjoy and be together with loved ones. Like all other European countries, Belgium celebrates New Year in its own way and that’s quite interesting.
The new year eve or the 31st of December has a special name there- the “Sint Sylvester Vooranvond” or more colloquially “Saint Sylvester Eve”, according to the name of their Holy Saint. They consider this time to the year to be extremely auspicious and they leave no stone unturned for that to be celebrated with vibrancy, happiness and joy.
In Belgium, the New year is celebrated with lots of preparations beforehand. Most of the people there arrange family parties where close friends are also invited because New Year happens to be the time to spend lots of time with closed ones. Organized in the house only, these parties are characterized by good food and drinks catered with love and family touch. In some families invitations are given to every individual known and thus a grand social gathering becomes possible on the eve.
A very sweet custom prevails in the country which is followed by all kids. They collect money all the yearlong and save it to purchase beautiful decorative for this Day. When it comes they use these to decorate their homes and write holiday greetings and good wishes for their elders, especially parents, which they read out as the clock strikes 12.
Some kids decorate these letters and cards with flowers, ribbons and others to make it look more attractive. The adults exchange gifts, kiss and hug each other, wish good fortune and raise toast in order to welcome the New year in their own European Style. They remember those who have died and pray to god for their soul to rest in peace. Champagneis a common as well as traditional ingredient during New Year and everyone remains in a mood of happiness so that when the New Year approaches, smiling faces can be found everywhere. In the rural areas, the farmers, wish and bless their cattle which according to them is auspicious and brings good luck for the entire year.
Other than the traditional approach, modern inhabitants of the country also go out for some extra enjoyments. Some people after finishing their house parties roam around the streets where thousands of street parties get arranged by locals. Belgium has innumerable number of bars, clubs, hotels and restaurants which also organizes New year parties, where the locals as well as the outsiders can also participate.
Thus every individual in Belgium celebrates the advent of the New year or Nieuwjaarsdag with great zeal and enthusiasm, to bid a peaceful farewell to the bygone year and also welcome the brand new year with lots of new hopes and new aspirations.