Unique Gifts for Dad

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Next month brings the shocking realization that we are almost half way through this year. It also presents the opportunity, on June 20, to show appreciation and love to the dads in our lives.

Sadly, my own father passed away 11 years ago, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. I still send out waves of love and gratitude for him on Father’s Day. And I appreciate the other dads in my family: Greg, my stepdad, my brother, my son and son-in-law and my nephews. They each bring their own uniquely wonderful gifts to the family and to the world.

Inspired by them, I offer this selection of unique gifts for dad. Although there’s nothing wrong with gifting dad a tie or a sturdy pair of socks, these suggestions go a bit beyond the ordinary. Because…every dad is different. For the sports guy, the hard working man and the fun loving prankster, the new daddy, the experienced dad and the papa…there is a gift for each one here.

Unique Gifts for Dad title meme

Unique Gifts for Dad

I’m an affiliate with these companies or the items are available through Amazon. I can suggest their products with confidence because I’m familiar with them, use them and appreciate each company tremendously.

CBD Living

Established in 2013, CBD Living is headquartered in Corona, California. The company uses only 100% organic hemp sourced from state-licensed farms in Oregon and Colorado

The secret to their superior products lies in the use of nanotechnology that reduces CBD into nano-sized droplets, without the use of emulsifiers. This technique allows the CBD to immediately penetrate the body’s cells, giving increased bioavailability at the cellular level with no waiting.

The company offers a HUGE range of products, from CBD infused water to gummies to energy drinks to pet products. CBD Living is perfect for the dad who appreciates the health benefits of CBD and who makes his health a priority.

For dad, pick up CBD Freeze, to use after a gym workout or a day working out…in the yard. It relieves painful muscles and calms inflammation.

Use my LINK to browse CBD Living’s 100+ products.

Unique Gifts for Dad CBD Freeze
Unique gifts for Dad – CBD Freeze

Toad&Co

Toad&Co is a sustainable clothing company that’s woven their intentions into the very fabric of their company: to support communities, take care of the planet, and empower people to live their fullest lives. These intentions shaped Toad&Co for the better, helping them to live well and do good every day.

The company believes that minimizing their environmental impact and helping clean up the apparel industry is an integral part of their business ethos. Therefore, they use 100% sustainable, ecological materials, 100% of the time.

Toad&Co clothing or gift cards are for the father who is ecologically minded and yet fashion conscious. Click HERE to check out styles that are suitable for a fun night with the family or for traveling around the globe.

Unique Gifts for Dad toadandco
Unique gifts for Dad – My grandson Dayan, who is not a dad yet, models the super comfy Toad&Co Henley shirt.

Four Sigmatic

The founders of Four Sigmatic grew up in Finland, foraging in their backyards and enjoying the benefits of all kinds of mushrooms. They recognized that perhaps the rest of the world didn’t use mushrooms as much as they did and wanted to change that.

Four Sigmatic includes familiar superfoods in their products such as green tea, cacao, hemp and coconut. And they include some less familiar, like Reishi, Cordyceps and Ashwagandha mushrooms.

This company’s products are for the dad who loves his cup of coffee AND appreciates the additional health boost from high quality, nutrient dense foods. For the dad who works out, they also have a marvelous plant based protein powder with superfoods.

Check out all the products Four Sigmatic offers HERE. And use my special code, CINDYLAUDERDALEMOORE, to save 10% off of your order.

Unique Gifts for Dad four sigmatic
Unique gifts for Dad – Four Sigmatic coffees

Smartr Skin

Smartr Skin is a physician created line of skin care products. The company embraces a whole-person view of health. They believe that feeling healthy and confident is a result of caring for the whole self…body, mind and spirit.

They also believe that smarter, higher quality ingredients lead to better results. Therefore, they’ve created custom formulations from clean ingredients that nourish the skin, from the inside out.

While dads can and should care for their skin too, Smartr Skin offers wonderfully unique gifts just for them…beard balm and beard oil. Both are formulated with the highest quality vegan ingredients and come in unscented or a variety of scents. Plus Smartr Skin products are cruelty free and never tested on animals.

Click this LINK and use my discount code CINDYM20OFF to save 20% off your order!

Unique Gifts for Dad smartr skin
Unique gifts for Dad – Smartr Skin beard balm

Nina’s Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil

For the father or papa who loves to cook and grill or who appreciates fine international products, you can’t go wrong with Nina’s Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil.

This exceptional cold pressed extra virgin olive oil comes from Nina’s olive grove in Spain. She uses permaculture farming to produce the highest quality oil in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way. And she does not use insecticides, pesticides or herbicides on her olive grove.

Nina’s Spanish olive oil is the recipient of the New York International Olive Oil Competition Gold Award for 2020. Surprise Dad with this deliciously unique gift, using this LINK.

Unique Gifts for Dad extra virgin olive oil
Unique gifts for Dad – Nina’s Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil

Battpak from OCTAVE

This clever and practical item comes from OCTAVE and it is perfect for the Dad who enjoys traveling, attending concerts or taking the kids on adventures.

The Battpak is a portable battery pack, for charging cell phones or tablets on the go, PLUS it has a secret compartment for stashing money, credit cards, keys and other loose items. The sleek stainless steel magnetic tray within allows you to magnetize loose articles, like keys, so they will not rattle around inside.

The Battpak easily slips inside a pocket, backpack or messenger bag for convenience and security.

I can’t wait to take this product with me on my next trip. Order through this LINK and use my discount code CINDY15 for 15% off of your order.

Unique Gifts for Dad battpak charging
Unique gifts for Dad – Battpak 2 in 1 Charger
Secret compartment
Secret compartment inside the Battpak

Incrediwear

Incrediwear products work by increasing blood flow to reduce inflammation and swelling. They also relieve pain and accelerate recovery. Rather than using compression, Incrediwear items incorporate semiconductor elements within the fabric that release negative ions when stimulated by body heat.

Those negative ions activate cellular vibrations that speed up blood flow. The increased circulation brings more oxygen and nutrients to the target area, which supports the body’s natural healing process.

The company sells sleeves and braces, socks and apparel. The clothing effectively reduces the risk of overuse injuries and relieves muscle fatigue. Incrediwear’s socks relieve foot pain and fatigue while wicking away moisture. The sleeves and braces reduce inflammation and swelling and relieve pain while restoring mobility and accelerating recovery.

Pamper the dad who puts in long hours on the job or spends a lot of time walking or standing. Or provide relief for the athletic dad who is recovering from a sports injury. Use this LINK to order.

Unique Gifts for Dad incrediwear
Unique gifts for Dad – Incrediwear

Kit and Wilder

For the new daddy or dad with toddlers, check out these sweet offerings from Kit and Wilder.

The founder, Christine, created this online shop with these values in mind: safe, eco-friendly, sustainable, trendy and aesthetically pleasing clothes for babies and kids. Her mission is to carry eco-friendly and sustainable items from like minded brands to help fight for our children’s and grandchildren’s future planet.

Kit and Wilder offers a wide variety of items from wearables to books and toys to nursery items to products to help the teething baby. Delight the new daddy with books he can read to his baby, silicone bowl sets that adhere to the high chair tray or sturdy snack bags to carry treats for his active toddler.

And the adventure loving dad will appreciate a backpack of his own that holds all he needs for a hike in nature with his wildlings.

Use this LINK to order and my code Cindy15 to save 15% off.

Unique Gifts for Dad kit and wilder
Unique gifts for Dad – Kit and Wilder

KeySmart

For the father who appreciates techy items…or who frequently loses his keys…go with KeySmart!

KeySmart’s goal to save the world from bulky, annoying key rings full of jangling keys resulted in a trim, lightweight design that’s easy to carry. The company offers a variety of designs that keep keys organized and tucked within the frame.

The KeySmart Pro is the ultimate key organizer that features a Tile Smart locator that offers convenience and peace of mind. A lost set of keys is never a problem.

The company offers accessories, urban wallets and the totally awesome Urban 21 Commuter Backpack. Get the KeySmart Pro HERE. Then type in “KeySmart” in the search bar to see all their other items offered on Amazon.

Unique Gifts for Dad keysmart
Unique Gifts for Dad – KeySmart

Kodak Instant Camera and Portable Printer

As we know, it’s mostly the moms who are busy behind the cameras, snapping family photos. Why not get Dad his own fun camera and turn him loose to be creative?

Kodak offers products that deliver high quality photos that are fingerprint-proof, waterproof and last a lifetime. These cameras + portable printers are perfect for any family gatherings…such as Father’s Day…and make unique gifts that Dad can use for many years.
The Kodak Mini Shot 3 Retro allows Dad or Papa to shoot and print high quality photos directly from the camera. Or Dad can connect his Kodak Mini 3 Square Retro to any mobile device and print out his favorite pics wherever he is.
Let the fun begin as Dad captures memories.
Unique Gifts for Dad Kodak Instant Camera
Unique gifts for Dad – Kodak Instant Cameras and Printers

Happy Father’s Day

What unique gifts did you pick out for the dads in your life?

Honor those men and show them how much you love them and appreciate them for all that they do. I’d give a lot to be able to hug my father this year and present him with one of these gifts…or all of them!

In my dad’s memory, I’ll be honoring and celebrating the rest of the fathers in my family.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, on all of their journeys. Many blessings on you and your families.

My son and his family
My son and his family
My son-in-law and his new baby
My son-in-law and his baby daughter

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is an affiliate with Four Sigmatic, Smartr Skin, Toad&Co, CBD Living, Amazon and Kit and Wilder. These programs provide a means for sites to earn fees by advertising and linking to the companies, all at no extra cost to you.

