First Saturday: New Year Celebration

01/01/2022 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Due to taking place on a holiday, January First Saturday will be virtual in 2022. Stop by this page or our Facebook Page, Ridgefield First Saturdays, for new years traditions, recipes, and more. Kick off 2022 in Ridgefield!

New Years Recipes

New Years Traditions

For thousands of years, New Year’s has been a festival of rebirth and reflection, allowing people all over the world to celebrate another great year. Each country seems to have its own unique New Years celebrations, with different customs for ensuring health, wealth, happiness, and luck in the coming year. Maybe try one or two, or add one to your traditions.

LOCAL TRADITIONS AT HOME

Say it in a word.
Is the thought of sticking to a New Year’s resolution more anxiety-inducing than fun? Consider summing up what you want most for the coming year in a single word, such as “abundance” or “leisure,” as suggested by One Word 365. It’s an open-ended way to consider how you want to spend your next 52 weeks—and it’s fun to hear what friends and family members’ single word is, too.

Write down what you want to leave behind.
Author Elizabeth Gilbert has shared the personal ritual she uses on the last night of every year, to welcome new blessings and leave what she needs to behind. “I write down what I want to shed from the old year, and what I want to welcome into the new year. Then I burn the paper, and bring the ashes to the nearest body of water, and let it go.” She adds, “It’s worth the trouble to invent a little ceremony at this moment of transition because it’s a big moment.”

Keep the Windows Open. Doors too!
It’s a common superstition that opening the doors and windows will let the old year out, and the new year in unimpeded.

End the Year With a Splash
For many, moving on isn’t necessarily water under the bridge. In fact, it’s more like throwing a bucket of water out of a window. In this New Year’s Eve ritual, water symbolizes all of the suffering and tears you’d like to get rid off before the start of the new year. Whether it’s a glass or a bucket full of water, splashing your woes out onto the street can be the best way to put the past behind you. Just make sure no one is walking by when you’re “moving on.”

Save a Wish for Next Year
Have everyone write down a resolution, goal, wish or note to their future selves, put it in a jar, then save it for the year. On the next New Year’s Eve, you can retrieve the jar and read the notes to see how far everyone has progressed.

Set your New Year’s intention.
While many argue the practice of making a resolution is impractical and simply sets you up for failure, you can try setting an intention instead, that’s less about a specific goal and more about a vision.

Make It a Movie Marathon
Create lasting memories by starting a new family tradition. Throw a family movie night with one (or more!) of the best New Year’s movies of all time. Craft cute movie-ticket garland, and use those holiday mugs one last time before packing away your Christmas decorations.

Go for a Walk
Bundle up and take in some fresh air with a leisurely walk in your neighborhood or hike in a scenic spot. Click here for a map of Ridgefield Parks and Trails.

Reach Out to Say Happy New Year
Resist the urge to text and actually *call* someone to wish them a happy new year. The recipient will appreciate hearing a friendly voice on the line!

Start a New Book
Curl up with one of our best books of all time or a new bestseller. Invite friends to a virtual book club for a fun way to stay in touch, and let’s face it, to hold you accountable!

Volunteer
Start the year off on the right foot and give back to your community by volunteering. You’ll feel good by doing good, whether you decide to clean up a public area like a park or the beach, plant trees, serve meals at a soup kitchen, or anything else that interests you. Want to get set up to volunteer with the city? Click here to complete one-time volunteer registration and be notified when opportunities are coming up.

Family Letter
Write a brief family letter that recaps some of the major events that happened in our lives in the past year and include something that each member of your family hopes to do, learn or go in the new year. Save your letters and read them each year.

TRADITIONS AROUND THE WORLD

Russia
The tradition of a New Year tree, or yolka as it’s known in Russia, is common in nations that belonged to the former Soviet Union, and came about years after the Russian Revolution of 1917 (the tree’s secular status is due to the period when actual Christmas trees were banned there). Leaving your trimmed Christmas tree up doesn’t count, but redecorating with new lights IS an eco-friendly way to refresh the holiday cheer after December 25.

