Thursday, December 28, 2017

New Year's in Globeville

Today, the week between Christmas and New Years is a frenzy of activity - gift returns, end-of-year car sales, the ubiquitous mattress sale, parties and non-stop Bowl Games.
In Globevilles early years, New Years Eve was also a busy time, with celebrations of old-world traditions with friends and coaxing good fortune in the year ahead with feasts.
The New Year was celebrated at midnight by whistles from the smelter, the meatpacking plants, and brickyards. Random gunfire from intoxicated revelers also punctuated the night.
Church bells rang on January 1st, as Globevilles Orthodox Christians, Poles, Slovenes and Croats observed the Circumcism of Jesus with attendance at Mass.

The New Year was welcomed with special foods symbolic of good luck, health and prosperity.
  • Fish, particularly those with silver scales, were thought to symbolize money.
  • Pork, with its rich fat content, was a harbinger of prosperity. Serving roast pork loin and sausages was common.
  • Greens, usually cabbage, were associated with money and were thought to bring good fortune.
  • Ring-shaped breads, cookies and doughnuts represented the year coming full circle.
  • There were also tortes, nut rolls, strudels and povitica.
  • And vodka, slivovitz, whiskey, home-made wine and brandies.
New Years Day was the occasion for German Russians to visit family members: older aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents, and godparents. A child wishing an older family member a happy new year might receive a coin (Wünschgelt or wishing money). Adults visitors might be offered a shot of whiskey, a glass of wine or beer.
German Russian traditions 
Many of these traditions have been passed down while some only live in memory. Whatever your family traditions include, we wish you Szczesliwego Nowego Roku (Polish), Sretna Nova Godina (Croatian), Srečno Novo Leto (Slovenian), Štastný Nový Rok (Slovak), Ich wünsche euch ein glückseliges Neues Jahr (German Russian).

Greeting cards, one from 1911 and one from 1907