 

 

 

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Next month, May 9, is Mother’s Day in the United States. The day celebrates and honors motherhood, with all its joys, blessings and challenges.

My big extended family includes many mothers, from the matriarchs…my mother and stepmom…to the newest mommy, my younger daughter, Adriel. My mother and stepmom, my sisters and sister-in-law, my nieces and nieces-in-law, my daughters and daughter-in-law, and me of course, all journey together, a sisterhood of mamas. We mother and grandmother well, helping each other as needed and always encouraging and supporting one another.

I’m excited to offer a selection of thoughtful gifts for mom. There’s something for every mama here, from the grandmother to the new mommy, the health conscious to the the traveler, the ecologically minded to the entrepreneur.

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom title meme

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom

I’m an affiliate with all of these companies. I can suggest their products with confidence because I’m familiar with them, use them and appreciate each company tremendously.

Tough as a Mother Jewelry

The newest of my affiliate partnerships, Tough as a Mother offers beautiful necklaces and a fun bracelet.

Jennifer Cervantes built her company for all the women living through their own motherhood journeys, from finding the strength to endure miscarriage to the deep darkness of postpartum anxiety, through sleepless nights and physical and mental challenges of all kinds.
No matter what the  motherhood journey looks like, Jennifer knows we all deserve to call ourselves tough as a mother. From gemstone pendants to custom designed necklaces featuring the initials of children or grandchildren, find the perfect necklace for the mothers in your family.
Use this LINK to check out all the possibilities this beautiful company offers.
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom tough as a mother
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – Tough as a Mother

Decocrated Curated Home

For the mama that enjoys home decor, creativity or the delightful surprise of subscription boxes, Decocrated makes an excellent gift. Four times a year a seasonal box arrives at your front door, full of curated pieces designed to work with any decorating style.

Order a single seasonal box…spring is currently available…or save money with a yearly subscription. Additionally, add-on boxes are available to subscribers only. Add-on boxes include Halloween, Christmas, Easter and Americana.

Click this link for a Seasonal Box and use my discount code CINDYM15 to save $15 off of your order! Or type in the same code to save $15 off the yearly subscription.

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom decocrated
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – Decocrated Curated Home Subscription Boxes

Wolfie Kids International Clothing

Based in Australia, Wolfie Kids is a small, international company, made up of moms and creatives. They work hard to provide their customers with carefully curated clothing for babies, toddlers and children.

Keeping little ones comfortable in ethical, cozy fabrics remains a top priority for Wolfie Kids. Most designs feature soft cotton and linen that won’t irritate delicate skin. Plus the company uses eco-friendly, recycled packaging, from green shipping methods to reusable cotton bags that arrive with the clothing lovingly tucked inside.

For the expectant mama, new mommy or busy mother of several kids, Wolfie makes a fun gift, because who doesn’t appreciate thoughtful, comfortable, well made clothes!  Check out their adorable outfits HERE . Use my code, CINDYBEYOND20, to save 20% on your order!

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom wolfie kids
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – Wolfie Kids Clothing. Finley Grace modeling the Ziggy Jumpsuit

Four Sigmatic

The founders of Four Sigmatic grew up in Finland, foraging in their backyards and enjoying the benefits of all kinds of mushrooms. They recognized that perhaps the rest of the world didn’t use mushrooms as much as they did and wanted to change that.

Four Sigmatic includes familiar superfoods in their products such as green tea, cacao, hemp and coconut. And they include some less familiar, like Reishi, Cordyceps and Ashwagandha mushrooms.

This company’s health conscious products are for the mama who loves her coffee, tea or hot chocolate AND appreciates the additional health boost from high quality, nutrient dense foods.

Check out all the products Four Sigmatic offers HERE. And use my special code, CINDYLAUDERDALEMOORE, to save 10% off of your order.

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom four sigmatic
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – Four Sigmatic

Smartr Skin

Smartr Skin is a physician created line of skin care products. The company embraces a whole-person view of health. They believe that feeling healthy and confident is a result of caring for the whole self…body, mind and spirit.

They also believe that smarter, higher quality ingredients lead to better results. Therefore, they’ve created custom formulations from clean ingredients that nourish the skin, from the inside out.

I’ve been a customer of Smartr Skin for exactly two years and I LOVE their products. Their skin care line and jade roller are perfect gifts for the mother who desires to nourish and enrich her skin, no matter what her age.

Click this LINK and use my discount code CINDYM20OFF to save 20% off your order!

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom smartr skin
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – Smartr Skin

Toad&Co

Toad&Co is a sustainable clothing company that’s woven their intentions into the very fabric of their company: to support communities, take care of the planet, and empower people to live their fullest lives. These long-term partnerships have shaped Toad&Co for the better, helping them to live well and do good every day.

The company believes that minimizing their environmental impact and helping clean up the apparel industry is an integral part of their business ethos. Therefore, they use 100% sustainable, ecological materials, 100% of the time.

Toad&Co clothing or gift cards are for the mother that is ecologically minded and yet fashion conscious. Click HERE to check out styles that are suitable for a fun night out on the town or for traveling around the globe.

Toad&Co Eco-Friendly Clothes
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – clothes from Toad&Co

CBD Living

Established in 2013, CBD Living is headquartered in Corona, California. The company uses only 100% organic hemp sourced from state-licensed farms in Oregon and Colorado

The secret to their superior products lies in the use of nanotechnology that reduces CBD into nano-sized droplets, without the use of emulsifiers. This technique allows the CBD to immediately penetrate the body’s cells, giving increased bioavailability at the cellular level with no waiting.

The company offers a HUGE range of products, from CBD infused water to gummies to energy drinks to pet products. CBD Living is perfect for the mama who appreciates the health benefits of CBD and who makes her health a priority.

Use my LINK to browse CBD Living’s 100+ products.

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom cbd living
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – CBD Living

Mer-Sea & Co

Friends Melanie and Lina founded Mer-Sea & Co. They share the belief that life should be simple, like life at the beach. This attitude is reflected in all of their products, where utility, tranquility and simplicity reign.

Mer-Sea & Co offers mindful products such as artisan soy wax candles, Moroccan totes, travel accessories, bath and body necessities and beautiful sweaters, tops and wraps, crafted in the colors of the sea.

For the mamas who appreciate and enjoy well crafted articles and love the beach or travel life, Mer-Sea provides beautifully unique items. Use my LINK to explore their website and perhaps pick out something for yourself as well as your mother!

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom mersea
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – Mer-Sea & Co. Me loving their tasseled wrap while in Edinburgh.

Voke Superfood Supplements

Kalen Caughey came up with the idea for Voke ten years ago, as he rode in a chairlift up a local ski hill in Montana. A competitive skier, Kalen wanted a healthy, convenient, portable energy solution for long days on the mountain.

Together with his dad, who has a PhD in biochemistry, the two developed an organic blend that is natural and balanced without sugar, artificial sweeteners or excessive doses of vitamins.

Voke Superfood Supplements have fueled expeditions on all seven continents, including climbs in the Himalayas. The benefits of the tablets go beyond adventurers to the health conscious and to health minded professionals.

I experienced the power of Voke supplements on my last trip to Scotland. They helped me overcome jet lag quickly while boosting my energy levels for days of walking and exploring. Voke is perfect for the mother who loves to travel and who values her health and wellbeing.

Click HERE for Voke Superfood Supplements.

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom voke superfood
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – Voke Superfood Supplements

BOOM! Makeup by Cindy Joseph

The late Cindy Joseph began her career as a makeup artist in the 70s in San Francisco. Even then she believed less was more. As she aged, she became pro-age, rather than anti-aging.

As she approached 60, Cindy entered into the cosmetic business, introducing BOOM!, a line of products that are rich in natural moisturizers such as olive oil and beeswax. She created makeup that was about revealing rather than hiding.

I’ve used BOOM! products for four years and it’s the only makeup line for me. BOOM! is perfect for the mom, of any age, who desires to nourish her skin and allow her natural beauty to shine through.

I’m excited that BOOM! recently became available on Amazon. Get the BOOM! Trio Sticks HERE.

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom boom
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – BOOM! Make Up

Blogging Blastoff or Travel Blogging Blastoff

Not sure what to get Mom this year? Does she enjoy writing? Have an entrepreneurial streak? Eager to try something new?

Consider gifting your mother with a blogging course that helps her build a profitable blog, from the ground up.

I’ve taken both of these courses by Heather and Pete Reese, who are successful bloggers themselves. Blogging Blastoff changed my blogging career very quickly as I implemented what I learned. And Travel Blogging Blastoff is opening doors to new opportunities working with travel partners. I highly recommend both.

Click HERE for Blogging Blastoff and this LINK for Travel Blogging Blastoff.

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom blogging blastoff
Thoughtful Gifts for Mom – Blogging Blastoff courses

Happy Mother’s Day

I hope you found something special for the mothers in your life, in this collection of thoughtful, unique gifts. I’m certainly shopping the list, for the mamas in my family.

Perhaps you even found something wonderful for yourself. Buy it! Sometimes we must nurture and cherish ourselves.

May you celebrate, with joy, all women experiencing their motherhood journeys. And may you be celebrated as well.

Happy Mother’s Day. Blessings to you and your family.

Thoughtful Gifts for Mom me and Finley
Snuggling my granddaughter, Finley.

