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New Year’s celebrations - from dragons to lentils!

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Everyone at Peace Recruitment hopes that you have had a great New Year.  In Scotland we have lots of traditions associated with Hogmanay, usually involving having a great time with friends and neighbours (drink may be involved).

However, we are well aware that there are many different ways of celebrating the arrival of the New Year and, of course, different countries and cultures celebrate it in different ways and at different dates.  Rather than write about recruitment and construction, I thought it might be good fun to consider the ways in which we might adapt some of these foreign customs to good effect here.

For example, in Poland there is a legend that Pope Sylvester captured a dragon which would have eaten everyone on earth and set fire to the skies.  Consequently, for the Polish, New Year’s Eve is “St Sylvester’s Eve,” when they celebrate the fact that the world did not end at the end of the year.

In Russia, it’s good luck to start the New Year without any debts, so people try to pay off their bills and other debts.  In the last 12 seconds of the old year, Russians make secret wishes for the coming year.

The Chinese New Year is, as you probably know, not at the same time as ours.  Instead, they celebrate between January 21st and February 20th, depending on the Chinese calendar.  Some Chinese paint their front doors red, because red symbolises good luck and happiness.  They also put all knives away for 24 hours, because if someone cuts themselves that would cut the family’s good luck for the New Year.

In Denmark, people like to smash plates at New Year. This is said to bring good luck for the next 12 months, so if you are in Denmark don’t be surprised to find a broken plate on your doorstep on January 1st!

In Brazil, lentils are associated with money, so at New Year you might see someone eating lots of lentils!

In Korea, the first day of the lunar New Year is called Sol-nal and it’s the day to renew family ties.  You might also see rakes and sieves on the outside doors and walls of homes: they are put there to protect the families inside from evil spirits. On New Year’s Day people wear new clothes made with five colours (red, white, blue, yellow and green), symbolising a new start.

At Peace, we’ve taken this all onboard.  As you know, we’re moving to new offices in the New Year, so don’t be surprised if, when you come to visit us* you find a lot of smashed plates, a deceased dragon, all the team wearing red, white, blue, yellow and green and all the knives in the kitchen hidden safely away. The absence of knives won’t matter though, because we’ll all be eating lentils.  And finally, as our suppliers know, we are very good at paying off our debts promptly as we think that small businesses (ourselves included) should not have to wait for the money they have earned.

Happy New Year!

Chris Peace, MD, Peace Recruitment

* please do, because they are really fine premises at Haymarket in Edinburgh.


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