RINGING IN THE NEW

Posted on: Fri 04 Jan 2013

There are good reasons why Chelsea fans and players might be a little sad to see the back of 2012 but nothing can stop the arrival of the New Year.

Around the globe the moment will be celebrated in different ways and although some countries spend New Year's Eve in much the same way as people do in England, others vary.

If for instance Chelsea's Spanish contingent of players follows their compatriots back home then tonight they will take part in one of the more distinctive traditions, as Cesar Azpilicueta explains.

'On the television they show the clock in the centre of Madrid which rings bells 12 times at midnight, and we eat 12 grapes while the bells ring,' he says.

'Then especially in my region of Spain the people go to a fancy dress party, dressed up like Spiderman or something like that.'

The 12-grape tradition in Spain is believed to have originated from a bumper grape harvest one year which led to the king handing them out to be eaten on New Year's Eve. It is said to be quite a challenge to swallow them all when the bells are still ringing.

David Luiz gives details on Brazilian New Year, which takes place in midsummer for most of the country.

In Rio de Janeiro they have big fireworks, and in many places people wear all white clothes to bring good luck and peace,' he says. 'Sometimes they go into the sea, jump over seven waves and throw flowers for good luck.

'We wait until midnight and have the countdown like everybody else. I like to be with my family so often spend time with them, not going out. This year they are with me in England so we are having Christmas and the New Year together.

'For me it is a time to pray together and thank God for the things you were given in the last year, and wish for good things ahead.'

Branislav Ivanovic reports Serbian celebrations are much like English ones, with plenty of fireworks and young people going to parties, with the older adults staying in family gatherings, and it is much the same case in the Czech Republic according to Petr Cech.

'It's the same as in England in Nigeria really,' adds John Mikel Obi. 'We eat lots of food and drink a lot too. People go out to party and drink with their friends or family.'

'In Belgium it is a not much of family occasion,' says Eden Hazard. 'A lot of people go to big parties with fireworks and they drink a lot of Belgian beer.'

'In Holland we have nothing like the Spanish for instance with their 12 grapes,' explains Boudewijn Zenden, 'but we have a thing called a New Year's Dive which basically means on New Year's Day there are people who go to the beach and actually jump in to the cold water.

'It is not everybody that does it but it is a bit of a tradition and there are always people who live around the beach who go in for a dive. It is not something I have done yet!

'I am not from the seaside anyway so where I am from there are usually some fireworks and people counting down the clock.'

Paulo Ferreira concludes the survey with New Year in Portugal.

'We have Christmas with family and then at New Year you have parties, either at home or you go somewhere where you have fireworks or go to a hotel to spend the New Year with friends.

'If not you stay at home and spend the New Year with the television. In Portugal they show the important cities and what they are doing for the celebrations. People can be in the streets waiting for midnight when everyone opens a bottle of champagne and you salute everyone who is with you and wish them all the best for the New Year.'