Why do Japanese slurp Toshikoshi Soba 年越し蕎麦 on New Year’s Eve 大晦日?

Toshikoshi soba (年越し蕎麦), delicious buckwheat noodles, is one of Japan’s unique New Year’s customs. The history of this curious tradition dates back around 800 years, to the Kamakura period, and it is said that it all started at one Buddhist temple that gave soba to poor people on New Year’s. In the Edo period, when the common class developed customary religious and superstitious rituals, these New Year’s noodles turned into a fixed custom done by people all over Japan, still today. But why do people eat soba on New Year’s…

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Twelve Grapes: a New Year’s Eve tradition of scarfing down 12 grapes for good luck

When clocks strike midnight on New Year’s Eve many revelers are engaged to pop champagne, set off fireworks, or kiss their partner. Others, instead, in Spain and parts of Latin America, as midnight nears on Nochevieja, or “old night,” the last day of the year, are stuffing 12 green grapes in their mouths, as an unusual attempt to ward off bad luck in the new year. Traditionally, the camera of the main national TV channel focuses on the clock tower of the 18th-century Real Casa de Correos in Madrid’s Puerta…

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#TodayInHistory – December 31

December 31 – Some important events on this day 192 👉🏼 Roman Emperor Commodus survives poisoning attempt by his mistress only to be strangled in the bath in assassination plot 406 👉🏼 80,000 Vandals, Alans and Suebians cross the Rhine at Mainz, beginning invasion of Gallia 1744 👉🏼 English astronomer James Bradley announces discovery of Earth’s nutation motion (wobble) 1775 👉🏼 Battle of Quebec in American Revolutionary War; Americans defeated trying to take British stronghold 1857 👉🏼 Queen Victoria chooses Ottawa as new capital of Canada 1861 👉🏼 22,990mm of…

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