2019 is here and we look forward to another exciting, adventurous and fun filled new year. This year, for our travellers, we bring some unique journeys, our travel & hospitality partners can look forward to some great branding & marketing tools to increase their footprints, and, for the others…just follow us to check out our signature holidays, curated events and special offers all through the year.
Bill Bryson said, “To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” It is amazing how many of the everyday things we don’t know. As we wind up 2018, let us look at some of the unusual, yet, regular traditions that countries, communities and people follow to ring in the new year.
Twelve Grapes of Luck
In Spain and some Latin American countries, one New Year’s tradition is to eat 12 grapes, one for each month of the coming year, to secure prosperity. Sounds easy? Here’s the challenge: you need to eat one grape with each bell strike at midnight. The favoured way is to take a bite, then swallow the grape halves whole. A glass of bubbly afterward might help to flush it all down. The tradition dates back to 1909 when vine growers in Alicante came up with this idea in order to sell more grapes after an exceptional harvest.
Countries: Germany & Austria
Who doesn’t want to know what the next year might bring? In Germany, people melt small pieces of lead in a spoon over a candle, then pour the liquid into cold water. The bizarre shapes from the Bleigießen (lead pouring) are supposed to reveal what the year ahead will bring. If the lead forms a ball, luck will roll one’s way, while the shape of a crown means wealth; a cross signifies death and a star will bring happiness.
Wearing Colourful Underwear to Bring Luck
Countries: Mexico, Bolivia & Brazil
In Latin American countries like Mexico, Bolivia, and Brazil, the colour of your panties will determine what kind of year you’ll have, so choose carefully! People, looking for luck, are seen wearing yellow coloured underwear while those who want to find success in love, come out with red underwear. This weird New Year ritual is most popularly observed in the city of Sao Paulo, La Paz.
Burning Pictures to Leave the Past Behind
Ecuador observes a tradition during New Year to bid adieu to the past year. Burning portraits is considered unpleasant but this seems to be the real fun in Ecuador on the eve of the New Year. People gather outside their homes with photos that remind them of their painful incidents or inglorious days from the last year. These pictures are burned by the locals with the belief that burning them would help them get rid of the past and make progress smoothly.
Break a Plate (maybe more…)
A Danish New Year’s Eve tradition is to throw plates and dishes against friend’s and neighbour’s front doors. It’s a bit of a popularity contest as the bigger the pile of broken china on your doorstep the next morning, the more friends and good luck you’ll have in the coming year. Another custom in Denmark is the jumping off chairs at midnight, symbolizing the leap into the New Year when the clock strikes 12.
Round Is A Shape & It Is Everything
In the Philippines, the start of the new year is all about the money. The locals believe that surrounding themselves with round things (to represent coins) will bring money or fortune. It is a special belief on the New Year that wearing something round or eating round fruits will bring good luck for the entire year. To really push Fortuna, coins are kept in pockets and constantly jangled, believed to keep the money flowing.
FIRST FOOT IN
In Scottish folklore, the “first-foot,” also known as “qualtagh”, is the first person crossing the threshold after midnight. A tall, dark-haired male with gifts like coins, coal, bread, salt, and a “wee dram” of whiskey, is thought to bring the best luck for the house. The tradition probably dates back to the Viking days when big, blond strangers (commonly armed with axes and swords) at the door meant trouble, and in some places, first footing by a fair-haired male is still regarded as unlucky.
Leaves Placed Under Pillow To Get A Husband
Most single women in Ireland practice the strange New Year tradition of placing mistletoe leaves under their pillow in the hope of getting a good husband. Irish culture also finds this tradition useful in washing away bad luck.
At midnight, Buddhist temples all over Japan ring their bells 108 times to dispel the 108 evil passions all human beings have, according to Buddhism. Japanese believe that “joyanokane”, the ringing of the bells, will cleanse them from their sins of the previous year. Traditionally, 107 bells are rung on the last day of the year and the 108th in the new year. Many people eat buckwheat noodles called toshikoshi soba on New Year’s Eve to symbolize the wish for a long life.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to experience some of these traditions in person? We invite you to plan your travel with us and allow yourselves to come back with some amazing memories. After all, you must have some special bragging rights with our signature journeys.
Wishing all you beautiful people a joyous & dream come true 2019!
The history of India clearly reveals the absolute dominion of raja and maharaja for a very long period of time. Over generations of these kings have established their heritage in the form of royal forts. To witness there style and culture we have the forts and palaces of Rajasthan to keep their heritage alive. Rajasthan is the hub of such old yet beautiful forts or palaces.
The top 10 Fort Palaces of Rajasthan are:
1. Lake Palace Udaipur:
Built in 1743 this place is common known as jag niwas, is one of the best luxury hotels situated in Lake Pichola in the city of lakes Udaipur. The white marbles and the eccentric view make it the most romantic hotel. Many popular films have their shooting location at this very place some of them includes yeh jawan hai dewani and the jewel in the crown.
2. Hawa mahal, Jaipur:
The pink city of jaipur contains the palace of winds often called as hawa mahal. It was built by maharaja sawai pratap Singh. This major tourist attraction has around 953 windows and is a five storey building. The major inspiration behind this construction was for the women of the royal household, they could observe the streets while remaining unseen from outside. It is constructed in pink and red colored stones.
3. Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur:
It the world’s largest private residence. Owned by maharaja gaj Singh, it is a magnificent taj palace hotel and a museum. There is a gallery of most exotic automobiles of the royals.
4. Rambagh Palace Jaipur:
It is a heritage hotel and one of the most luxurious royal palaces. It is the former palace of maharaja of jaipur. Conde Nast traveler magazine rated it as the best hotel in the world.
5. Laxmi Niwas Palace Bikaner:
It is a beautiful structure built up of red sandstone. This palace is owned by Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner. It is the most famous destination in Bikaner.
6. Devi Garh Palace:
It was initially the palace for the royal rulers of Delwara. It is one of the best luxury hotels (named by New York Times) and its location near the Aravalii hills adds up to its magnificence. It is located in the valley of Udaipur. It is so widely known that it is often referred as inspiring than beautiful. It is often referred as the best hotel on the subcontinent.
7. Neemrana Fort Palace, Alwar:
Located on high hill this palace accounts for majestic views and scenic beauty. Built in 1986 it is among India’s oldest heritage resort.
8. Gorbandh Palace, Jaisalmer:
It is popularly known for its sand dunes as it is located near the great there desert. The name of this palace is inspired by desert and its stories. Grobandth is basically a harness that is used by desert women to decorate the camel owned by their husband. It is true essence and ambience of Rajasthan and precisely all modern day activities can be enjoyed to its fullest.
9. Udai Vilas Palace, Udaipur:
It is one of the magnificent palaces located near Udaipur in Rajasthan. It was originally built up in the 19 centaury hence making it one of the oldest palaces in that area. A private reserve forest and the beautiful gaibsagar lake add up to its beauty.
10. City Palace, Jaipur:
It is located slightly southwest of the center of the city. It is still a royal residence. It is also called the heart of Jaipur. City palace consists of several other buildings such as Mubarak mahal, Chandra mahal, etc. it consists of huge inner courtyard known as Pritam Niwas chowk. This courtyard has four gates which represent four seasons and Hindu gods.
Art, craft, folklore, folk Dane culture and even camels, these are all the attractions of the place, Rajasthan. The forts and palaces depict them all for you, the culture and tales of the brave kings and their lords. To come to the ancient heritage of India do visit these place, and become conversant with the history and magnificence of India.