 

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is an affiliate with Tough as a Mother, Decocrated, Wolfie Kids, Four Sigmatic, Smartr Skin, Toad&Co, CBD Living, Mer-Sea & Co, Voke Superfood Supplements, Amazon and Blogging Blastoff. These programs provide a means for sites to earn fees by advertising and linking to the companies, all at no extra cost to you.

 

 

 

Easter Traditions from Around the World

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

In the US, common Easter traditions include attending church and spending time with family, dyeing and hiding eggs, gifting children baskets full of goodies and dressing up in spring finery. Do you know that Easter is celebrated in 95 other countries around the world? And some of their festivities are quite different from those practiced here in the United States.

I love learning about other countries and others cultures. See how many of these Easter traditions from around the world are familiar to you.

Easter Traditions from Around the World title meme

Washington DC

Let’s start with a 130 year old tradition in the US. The White House hosts the annual Easter Egg Roll on the south lawn. Children roll colorful hard boiled eggs across the lawn using large serving spoons. The event also offers music, and egg hunt, sports and crafts.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Washington DC
Easter traditions from around the world – Washington DC

Australia

In Australia, rabbits are considered pests that destroy crops. In 1991, the country replaced the symbolic Easter bunny with the Easter bilby, also called the rabbit-eared bandicoot. You can purchase chocolate bilbies for Easter and the proceeds benefit Australia’s endangered animals.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Australia
Easter traditions from around the world – Australia

Norway

In Norway, the Easter season is a popular time to read detective novels and watch crime shows. The unconventional tradition began in 1923 when a book publisher advertised its new crime novel on the front page of newspapers. The ads, made to look like a news article, caught the attention of readers who didn’t realize they were promotions. The tradition continues today with new crime novels releasing around Easter and crime dramas playing on television. All over the country, people spend the weekend with whodunit shows and books. Even milk cartons carry short detective stories on their cardboard sides during this time.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Norway
Easter traditions around the world – Norway

Bermuda

Easter celebrations last all weekend in Bermuda. The holiday begins on Friday with the Good Friday KiteFest. All over the island, locals and visitors gather to show off their homemade kites and send them soaring into the sky. During the weekend people eat codfish and hot cross buns. Sunday sunrise services on beaches are a fitting end to the weekend.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Bermuda
Easter traditions from around the world – Bermuda

France

Every Easter Monday, the day after Easter Sunday, the town of Bessieres in southern France, serves up a giant omelette. Using more than 15,000 eggs, the omelette feeds the entire village. According to local stories, the tradition began with Napoleon and his troops traveling through the south of France. They stopped in this small town for a meal, eating omelettess. Napoleon enjoyed the meal so much that he ordered the townspeople to gather all of their eggs and make a gigantic omelette for his army the next day.

Easter Traditions from Around the World France
Easter traditions from around the world – France

Russia

Easter meals in Russia include knobs of butter molded into lamb shapes. In ancient times lamb were considered lucky. The Russians believed the devil could take on the form of any animal, except a lamb. Their religious symbolism protected the lambs.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Russia
Easter traditions from around the world – Russia

Spain

In the medieval town of  Verges, in Spain, the “death dance” is held on Holy Thursday. Townspeople reenact the Passion, dressed in skeleton costumes. Passion comes from the Latin word for “suffering” and is connected to Christ’s crucifixion.  Processions wind through the streets with skeletons carrying boxes of ashes. Dancing begins at midnight and concludes at 3:00 am.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Spain
Easter traditions from around the world – Spain

Poland

Smigus-dyngus is a Polish tradition carried out on Easter Monday. People try to drench each other with buckets of water, squirt guns, water balloons…anything they can carry water in. According to legend, the girls who get soaked with water will marry within the year.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Poland
Easter traditions from around the world – Poland

Vatican City

Each year on Good Friday, the Pope commemorates the Way of the Cross. He begins at the Colosseum. People joining the procession carry candles and walk around the amphitheater and up to Palatine Hill, stopping 14 times along the way. This walk represents the 15 Stations of the Cross. Mass is celebrated Saturday evening. And on Sunday morning, thousands gather in St Peter’s Square to await the Pope’s blessing from the church balcony.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Vatican City
Easter traditions from around the world – Vatican City

Greece

Traditional pot throwing takes place on Holy Saturday, on the Greek island of Corfu. From their balconies and windows, people throw pots, pans and other clay or earthenware containers into the street. These pots are frequently filled with water. The custom originated with the Venetians who threw out old items on New Year’s Day. It also symbolizes welcoming spring crops in new pots.

Easter Traditions from Around the World - Greece
Easter traditions from around the world – Greece

Israel

Christians celebrate Good Friday in Jerusalem by walking the same path that Jesus did on his way to the cross. Many participants carry a cross with them, in remembrance of Jesus’ crucifixion. On Easter Sunday a church services take place at Garden Tomb.

Easter Traditions from Around the World - Israel
Easter traditions from around the world – Israel

Italy

Locals in Florence, Italy celebrate a 350 year old Easter tradition called Scoppio del Carro, “explosion of the cart”. Fireworks fill an ornate cart. People in colorful 15th century costumes lead the cart through the streets, stopping in front of the Duomo. The Archbishop of Florence lights the fireworks during Easter mass, setting off a lively display. The custom dates back to the First Crusade. It ensures a good harvest.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Italy
Easter traditions from around the world – Italy

Hungary

A popular Easter tradition in Hungary is observed on Easter Monday. Boys playfully sprinkle perfume or perfumed water on girls, after getting their permission to do so. During the older version of this custom, the boys poured a bucket of water over the girls’ heads. Today they spray perfume and ask for a kiss. The young ladies dress up in traditional clothes.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Hungary
Easter traditions from around the world – Hungary

Papua New Guinea

This is perhaps the most unusual Easter tradition that I discovered. With the high temperatures and humidity in Papua New Guinea, eating chocolate during the Easter season isn’t a “thing”. Instead, the locals celebrate in their own way. They decorate the trees outside their churches with packets of tobacco and cigarettes. After the Easter Sunday services, worshippers divide up the tobacco. This tradition increases church attendance on Easter Sunday!

Easter Traditions from Around the World Papua New Guinea
Easter traditions from around the world – Papua New Guinea

What Are Your Easter Traditions?

When my kids were young, we dressed up and attended church together. The “Easter Bunny” delivered goody filled baskets and the kids played all day, hiding and finding colored eggs. Now, with my children grown and parents of their own babes, I simply gift my kids and grandkids with small presents.

I like the traditions of flying homemade kites, reading crime novels and watch out…throwing water! My children and grands better beware. Mostly, I love learning how other cultures celebrate holidays. It’s fun and educational too.

What are your Easter traditions? And did you find any in the list above that surprised you?

Happy Easter
Happy Easter. Cute frame, ceramic bunny and card art from Decocrated.

 


Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

 

 

Soulful Activities for Spunky Old Broads

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Earlier this month I discovered, to my delight, that February is Spunky Old Broads Month. Never heard of this unique holiday? Check out the post about it HERE.

I love everything about this celebration of women over the age of 50. It meshes well with my Year of the Wild Woman. I’ve reflected daily on what it means to live this part of my life as a spunky old broad. And I quickly realized I’ve been living as one since my early 50s, without the awareness of the special day and month.

Expanding on the very last section in my previous post on this topic, here are soulful activities for spunky old broads living a “no regrets” lifestyle.

Soulful Activities for Spunky Old Broads title meme

Soulful Activities for Spunky Old Broads

I like the word “soulful”. It’s defined as the process of expressing deep feelings and emotions. A soulful person is one who shows compassion and depth of understanding. Because spunky women value living authentic lives I felt the word “soulful” better fit the list of activities, rather than a word like “fun”.

There are so many soulful activities for spunky old broads. Consider these  just an invitation to engage joyfully!

Meaningful Routines that Support You

Have you heard of Jen Hatmaker? She is just shy of 50, however she’s well on her way to spunkiness. Recently Jen shared how valuable her morning and evening routines are. Strangely, I’m an odd cross between spontaneity and routines. My morning and evening routines are vital to me also.

Routines quickly become second nature and they absolutely must support who you are.

Here are a few of mine, as examples. Morning routines include making my bed as soon as I get out of it, brushing my teeth, my start-of-day skin care and prepping celery juice and a fruit smoothie. My favorite morning routine is opening all the wooden blinds covering the windows, to let the light in. It’s my way of saying “welcome” to the new day.

Night routines include turning on lamps in my bedroom as it gets dark, turning down the bed, taking a probiotic and thoroughly cleansing and moisturizing my face and neck.

What starts your day off right? And how can you pamper yourself a bit at night?

Soulful Activities for Spunky Old Broads routines
Soulful activities for spunky old broads – meaningful routines

Devote Time Daily to Something New

Is there something you’ve always wanted to try or learn? Now is the time to do new things! Enjoying new experiences helps keep the brain sharp by creating new pathways. Beyond that, it’s fun.

Want to paint? Take voice lessons? Learn to ride a motorcycle? Spend time everyday on this new activity. Just make sure it feeds the soul and brings joy to the heart.

Trying new experiences resulted in the launch of this blog in 2014. Last year, I decided to take a travel blogging class (this one) and take blogging in some new directions. I love the doors that are swinging open, as a result.

What new experience or lesson do you want to devote time to?

Soulful Activities for Spunky Old Broads something new
Soulful Activities for Spunky Old Broads – something new. Read this travel post HERE. I just did and tears came to my eyes. Now I’m processing why…

Meet New Spunky Old Broads

One of the fun aspects of this sisterhood is connecting with other like-minded, like-hearted souls. Due to COVID, the best way to find other spunky ladies is through online groups. Search for “spunky old broads” on Facebook or Instagram. I typed the words in Facebook’s search bar and located several groups and pages.