Scotland
You’ve likely heard “Auld Lang Syne” at a New Year’s party (or, at least, in movies like When Harry Met Sally), but do you know its origins? A poem written by Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788, “Auld Lang Syne” was eventually set to the tune of a folk song. While it may strike some as melancholy with its dirge-like pace and talk of old acquaintances, this Scottish custom sounds fun: With everyone singing in a circle holding hands, they switch their hands across their bodies at the beginning of the final verse. Then, at the end, everyone rushes to the middle of the circle while still trying to hold hands criss-cross style.

Germany and Austria
There  are a few different lucky symbols that you’d gift to friends and family to bring them good fortune. These include pigsmushrooms, clovers and chimney sweeps. You can buy little tokens of these lucky charms at a Christmas market — or get edible ones in fun combinations made out of marzipan. Yum!

Colombia
Take empty suitcases outside and run around the block as fast as they can. It’s supposed to guarantee a year filled with travel. If not, there’s nothing wrong with getting some brisk January air.

Upstate New York (Seems like a world away!)
In upstate New York, they sell special peppermint pigs all throughout the holiday season. Everyone gets to take a turn hitting it with a special candy-size hammer and eating a piece for good fortune in the coming year. The peppermint is very strong, so only take a small piece — but at least you’ll start the year with fresh breath!

England
For good fortune in the newly arrived year, Brits believe the first guest to enter through the front door should be a young, dark-headed male bearing gifts such as bread (to be full), salt (to be wealthy) and coal (to stay warm).

Japan
Oshogatsu is celebrated with family, which both cleans and decorates the entire house together. Then natural decorations such as pine branches, plum blossoms, and bamboo play a special role in preparing for the New Year celebration.

Denmark
As a sign of friendship, people save their old dishes in order to break them on each other’s front doors. Residents will allow these broken dishes to pile up in order to show who has the most friends.

China
To symbolize happiness and good luck in the New Year, Chinese celebrants paint their front doors red. In general, red colors New Years Eve in China, with red packets of money for children, red rackets for married couples, and red lanterns.

Puerto Rico
Puerto Ricans clean everything— the car, the garden, and even the streets. They also have a practice of throwing buckets of water out the window in order to do away with the bad juju of last year. If that seems a little too unfair to the people who might be passing by, Puerto Ricans also sprinkle sugar outside their houses to invite the good luck in, which is a little sweeter (if you can forgive the pun).

South Africa
Some South Africans—particularly in Johannesburg— take cleaning house for the new year to an entirely new level. Throwing old furniture and appliances (think fridges!) from the windows of tall buildings somehow helps to make the new year bright.

Brazil
Brazil makes it easier too choose your New Year’s Eve outfit — everyone wears white for good luck and peace. Plus, matching outfits make for good photos! Also in Brazil, if you head to the beach, you can increase your luck by heading to the water and jumping over seven waves. You get one wish for each wave.

Greece
An onion is traditionally hung on the front door of homes on New Year’s Even in Greece as a symbol of rebirth in the New Year. On New Year’s Day, parents wake their children by tapping them on the head with the onion.

Turkey
Locals smash pomegranates on their doorways for New Year’s. The belief is that your good fortune in the coming year is directly proportional to the number of seeds that fly out of the fruit upon impact, so put some aggression behind that throw!

Romania
It might seem counterintuitive to literally throw your money away, but in Romania, that’s exactly what they do for good luck at the start of a new year. Don’t worry—they aren’t emptying their bank accounts. However, it’s believed that tossing a coin in a river will bring you luck throughout the year. So will dropping a ball, we seem to think.

France
The French typically celebrate New Year’s with a feast and a champagne toast, marking the first moments of New Year’s Day with kisses under the mistletoe. The French also consider the day’s weather as a forecast for the upcoming year’s harvest, taking into account aspects like wind direction to predict the fruitfulness of crops and fishing.

Canada or Holland
In colder countries close to water, such as Canada, parts of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, it is customary to organize cold-water plunges. These plunges and races, sometimes called a Polar Bear Plunge, often raise money for charity or awareness for a cause.