Babel's Soki surely is from Belgium, but of Angolean descent. How is she spending her New Year's usually? In the following article, she tells us about the most common Belgian traditions and the African way of celebrating her family still maintains and worships.
Belgium, we like celebrations and New Year's Eve for sure is a good
moment to get relief from the past year's stress and uncomfortable moments: It’s a holiday and people need joy, happiness
and lights in the streets, decorations...and then we await the arrival of
sales in the shops! THIS moment of the year is certainly magic to me...
To be perfectly honest,
I don't know much about the habits of Belgian people. I was born in
Belgium, but I'm Angolan, so my family celebrates the Angolan way,
following this African culture.
talking about the Belgian way of spending New Year’s Eve, actually,
it’s not that easy to respond anyway... they don’t have just one tradition! Basically, young people celebrate that night the way they prefer more.
Saint Sylvester (that’s the name of the last night of the year), at
midnight, Belgians drink champagne and watch the fireworks and bonfires in
don’t know about a traditional Belgian dish. In my celebrations with my
friends, we buy whatever we like to eat, without paying attention to a
specifical “dinner culture”.
Apart from dinner, one really traditional thing is kissing under the mistletoe: it brings good luck and prosperity for the upcoming year!
when I celebrate with my folks, the entire family is present: parents, siblings,
uncles, cousins, my parents's friends, my friends... in Africa, the traditional term "family" is more likely to be extended on people you are close to, although you're not related by ancestry.
With this huge bunch of invites, we eat a lot
of African food (vegetables, meat, fish, fufu, pondu,...) before
midnight and at midnight the eldest person of the family usually says a prayer
to thank God for everything and to ask him for blessing and protection for the family during
the New Year.
The first day of the new year is more about having fun at night, with music, dancing... we welcome the new year with a lot of joy! Everybody has to be happy on New Year’s Day without
thinking of bad moments or sad things!