Also, live as your spunky self. Other spunky women will gravitate toward you, naturally. Find your tribe….or your tribe will find you.

I had the pleasure of meeting a spunky sister in 2018. We connected on Facebook first. Then we met in person. What fun to share a meal and laugh and chat. Marva is a wonderfully warm and authentic person who follows where her heart leads and does much to help others. Check out her Insight peer support group on Facebook.

Is there a spunky old broad you’d love to get to know better?

Soulful Activities for Spunky Old Broads connect
Soulful activities for spunky old broads – connect

Up Your Health Level

Spunky old broads need energy to accomplish all that they want to do. Up your health level. Fuel the body with highly nutritious foods and avoid  foods that are overly processed and full of sugar, additives and chemicals. Pay attention to any sensitivities that arise, such as to gluten or dairy products. Nothing motivates health changes as much as the desire to do something fun, like travel, play with grandkids or live a longer life!

I upped my health level for two reasons: 20 years of chronic pain and inflammation were sending me into a wheelchair and I wanted to take my grandson to Italy as a high school graduation gift.

Nothing has impacted me as positively as adopting a healthier lifestyle, in my case, a plant based one. I have the health and the energy to BE a spunky old broad. Learn more about my health journey at Journey With Healthy Me.

Is your health supporting all that you want to do?

Soulful Activities for Spunky Old Broads energy
Soulful activities for spunky old broads – up health level

Play More

Oh, to play as we did as children. Why does playing tend to stop as we get older?

Play is such an important aspect of spunkiness. It unleashes creativity, inspires big ideas and taps into the inner child. Often play pushes us beyond comfort zones as well, which is a good thing.

I love making up my own games to play. The 63 Curious Things to Do for my 63rd Birthday is such a game. In the last couple of years I’ve made blanket forts, picked up coloring again and created a variety of activity based games. Playing bypasses logic and frees spontaneity and joy.

When was the last time you had fun, playing?

Soulful Activities for Spunky Old Broads play
Soulful activities for spunky old broads – play

Be a Role Model for Others

When others observe your spunkiness, it’s an invitation to delve into their own. Be especially mindful of the younger women and the girls in your family.

This is a “teach by example” lifestyle. Be your delightful self. And know that doing so inspires others to figure out who they are. Joy and fun and spunkiness are contagious, to those who want to catch them. I know that the women in my family inspired me just by living their lives.

Although my desire is to be an example to all of my grandchildren…four grandsons and two granddaughters…I especially want the girls to grow up secure in who they are. Modeling a fiercely strong yet spunky life is the best way that I can encourage them to be who they are, to create big ideas and big plans, and to never play small to please another.

Who is watching you and learning by your example?

Soulful Activities for Spunky Old Broads mentor
Soulful activities for spunky old broads – be an example to the girls in the family. Granddaughters Aubrey and Finley.

Explore New Places

Exploring new places is a fun activity for this spunky old broad. I’m a mix of spunky meets wild woman with a gypsy heart. It’s in my DNA to wander.

However, there are many landscapes to explore including the ever so important one within. Start there, I’d suggest. Explore and go into those musty, closed off spaces in the soul. You might find a surprise or two there.

If traveling abroad…when such travel is possible again…isn’t exciting to you, explore your own country, your own city, your own neighborhood. Wandering a never before explored street makes my heart sing. And lately I’ve enjoyed day long road trips to new places within 100 miles from home. We learn so much about ourselves when we allow curiosity to guide our feet down paths unknows.

What new location is calling to you?

Soulful Activities for Spunky Old Broads explore
Soulful activities for spunky old broads – explore new places. This is Venice, Italy.

Bust Out of Your Comfort Zone

Spunky women are brave and adventurous. They don’t live in fear, stay within comfort zones or remain captive to limiting beliefs. And yet, I did, for most of my life.

I didn’t enter my 50s with an excited whoop and a determination to adopt spunkiness. I cautiously sidled into that decade, nearly invisible. What I ultimately experienced was a growing desire to free myself of fears, comfort zones and limiting beliefs. The “want to” developed into “must”. My life changed in remarkable ways 10 years ago when I faced down my fears, stepped beyond my comfort zones and eliminated limiting beliefs.

Creativity flourished again. And the first signs of spunkiness showed up. Living life beyond the edges…that’s what I do now.

I frequently challenge myself to keep going beyond the edges so that I face new fears that pop up or old ones that try to sneak back in, so that comfort zones feel uncomfortable and limiting beliefs too confining. Three years ago I spent four days in an Airbnb house alone, knowing the experience would trigger old fears. It did. And I left that house with newfound freedom.

Do you feel trapped by fears, comfort zones and/or limiting beliefs? What needs to shift?

Soulful Activities for Spunky Old Broads go beyond
Soulful Activities for Spunky Old Broads – go beyond, even when it feels scary to do so

Find Your Style

Do you dress the way you want to, or the way others expect you to dress? What’s your fashion style? I’m still figuring this one out. Working primarily from home, I favor comfy clothes such a hoodies, leggings and fuzzy socks.

And yet…my soul is drawn more to bohemian style clothing. I rarely wear dresses and skirts…and yet…I bought the green linen skirt in the photo below with a flowy white cotton blouse and a lightweight shawl while in Italy. My carry on could barely contain 12 days worth of clothes and essentials without adding an outfit to the mix. But I couldn’t leave those clothes behind.

Many older women feel they must dress a certain way, suitable for their age. And while purple tops and red hats are fine if that’s what you love, it’s not the only style available for spunky broads. I keep my hair long. And I know, deep in my soul, what I really want to wear. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about my fashion style…or about yours either.

What’s your style?

Soulful Activities for Spunky Old Broads style
Soulful activities for spunky old broads – find your fashion style

Take a Fun Class or Better Yet Teach One

Is there a class you want to take? A skill you want to learn? Take that class! Choices are unlimited online. Truly, it’s never too late to learn something new.

And, even better, offer to teach a class. If you specialize in an area, subject or skill, teach others. Have fun with it. Let your spunky self shine.

I frequently indulge my curiosity by taking online classes…mostly free…or picking up books on the topic at the public library. I’ve also taught many types of classes from kids’ learning styles to writing curriculum for children to real estate classes to meditation and health classes.

What would you love to learn more about? And what can you teach to others?

Soulful Activities for Spunky Old Broads teach
Soulful activities for spunky old broads – take a class or teach one

Determine Your Big Why

To stay in alignment with who you are and what you are doing, determine your big why. The big why is more than a goal. It’s something that changes your life or others’ lives or feeds your soul deeply. It’s your purpose for doing what you do.

Knowing your big why provides motivation however it also is a checkpoint to keep you from straying off into unimportant projects. You may have many big whys throughout life.

Find your current big why by writing down what you want on a piece of paper or white board. Then write why you want that, and why you want THAT and so on until you uncover the biggest reason why.

I started with “I want to travel” and moved to “I want to work remotely from anywhere in the world and earn a magnificent income.” By checking in to see why I wanted those things, I eventually discovered it’s about more than the freedom to travel. My big why? “I want to take my children and grandchildren on trips and introduce them to the wonders of the world, other cultures and other people.”

What’s your big why?

Soulful Activities for Spunky Old Broads big why
Soulful Activities for Spunky Old Broads – big why

Write Out Positive Affirmations about Aging

Let’s get real. Many women have negative thoughts about the aging process. Why else spend a fortune trying NOT to look like we fall into the age 50+ age group?

Satchel Paige says, “Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

How can you allow yourself to accept that aging is not only natural but inevitable? Or better yet, to affirm who you are without focusing so much on a number?

One way is to write out positive affirmations and post them where you can see them and read them every day.

Always use “I am…”.

“I am a spunky old broad” is a great start. Or, “I am living my best life.” “I am healthy and happy.” You get the idea.

I created my own affirmation calendar, made from a spiral bound deck of index cards. On each card is an affirmation or positive quote. I can flip to a new card daily.

Grab a stack of cards, open a google doc or hang a white board and start writing those affirmations.

Soulful Activities for Spunky Old Broads affirmation
Soulful activities for spunky old broads – affirmations

Celebrating Spunky Old Broads

I do believe my Year of the Wild Woman now includes a year long celebration of spunky old broads. It’s too perfect, too amazing, to only honor spunkiness for a month.

I hope these activities inspire you to embrace your own spunkiness, whether you are old enough to claim the title or growing into it.

And I’d love to know what other activities you came up with.

Soulful Activities for Spunky Old Broads travel
Four spunky of broads with the piper in Edinburgh…and one growing into spunkiness.

 


 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

Spunky Old Broads Day

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

The year contains many fun and unusual holidays and celebrations. I know because I check frequently as I create my monthly blog and social media posts schedule.

Somehow though I’ve missed this one for February 1, Spunky Old Broads Day. In fact, the whole month of February celebrates outrageously fun older women with Spunky Old Broads Month.

The wild woman within stirred as I read about this unique holiday. I’m grateful we get more than one day to relish it.

Spunky Old Broads Day title meme

Origins of Spunky Old Broads Day

This day, and the whole month, celebrates women aged 50 and older who refuse to grow old quietly. They enjoy living a full, authentic, “no regrets” life.

The founder of the holiday, Dr. Gayle Carson, serves as a life coach and advisor to entrepreneurs around the world. Check out her podcasts HERE. She primarily focuses on helping older women. Dr. Carson felt that the words “spunky”, “old” and “broad” presented negative images about aging. She chose to string the words together, creating Spunky Old Broads Day, also known as SOB Day.

This fun holiday encourages others to show appreciation to the older women in their lives. And for those of us who ARE the older women in others’ lives, Spunky Old Broads Day and Month gives us opportunity…and dare I say permission…to shine as our quirky, beautiful, outrageous selves.

Spunky Old Broads Day purple
Spunky Old Broads Day – one of my favorite quotes.

Defining Those Words

I love the study of words so of course I looked up spunky and broad, as they relate to women.

Spunky is an adjective that means “courageous, spirited, feisty and determined”.  And I LOVE this next bit. The word originates from the 1530s Scottish word spong, meaning “a spark”. It was first used in the sense of courage and mettle in 1773.

Someone who displays spunkiness is spirited and brave and not afraid to try new things or set off on an adventure. It takes a spunky traveler to cheerfully explore a city without a map.

And broad is a dated word used to describe a woman in an informal way. It’s an Old English word with Germanic origins. The term came to mean a woman in the 1930s. It’s derived from the fact that one of the most defining characteristics of a woman is her hips, which are proportionally broader than the hips of a man.

Spunky Old Broads Day keep calm
Spunky Old Broads Day – another favorite quote about aging

Women Who Are Wonderfully Spunky Old Broads

Over the last couple of days, I’ve thought about well known older women who exemplify spunkiness. I came up with quite a list. Here are several and words of wisdom from them:

Alice Walker – American Author and Social Activist

This amazing writer published The Color Purple in 1982, winning the National Book Award for Hardcover Fiction and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

” I think writing really helps you heal yourself. I think if you write long enough, you will be a healthy person. That is, if you write what you need to write, as opposed to what will make money or what will make fame.”

Helen Mirren – British Actress, Model and Naturalist

Helen excels on the stage and on the big screen. She’s considered a Triple Crown of Acting winner in the US for winning an Oscar for Best Actress in The Queen, a Tony for The Audience and four Emmys for television limited series and movies.

“It’s ridiculous to pretend we can stay young forever.”

Spunky Old Broads Day helen mirren
Spunky Old Broads Day – Dame Helen Mirren

Lyn Slater – Accidental Icon, Blogger and Professor

At the age of 64, Lyn became an “accidental” style icon. When she started a blog and Instagram page, she had no intention of creating an age busting agenda, hence the accidental part. However, she is now known for her oft times eclectic fashion sense and her empowering promotion of women over 50. Check out her fun Instagram page.

“This project is me saying: ‘I’m not twenty, and I don’t want to be twenty. But I’m pretty cool, and here I am.'”

Maya Angelou – American Poet, Memoirist and Civil Rights Activist

This talented woman, who passed away in 2014, published seven autobiographies, three books of essays and several books of poetry in addition to appearing in plays, movies and television shows. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees.

“We carry accumulation of years in our bodies and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias.”

Spunky Old Broads Day maya angelou
Spunky Old Broads Day – Maya Angelou

My Spunky Legacy

I have an amazing legacy of spunkiness in my family, woman who live out loud, who pursue their dreams, who travel and explore the world.

Great Grandma Cynthia

My great-grandmother, whose first name I share, traveled the US until she was well up in years. I remember her amusing stories and her cackle of laughter as she told them. She possessed a penchant for getting lost or going beyond and loved the experiences. Grandma Cynthia once insisted on walking down into the Grand Canyon, against the advice of guides. When she couldn’t get back out of the canyon, a ranger went in after her. She rode out on a donkey. And telling the story, she remarked on how cute the ranger was!

Spunky Old Broads Day grandma cynthia
Spunky Old Broads Day – Great Grandma Cynthia

Great Aunt Pearl

Aunt Pearl was actually Greg’s great aunt, however I adored her as well. This accomplished, beautiful woman traveled the world. She went on safari, rode a camel across the desert and enjoyed a hot air balloon ride…in her 80s. She possessed boundless energy and once literally raced Greg across a parking lot, to get to the Wichita Zoo entrance ahead of him so she could pay!

Aunt Pearl’s home featured intriguing items from her adventures and the dear woman always brought home souvenirs for me and my children. I’ve often said I want to be just like Aunt Pearl when I grow up.

Spunky Old Broads Day aunt pearl
Spunky Old Broads Day – Great Aunt Pearl

My Mom, Pat

I couldn’t write about Spunky Old Broads without including my incredible mom. No one has better shown me how to live a big, authentic, adventurous life.

Mom is an author, with several published children’s books. She’s creative and artistic, owned and operated businesses and traveled extensively around the US and the world. Mom continues to join me and my sisters in new experiences. One of our greatest shared adventures was a trip to Ireland, Scotland and England in 2017. I’ll never forget it.

Spunky Old Broads Day mom
Spunky Old Broads Day – my fun mom, dressed to the nines for a family Halloween party

Celebrating Spunky Old Broads Day and Month

I’m thrilled to discover this month long holiday. It perfectly meshes with my desire to release my inner wild woman and live as my most authentic, spunky self. I’m old enough and I’m brave enough to embrace it all. Plus the Scottish root word for spunk, meaning “a spark” connects to my song for the year, Girl on Fire. This feels like an invitation to go deep and go far.

Are you a spunky old broad? How can we celebrate?

I have some suggestions.

Try new experiences. Go beyond fears, limiting beliefs and comfort zones. Do something we’ve always wanted to do. Dress the way we want. Or don’t dress up at all. Get out into nature. Unleash creativity. Play. Explore. Shake things up. Speak up. Plan a trip and when restrictions ease, GO.

And finally, a thought of my own:

“With age comes confidence and freedom and strength. I no longer concern myself with what others think about what I’m doing. I’ve worked hard to become who I’m supposed to be. I’m not shrinking back now.”

Sisters over 50, join me in this Spunky Old Broads Sisterhood. Share your thoughts below. Find me on social media and share your photos.

And tell me about your favorite spunky old broads.

Spunky Old Broads Day garden girl
Me…a spunky old broad

Fun Spunky Finds from Amazon:

 


 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

Valentine’s Day Traditions from Around the World

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February 14, Valentine’s Day, the day of love. Some celebrate it, some ignore it and some find unique ways to mark the day.

I enjoyed learning about holiday traditions from around the world, for Christmas and New Year’s. Is Valentine’s Day a global holiday? I wanted to know. It turns out, it is. Some countries celebrate in ways similar to the US. And others put their own unique spin on the day.

Check out these Valentine’s Day traditions from around the world. You might want to change things up this year!

Valentines Day Traditions from Around the World title meme

The Origins of Valentine’s Day

There are several stories about the origination of Valentine’s Day. The Catholic Church recognizes three saints named Valentine, all of whom were martyred. One story suggests Valentine died as a result of continuing to marry young couples, after Roman Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage. He thought single men made better soldiers.

Another tale suggests Valentine was killed for helping imprisoned Christians escape. And the third says that while in prison himself, Valentine sent the first “valentine” greeting to a young woman he loved. He allegedly signed the letter “from your Valentine”, an expression still used today.

It’s also possible that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in mid February to “christianize” the pagan holiday, Lupercalia. This fertility festival is connected to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture. Lupercalia became outlawed by the end of the 5th century. Pope Gelasius officially declared February 14 Valentine’s Day. During the middle ages, some countries commonly believed that birds began mating on that day, which created the idea that Valentine’s Day should be a romantic day.

Written valentines appeared after 1400. The oldest known valentine is a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife in 1415.

Valentine’s Day Traditions from Around the World

Looking for fun or unusual ways to celebrate the day of love? Check out these traditions.

France

Ahhh, if a country of love exists, it must be France. Paris, after all, is called the “city of love”. Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14, as it is in the US. However, in France the holiday is much less commercialized. The major difference is that Valentine’s Day in France is for adult lovers only. It’s not a time for children to make cute heart crafts and hand out valentines at school.

Parents don’t give gifts to their children on that day either. Romantic couples express their love for each other with small gifts, flowers or dinners out, but rarely with cards. The most popular way for the French to celebrate the day of love is with a romantic weekend away.

Valentines Day Traditions from Around the World france
Valentine’s Day traditions from around the world – France

Philippines

In the Philippines, many young couples marry on Valentine’s Day, during a government sponsored event. Besides these celebratory mass weddings, many married couples choose to renew their wedding vows on that day as well.

Valentine's Day Traditions from Around the World philippines
Valentine’s Day traditions from around the world – a good day to marry in the Philippines

South Korea

In this country, the 14th of EVERY month is a day of love. Besides Valentine’s Day on February 14, there’s Day of Roses on May 14, Day of Kisses in June and Day of Hugs in December. There’s even a day for single people on April 14. They get together to eat black noodles.

For Valentine’s Day, only the women give gifts, typically chocolates, to their beloveds. A month later, on March 14, the men reciprocate with gifts worth threes times the value of the gift they received on Valentine’s Day.

Valentines Day Traditions from Around the World south korea
Lots of love throughout the year, in South Korea.

Ghana

In Ghana, February 14 is National Chocolate Day. The government launched the holiday in 2007, to increase tourism. Ghana is one of the top producers of cocoa. On Valentine’s Day couples attend performances and musical events and visit restaurants that offer special themed menus for the day.

Valentines Day Traditions Around the World ghana
Valentine’s Day Traditions Around the World – Ghana

Wales

The Welsh celebrate Valentine’s Day on January 25. Called the Day of San Dwynwen, lovers exchange beautifully handcrafted wooden spoons called love spoons. The spoons were originally carved to express a man’s intentions toward a young lady. Giving her the spoon announced his desire to court her.

The tradition began in the 16th century and continues today as a way to commemorate special events. Dwynwen is the Welsh saint of lovers, making her the equivalent of Saint Valentine.

Valentine's Day Traditions from Around the World wales
Valentine’s Day traditions from around the world – wooden spoons from Wales

Denmark

Although celebrating Valentine’s Day in Denmark is a fairly new tradition, they do so beautifully. Friends and lovers exchange handmade cards, cut into shapes. Each card includes pressed snowdrop flowers.

They may also exchange fun “joke letters”, so called due to the lack of a signature on the note. Instead, the sender adds one dot for each letter of his or her name. If the recipient correctly guesses the identity of the card giver, that person receives a candy Easter egg on Easter Sunday. If the recipient does not guess the name, the sender receives the egg.

Valentines Day Traditions Around the World denmark
A fun twist on Valentine’s Day, in Denmark

Romania

The Romanians combine romantic and unusual celebrations for Valentine’s Day, celebrated on February 24. Many young couples get engaged on this day. The couples go into the forests to collect colorful spring flowers pushing up through the snow, to give to each other. They also wash their faces with the snow, as a wish for good luck.

Valentines Day Traditions from Around the World romania
Valentine’s Day Traditions from Around the World – spring flowers in Romania

Estonia

In Estonia, February 14 is Friendship Day. Call Sobrapaev, this festival includes everyone, from couples to friends to family members. Everyone exchanges gifts and celebrates love.

Valentines Day Traditions from Around the World estonia
February 14 is Friendship Day in Estonia.

Japan

Similar to South Korea, the Japanese women give the men in their lives chocolates on Valentine’s Day. However, not all chocolates are equal! “Giri-choco” is a ready made chocolate gifted to friends and family. Giri means obligation so these chocolates are an obligatory gift to show affection but not romantic love.

“Honmei-choco”, a more expensive or homemade chocolate, goes to romantic partners.

And on March 14, men return the sentiment with chocolates given to those who gifted them candy on Valentine’s Day.

Valentines Day Traditions from Around the World japan
Valentine’s Day Traditions from Around the World – Japan

Czech Republic

Valentine’s Day is becoming more popular among young people in Czech Republic. On May 1, couples go on pilgrimage to the statue of poet Karol Hynek Macha. Then they gather beneath cherry trees and kiss for good luck.

Valentines Day Traditions from Around the World czech
Kiss beneath cherry trees in Czech Republic.

Slovenia

In Slovenia, Saint Valentine is a patron saint of spring. They believe that on February 14, plants start to regenerate, marking the first day of working in the fields, for the new year. They also believe that birds propose to each other on this special day. One must walk barefoot through the frozen fields to sneak up on the birds, to witness the proposals.

Valentines Day Traditions from Around the World slovenia
Valentine’s Day Traditions from Around the World – birds proposing in Slovenia

South Africa

In South Africa, Valentine’s Day celebrations include festivals, flowers and small tokens of love. Plus, women wear hearts on their sleeves on February 14. The pinned paper heart on a woman’s sleeve contains the printed name of her love interest. The tradition originated during the Roman pagan holiday, Lupercalia. In many cases, this is how men learn about their admirers.

Valentines Day Traditions from Around the World south africa
Valentine’s Day Traditions from Around the World – South Africa

Celebrating Valentine’s Day

I love discovering new traditions and learning more about cultures in other countries. My own Valentine Day’s tradition most closely matches Estonia. I enjoy giving small gifts or candy to my children and grandchildren.

It’s a day for showing love, care and affection to everyone and to oneself.

One year, I bought a dozen white roses and drove around town, handing them out to people dining alone or working during the holiday. Their smiles made my day.

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Did you find a new tradition to incorporate this year?

Valentines Day Traditions from Around the World love

Valentine’s Day finds from Amazon:

 


Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

Birthday Celebrations

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

My birthday celebrations began on November 7 of last year. And 63 days later, the fun activities brought me to January 9, the day of my birth. It’s been interesting. And I learned a lot, following curiosity, which is why I play this birthday game.

Check out the first post, 63 Curious Things to Do for My 63rd Birthday, then read on for the final installment.

Birthday Celebrations title meme

Birthday Celebrations

As with the last three birthday updates, I’m listing each activity on the day I drew the folded slip of paper out of the jar. And I’m sharing photos and details about some of the activities and adding whether they are completed or in process.

After the last birthday update, I only had five slips of paper remaining in the jar. Out of 63 activities, I still have about a dozen left to complete. These are scheduled out so that I make sure I do actually get them finished.

1/5/2021 Paint fingernails an unusual color, for me (completed)

Just painting my fingernails is a beyond my comfort zone activity! I don’t mind painted toenails, however I don’t like my fingernails painted. I keep my nails cut short due to the fact that I garden from spring until fall. And I don’t have the patience to wait for nails to dry. I invariably rush the process and mess up the nails right away.

After considering nail polish color options, I selected teal. My brand color, for Cindy Goes Beyond, is teal. Curious today, I checked the symbolism of that color, since it seems to attract me. Here’s what I discovered:

Teal combines the calming properties of blue with the renewing and healing properties of green. It’s a revitalizing, rejuvenating color that represents communication, intuition, empathy and clarity of thought. Those drawn to teal are open minded, like to keep options open and don’t quickly judge people or situations. They are creative and artistic. Those who like the color teal appreciate things that are different. They value their own uniqueness and don’t want to fit in with the crowd.

I’ve associated the color teal with Cindy Goes Beyond for at least four years and yet until I painted my nails that color, I never looked up the symbolism.  This is the most valuable aspect of my birthday celebrations game…I learn new things, about the world and about myself.

 

Birthday Celebrations paint nails
Birthday Celebrations – paint nails an unusual color, for me.

1/6/2021 Visit a place in Kansas I’ve never visited before (scheduled)

1/7/2021 Plan a trip to Gatlinburg Tennessee (completed)

I hoped to visit Gatlinburg, Tennessee last fall. With COVID, I chose to wait until this year, perhaps late summer/early fall. Truthfully, I don’t know if traveling will be any better this year, however, I at least planned out the trip.

Gatlinburg is a picturesque mountain town in eastern Tennessee, located near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are numerous resorts there, a charming downtown district and lots of attractions such as the Space Needle Observation Tower and an amusement park.

As a first time visitor to Gatlinburg, I will enjoy the abundant nature trails and scenic views. Plus, my Lauderdale ancestors resided in nearby Cleveland, Tennessee before traveling to Missouri. I plan to visit Cleveland while I’m in the area.

Birthday Celebrations Gatlinburg
Birthday Celebrations – plan a trip to Gatlinburg (Canva photo)

1/8/2021 Have a day of smoothies only (scheduled)

1/9/2021 Take a virtual flying lesson (not completed but coming up)

Celebrating the Day

On my birthday, January 9, I enjoyed the progressive lunch through town, an activity I drew on 12/7. Greg accompanied me. We visited four restaurants and enjoyed four courses, finishing with vegan chocolate cake and hot tea at Bookhouse Cinema and Pub.

Because my birthday fell on a Saturday, I had opportunity to complete several activities over the weekend.

Weather played a significant role in delaying three of the four visits to places in the four state area. I have those scheduled and new places to visit picked out. And my great nephew Ethan is giving me the virtual flying lesson. A future pilot, he has a flight simulator for me to try, to experience flying a plane. At age 16 Ethan recently flew an actual plane for the first time.

I do love this birthday game. The activities create opportunities to try new things, to learn and grow, and to have fun. This year I combined a mix of curious activities, a tribute to my Year of Curiosity, and wild woman activities as a nod to the upcoming Year of the Wild Woman. It was the perfect blend as I finished 2020 and welcomed 2021.

I’m already jotting down ideas for 64 Wild Woman Activities for my 64th Birthday.

Birthday Celebrations birthday girl
Birthday Celebrations – this is 63

Check out the other birthday updates:

Holiday Flair

Stories to Tell

Welcoming a New Year

 

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Welcoming a New Year

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For almost two months I’ve moved steadily toward my birthday, one fun activity at a time.  Amazingly, this is my birthday week. I turn 63 on Saturday, January 9. I’m posting this update, the fourth one, with the final “what I learned” post coming in a couple of weeks.

As I did last year, somewhere in the middle of all these activities I wondered “Why am I doing this?” I question myself because these randomly selected celebrations and activities take time to complete. They add to already full days. However, they add to my life too and that’s the answer, that’s why I play this birthday game. The 63 Curious Things to Do for My 63rd Birthday take me beyond and make me think and help me grow.

Since my last birthday update, we’ve flipped the calendar over, saying goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021. The theme for this group of activities is Welcoming a New Year. It seems appropriate!

Welcoming a New Year title meme

Welcoming a New Year

As with the last three birthday updates, I’m listing each activity on the day I drew the folded slip of paper out of the jar. And I’m sharing photos and details about some of the activities and adding whether they are completed or in process.

12/22/2020 Watch A Christmas Carol with Finley (completed)

A treasured Christmas tradition in my family is watching A Christmas Carol during the holidays. The George C Scott adaptation aired on television for the first time in December, 1984. I held my sleeping three month old baby girl, Adriel, during that first viewing. Adriel and I have watched A Christmas Carol together every year since. We are often joined by other family members, however the two of us faithfully make sure we take the time to watch it together.

On this, our 37th viewing of the Dicken’s classic, my daughter held her sleeping baby daughter, Finley Grace. The sweet tradition continues.

Welcoming a New Year A Christmas Carol with Finley
Welcoming a New Year – Finley sleeping through A Christmas Carol

12/23/2020 Plan out an entire day…and follow the plan (completed)

I am actually just completing this scheduled day…today. Even though I use a planner and schedule blog and social media posts a month in advance, I rarely cross everything off my daily “to do” list. I planned out a day from waking up to going to bed. However, I’ve had trouble picking the day to carry out this highly scheduled day due to things popping up unexpectedly and the holidays.

Last night I set my alarm for an early wake up and felt excited to see if I could complete everything on my list. When I woke up this morning, before the alarm, I knew something was off. It was. I set my alarm for PM not AM. I overslept an hour and almost postponed my scheduled day…again. But you know what? I got up and got going and by noon I was back on track, time wise.

I’m happy to say I accomplished everything on my list, even a scheduled walk at the park after lunch. While I love spontaneity and going with the flow, after this productive Monday highly scheduled days might show up more often in my planner.

Welcoming a New Year scheduled day
Welcoming a New Year – I enjoyed my scheduled walk

12/24/2020 Dance around a fire in the fire pit at night (canceled because of weather…rescheduled for 1/5/2021)

12/25/2020 Plan a solo trip to the London Christmas Markets (completed)

A trip to London during the holidays perfectly aligns with a trip to Edinburgh’s Christmas Market. On paper I continued my holiday travels by flying from Edinburgh to London. While Edinburgh hosts one HUGE market, London features many spread out across the city.

I enjoyed researching the different markets, picking three to visit and locating suitable lodging for my visit. How magical to visit both of these cities during the Christmas season.

Welcoming a New Year London Christmas
Welcoming a New Year – and I hope the opportunity to travel

12/26/2020 Purchase reusable chopsticks (completed)

I love Thai food and vegan sushi. And I enjoy using chopsticks. Rather than continue to use and toss disposable chopsticks, I added an activity to encourage less waste. As a result, I purchased a package of metal chopsticks and a package of decorative wooden ones.

Welcoming a New Year reusable chopsticks
Welcoming a New Year – reusable chopsticks

12/27/2020 Visit a place in Arkansas I’ve not visited before (scheduled)

12/28/2020 Create a garden sculpture from found objects (not completed)

12/29/2020 Arrange a comped trip (in process)

12/30/2020 Eat only vegetables for a day (completed)

12/31/2020 Include a new tradition in my New Year’s Eve celebration (completed)

Weather prevented me from building a roaring fire in my fire pit and burning an effigy of 2020…a New Year’s Eve tradition from Ecuador. So instead I ate 12 grapes at midnight, a custom from Spain. Regardless of the activity, I welcomed 2021 with an open heart and wide open arms.

Welcoming a New Year traditions
Welcoming a New Year – 12 grapes tradition from Spain

1/1/2021 Create art for 2021 theme and symbol (completed)

I drew this activity on the perfect day. For several years I’ve created an art piece, using a sketching pencil and colored pencils, that represents my word or theme and symbol for the new year.

My theme for 2021 is Wild Woman. My symbol is the moon. I had so much fun creating art incorporating both of those things. I’m pleased with how it turned out. The framed art rests on my bedside table where I look at it often.

Welcoming a New Year themed artwork
Welcoming a New Year – I loved creating this art piece to represent 2021

1/2/2021 Create a comfort package to give to the homeless (not completed)

1/3/2021 Do a synchronized dance (not completed)

1/4/2021 Learn a phrase in multiple languages (completed)

I had fun with this activity today. With my theme for 2021, the phrase I chose is “I am a Wild Woman”. Using a translator app I translated the phrase into 11 languages: French, German, Danish, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Spanish, Afrikaans, Greek, Russian and Swahili.

I’m very grateful to my grandson Dayan, who speaks Russian. Without his help my translated phrase would have read, “I am a crazy woman”. And perhaps that is true as well but it’s not my intended phrase! If any of the other translations are incorrect, I take responsibility for those. It was fun on the app to listen to the phrases in their respective languages. Use this app HERE.

Birthday Week

I have five slips of paper left in the jar. And I have a handful of activities yet to complete. Complete them I will. A few are scheduled out. And trips that canceled due to weather are rescheduled. Watch for the final birthday update on January 18.

Although I gain back some hours in the day, I feel a bit sad when the birthday celebrations come to a close. They truly are fun and I love the new experiences.

This birthday game creates a powerful incentive for staying healthy and fit. The older I become the more days I get to celebrate as I head toward the next birthday! Later this year I’ll launch 64 wild woman activities for my 64th birthday. Won’t those celebrations be fun?

Welcoming a New Year wild woman
Multiple ways to say “I am a Wild Woman”.

Birthday Updates

63 Curious Things to Do for My 63rd Birthday

Holiday Flair

Stories to Tell

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Stories to Tell

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Although 63 Curious Things to Do for My 63rd Birthday sounds like a LOT of activities to cross off, the time seems to fly by. This year I have a little more than two months of experiences and activities to complete and yet, six weeks in it’s time for my third update.

I’ve noticed that a definite theme seems to arise, around the slips of paper that I draw for the activities. A month ago, the activities centered around Holiday Flair. The last two weeks, the theme is Stories to Tell.

I placed three blog post related activities in the jar…and drew out all three within days of each other. Other activities tell their own stories as well. Come check out the tales these experiences tell.

Stories to Tell title meme

Stories to Tell

As I’ve done in the last two birthday updates, I’m listing each activity on the day I drew the folded slip of paper out of the jar. And I’m sharing some of the activities and adding whether they are completed or in process.

12/8/2020 Pick a song for 2021 (completed)

Every year, I select a word/theme, symbol and song for the year. Or rather, those things pick me. Through repetition and synchronicities, I discover what my word/theme, symbol and song are. This year, for example, my word is curiosity, my symbol is the key and my song, “How Far I’ll Go”.

My word/theme, symbol and song carry great significance for me, especially as I enter the new year. They provide a roadmap of sorts, for the year ahead.

My theme for 2021 is wild woman and my symbol is the moon. I’m very excited about the upcoming journey and I’ll share much more about the theme and symbol soon. The song for the year is always the last component to arrive. When I selected this birthday activity out of the jar, it was more about an increased awareness around what my song for 2021 is, not a search for one.

And the song that revealed itself to me, in multiple ways during the last two weeks is….drumroll….”Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys. This song means a lot to me for many reasons and I’m thrilled to claim it as my song for 2021. I’ll explain why it’s the perfect song for me and share the stories in a future blog post.

Stories to Tell Girl on Fire
Stories to Tell – song for 2021 Girl on Fire

12/9/2020 Write a post about a topic I’ve not written about before (in process)

12/10/2020 Plan a solo trip to Edinburgh for Christmas Market (completed)

Sadly, this trip was originally scheduled for this month. My intention to do my first international solo trip to a city I dearly love didn’t happen because of the pandemic. Not only is a flight to Scotland out of the question currently, the Christmas Market AND Hogmanay both canceled.

I spent a fun afternoon, however, planning out a seven day solo trip to Edinburgh during the Christmas season. I’m not sure when I’ll get to enjoy that trip but it’s all planned out! And the stories about the anticipated trip are already spinning in my imagination.

Stories to Tell Edinburgh Christmas Market
Stories to Tell – Edinburgh Christmas Market

12/11/2020 Reach out to one or two older women who shine as their glorious selves for interviews and share on the blog (not completed)

12/12/2020 Only eat fruit for a day (completed)

I enjoyed meals and snacks made from only fruit for a day…and I was also glad to only do that for one day! This time of year I appreciate hot cooked meals! Fruit only for the day was a nice change up and challenge though.

The day started with a huge fruit smoothie. I dined on orange, avocado and green olives for lunch and ate a mixed fresh fruit salad for dinner. Snacks consisted of sliced Honeycrisp apples.

Because my curiosity led me to research which foods are actually fruits and which are vegetables…the answer is surprising…I birthed a fun blog post for Journey With Healthy Me.

Stories to Tell fruit only for a day
Stories to Tell – fruit only for a day

12/13/2020 Write a blog post featuring wild women that I admire (in process)

12/14/2020 Eat the rainbow for a day (completed)

I admit I enjoyed this activity a bit more than the fruit only day simply because I included cooked food. Although I’m plant based and eat a variety of nutritious, colorful food, I focused this day on getting as many colorful foods as possible. Truly, this is an excellent daily intention for these wonderful foods help create amazing stories about my health.

Stories to Tell eat the rainbow
Stories to Tell – eat the rainbow

12/15/2020 Find an Online Art/Crafts Class (completed)

Browsing for something fun, artsy and different, I stumbled upon a YouTube video series called 5 Minute Crafts. These projects are clever and easy to complete in a short amount of time. Although I have not completed a project yet, I did find and watch the series of videos.

Check out DIY Phone Cases to Make in No Time

Online class
Stories to Tell – online art/crafts class

12/16/2020 Meditate for 63 minutes (not competed)

12/17/2020 Request an application for the writer’s residency at Hawthornden Castle in Scotland (completed)

This activity needs little explanation, if you know me at all. The writer’s residency is for 30 days, all meals and accommodations provided, at a beautiful castle south of Edinburgh. I’ll jump at any opportunity or excuse to visit Scotland. Staying in a castle is icing on the cake…vegan cake of course ;-). Imagine the stories I’d craft from the experience.

This residency requires a written request for an application. I don’t know what the requirements are, exactly, however I think the writer must have a published book. All the more incentive to get my book finished!

Stories to Tell writers residency
Stories to Tell – writer’s residency in a Scottish castle

12/18/2020 Design, on paper, a wild woman outfit (in process)

12/19/2020 Wear a temporary tattoo (completed)

One of the easiest and most fun activities so far, I’ve enjoyed sporting a tattoo this week…a temporary one, that is. I ordered a packet of temporary tattoos from Amazon. When they arrived I sorted through the many options and settled on a tiny key. Why? The key is my symbol for this year and represents curiosity unlocking doors to opportunities and adventures.

The application process was simple and I must say I’ve loved wearing this small tattoo on my right wrist. I look at it often and smile. It reminds me that curiosity truly is the key to ongoing journeys and growth. Plus it brings to mind the poem that I love, Dropping Keys. It’s so important to me, to keep dropping those keys to the “beautiful, rowdy prisoners”.

And yes, I’m seriously considering getting a permanent key tattoo.

12/20/2020 Wear clothes backwards for a day (not completed)

12/21/2020 Visit a place in Missouri I’ve not visited before (not completed)

On the Homestretch

As I passed the halfway point, on my way to my 63rd birthday, I paused to reflect. Although they bring extra activities into my day that require thought, time and resources, I value these experiences. They teach me so much about trust and about myself.

The activities stretch me, move me ever beyond comfort zones and show me how much I am capable of. It’s not really the end result that matters so much. For example, my chances of getting into the writer’s residency in Scotland are slim. However it is the putting myself out there, the striving, the trying new things that matters. All these experiences tell stories about me and who I am and where I am headed.

Please, though, if you see me shopping at Wal-Mart wearing my clothes backwards, don’t take any photos!

Temporary key tattoo
Wearing a temporary key tattoo

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New Year’s Eve Traditions from Around the World

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The countdown to the end of the year is on. In less than two weeks, we bid 2020 goodbye and welcome 2021.

In the US the new year is welcomed with the drop of a ball in New York City’s Times Square, resolutions and hugs and kisses from loved ones. However, different cultures embrace different customs.

Check out these New Year’s Eve traditions from around the world and discover new ways to welcome 2021!

New Year's Eve Traditions from Around the World title meme

New Year’s Eve Traditions from Around the World

From Spain to Turkey, Russia to Denmark, these New Year’s Eve traditions are unique to the individual countries. In the US, we’ve adopted a few customs from other countries, like singing Auld Lang Syne…a Scottish song. However, I love the diversity and richness from these cultures around the world.

Denmark

In Denmark, the sign of a good New Year’s Eve celebration is the number of broken plates piled up outside the door. The tradition involves throwing dishes at your neighbor’s, friend’s and family members’ front doors.

The more broken plates, the more luck people believe they will have. The broken china symbolizes leaving ill-will behind before the new year begins.

New Year's Eve Traditions from Around the World Denmark
New Year’s Eve Traditions from Around the World – breaking plates in Denmark

Turkey

Sprinkling salt on your doorstep as the clock strikes midnight is considered good luck in Turkey. The tradition also promotes peace and prosperity throughout the coming year.

New Year's Eve Traditions from Around the World Turkey
New Year’s Eve Traditions from Around the World – sprinkling salt in Turkey

Spain

In Spain, residents eat exactly 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. The tradition began in the late 19th century. Vineyards in the Alicante region came up with the tradition, as a way to sell more grapes at the end of the year. The celebration quickly caught on.

Today it’s customary to eat one grape for each chime of the clock at midnight, to welcome a year full of good fortune and prosperity. Packages of 12 grapes, in a clock shaped container, are sold just for this tradition.

New Year's Eve Traditions from Around the World Spain
New Year’s Eve Traditions from Around the World – eating grapes in Spain

Italy

Italians don red underwear, to welcome in the new year. Their culture associates red with fertility and fruitfulness and good luck. Couples hoping to conceive in the upcoming year make sure they have on their red undies as the clock strikes midnight.

New Year's Eve Traditions from Around the World Italy
New Year’s Eve Traditions from Around the World – wearing red undies in Italy

Estonia

Bring your appetite if you ring in the New Year in Estonia. People celebrate the approaching year by eating seven, nine or 12 meals. Those numbers in Estonia are considered lucky throughout the country.

And if someone can’t finish their meals, that’s a bonus. People often leave food on their plates to feed family members visiting…in spirit.

New Year's Eve Traditions from Around the World Estonia
New Year’s Eve Traditions from Around the World – eating many meals in Estonia

Armenia

When baking bread on New Year’s Eve, in Armenia, bakers add a special extra ingredient…luck. It’s tradition to knead in wishes for prosperity and good luck in the coming year, in every loaf of bread baked on December 31.

New Year's Eve Traditions from Around the World Armenia
New Year’s Eve Traditions from Around the World – baking lucky bread in Armenia

Ireland

On the last night of the year, it’s customary for unmarried women in Ireland to sleep with mistletoe under their pillows. Placing the plants under their pillows helps the women dream of their future husbands…and perhaps find them after waking!

New Year's Eve Traditions from Around the World Ireland
New Year’s Eve Traditions from Around the World – mistletoe under the pillow in Ireland

Russia

Many people in different countries make a toast with champagne on New Year’s Eve. However, in Russia, they take that tradition one step further. People write their wishes for the upcoming year on a slip of paper, burn it in a candle flame and then add the ashes to their glasses of bubbly.

Cheers!

New Year's Eve Traditions from Around the World Russia
New Year’s Eve Traditions from Around the World – toasting with ashes in Russia

Greece

In Greek culture, onions symbolize rebirth and growth. People hang strands of onions on their doors to encourage growth in all areas of their lives, throughout the new year.

New Year's Traditions from Around the World Greece
New Year’s Traditions from Around the World – hanging onions in Greece

South Africa

Firm believers of “out with the old and in with the new”, people in South Africa throw old furniture and even appliances out their windows and into the streets on New Year’s Eve. This tradition, which is falling out of use due to pedestrian injuries, symbolizes making space for new things to flow into life.

New Year's Eve Traditions from Around the World South Africa
New Year’s Eve Traditions from Around the World – tossing out old furniture in South Africa

Japan

Japanese culture welcomes in the new year with a bowl of soba noodles. The ritual, known as toshikoshi soba, translates to “year crossing noodles”. Although the origin of the tradition is uncertain, it’s believed that the soba noodles, which are long and thin, represent a long and healthy life ahead.

Also, the noodles are made from buckwheat, a very resilient plant. People eat the noodles to signify their own resilience and strength.

New Year's Eve Traditions from Around the World Japan
New Year’s Eve Traditions from Around the world – eating soba noodles in Japan

Germany

In Germany, people celebrate the new year with a unique activity called bleigieben, also called lead pouring. Using a candle flame, each person melts a small piece of lead or tin in a special spoon and pours the liquid into a container of cold water. The shape that the melted lead or tin forms reveals the person’s future in the upcoming year. A ship signifies travel. A heart shape means love in the future. A pig or food shape indicates plenty.

New Year's Eve Traditions from Around the World Germany
New Year’s Eve Traditions from Around the World – melting lead in Germany

Brazil

In Brazil, people wear white for New Year’s Eve. Those near coastal regions place white flowers and candles in the water. Their offerings to Yemoja, a water deity, ensures blessings throughout the upcoming year.

New Year's Eve Traditions from Around the World Brazil
New Year’s Eve Traditions from Around the World – white flowers in Brazil

Ecuador

Festivities in Ecuador center around bonfires. Each fire burns a scarecrow, called an effigy, that represents a politician, celebrity or pop icon from the previous year. Called ano viejo, “old year”, these bonfires held on the last day of the year represent cleansing all the bad from the past year to make room for the good to arrive in the new one.

New Year's Eve Traditions from Around the World Ecuador
New Year’s Eve Traditions from Around the World – burning scarecrows in Ecuador

Scotland

The Scots celebrate the new year in a big way. Due to the Christmas ban that lasted 400 years, festivities in Scotland shifted to New Year’s Eve. The famous celebration is called Hogmanay.

First Footing, which began during Viking times, is perhaps the most well known New Year’s Eve tradition. A first footer is the first person to cross the threshold of the home, after midnight. That person brings good fortune for the coming year. Traditionally, first footers were dark haired, handsome men…dark haired in contrast to blond Vikings, who were NOT welcome in houses…but today friends and neighbors serve as first footers. It’s customary to bring a simple gift such as food or whisky during first footing.

Fire ceremonies play a huge role in Scottish celebrations too as people carry torches through the cities to ward off evil. Street parties and dancing go on all night and fireworks light up the sky.

New Year's Eve Traditions from Around the World Scotland
New Year’s Eve Traditions from Around the World – Hogmanay in Scotland

Saying Goodbye to 2020

As I share these New Year’s Eve traditions from around the world, I do so with the keen awareness that many of the festivities and celebrations are different this year, or even canceled. The challenges of 2020 may impact celebrations but they don’t annihilate them. People will find other ways to welcome in the new year while keeping traditions alive.

Scotland, for example, is hosting its first ever virtual hogmanay. You can sign up to take part in their festivities HERE. I’ve already signed up! You see, I intended to be in Edinburgh for the Christmas Market this December and I’d love to experience Hogmanay too. I’m trusting I’ll get that opportunity another time.

Do you have New Year’s Eve traditions? Did you discover a new one in this post to add to your festivities? I plan to create my own Scottish bonfire in my backyard firepit, on New Year’s Eve, and burn my own little effigy that represents 2020. A bowl of soba noodles would be nice too!

I wonder if it would scare my neighbors if I throw china at their front doors?

Happy New Year
Happy New Year!

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