Laundryheap Blog – Laundry & Dry Cleaning

Same-day collection. Free delivery in 24 hours.


Leave a comment

New Year’s traditions around the world

Photo by JESHOOTS.com from Pexels

It’s almost time to say goodbye to 2020, and wave hello to 2021. This is how they bring in the new year in the countries we operate in around the world. 

  • UK
  • USA
  • Ireland
  • Denmark 
  • Netherlands
  • UAE 
  • Qatar
  • Kuwait
  • Bahrain
  • Singapore

UK

In the UK, New Year’s Eve is celebrated with friends and family. Often, people will host parties in their homes, go to pubs, or gather for large firework displays that begin as soon as the clock strikes midnight. 

New Year’s Day is considered a day to relax and spend time with family. There is an old British superstition that the first guest to enter a person’s home on New Year’s Day will bring all the luck of the New Year with them. This tradition is called ‘first footing’. 

USA

Every year around 2 million people gather in Time Square, New York City, to witness the ‘ball drop’. The ‘ball drop’ began in 1907, and sees a large ball slowly lowered down a pole until it reaches the bottom as the clock strikes 12. Nowadays, the ball is covered in Waterford crystals, and the ‘ball drop’ is an event that includes musicians and entertainment. For those who can’t make it to New York, the ‘ball drop’ is broadcasted nationally and internationally to one billion people a year. 

Ireland 

Similarly to in the UK, New Year’s Eve in Ireland is often spent with family and friends either at parties, in the pub, or enjoying time together. 

In Ireland, New Year’s Day begins with cleaning the house. It is a centuries-old custom in Ireland to start the new year with a completely clean slate, meaning a spotless house. It is also a tradition to take note of which way the wind is blowing. If the wind is blowing in from the west, then the whole country is in for a good year, however, if it’s blowing in from the east, bad times are ahead. 

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Denmark 

In Denmark, they take ‘leaping into the new year’ to a whole new level. At the stroke of midnight, Danes leap from chairs to enter the new year in high spirits and with good luck. As well as jumping from chairs, Danes also smash plates against their friend’s front doors. This, like chair jumping, is supposed to bring good luck. The more plates you have smashed at your front door the more friends you have. Just be careful when stepping outside.

 Netherlands

On New Year’s Eve, the Dutch celebrate with friends and family, drinking bokbier and glüwein, and setting off fireworks at midnight. 

The next day, 30,000 people brave the freezing cold Dutch sea to enjoy a New Year’s dive. This has been an annual tradition for roughly 50 years, with many participants taking on the challenge to raise money for charity. The biggest of these dives happens outside Den Haag, underneath Scheveningen pier. 

UAE

New Year’s Eve in the United Arab Emirates is grand and luxurious. Many people go out for festive dinners, where entertainers dazzle diners whilst they eat. Alternatively, big parties are held at the best clubs in the UAE, where special guest DJ’s perform. At midnight, a myriad of fireworks, known to be the world’s most expensive fireworks, light the sky to welcome in the New Year. 

Qatar

In Qatar, they don’t view New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day as public holidays, so they don’t usually celebrate them. This being said, because of the tourism in Qatar, there are parties thrown at resorts and firework displays put on at midnight. 

Kuwait

New Years’ is a big time of the year for tourism in Kuwait. There are usually big parties held for tourists and locals alike, with firework displays going off at midnight to welcome in the new year. 

Bahrain 

Bahrain Bay is the best location in Bahrain to be on New Year’s Eve. Throughout the evening there is a host of extravagant feasts laid on at hotels and restaurants. At midnight a grand firework display is set off, followed by an abundance of exclusive parties.

Singapore 

New Year’s Eve in Singapore is centred upon Marina Bay. The focal point of the evening is always the midnight firework show, which is organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. 

People in Singapore start their New Year’s Day with a fresh approach. They buy fresh flowers and plants to decorate their homes and often freshly paint their houses. This is supposed to signify a new beginning for the new year. 

With the new year, comes a fresh start, which should be met with freshly laundered clothes. To book your Laundryheap service, head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 


2 Comments

Celebrating bonfire night

Image by Roy Costello

Bonfire night 2020 will not be the same. Due to COVID19 restrictions, many firework displays across the UK have been cancelled. That does not mean that you have to miss out on the firework fun. 

  • What is bonfire night?
  • How to stay safe on bonfire night
  • Light a bonfire 
  • Play bonfire games
  • Throw a firework display 
  • Light some sparklers 
  • Make marshmallow rockets

What is bonfire night? 

Every year, on the 5th of November, people across the UK celebrate bonfire night by lighting fireworks, sparklers, and, of course, bonfires. This is done to remember The Gunpowder Plot, a plan by Guy Fawks to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. Many towns and cities in the UK host mass firework displays and light big bonfires to remember the occasion, whereas others decide to host smaller, more private, firework displays. 

How to stay safe on bonfire night 

Bonfire night is a lot of fun, however, there are a lot of dangers. Some general bonfire night safety tips are:

  • Children should be supervised at all times.
  • If you are setting off fireworks, assign one person to set them off to limit the number of potential injuries.
  • If there are several people attending the firework display, make sure that they are a safe distance away from where the fireworks are being set off. 
  • Keep pets indoors to avoid them becoming scared.
  • Do not set off fireworks after midnight. 

Light a bonfire 

Light a bonfire, gather, up to 6, of your friends and family, and warm yourself by the fire. It is the best way to celebrate the occasion. 

It is important to remember that you can only light a bonfire in a clear and safe space, away from fences, sheds, bushes, trees, and roads. You should also check with your local fire department whether it is legal to light a bonfire in your area. If it is safe to light a bonfire in your area, make your neighbours aware that you will be lighting it.  

To build your bonfire begin by creating a circle from bricks or stones, this will help contain the fire. Next, stand your tinder in a tepee shape in the centre of your circle. Place a couple of fuel logs parallel to each other on two sides of your tepee structure. Repeat this process up to five times to build up your bonfire. When you’re happy with your structure, drop a match in the centre of your tepee to start the fire. 

If you are lighting a bonfire, make sure that you have plenty of water at hand to put it out before it gets too large.

Play bonfire games 

Once your bonfire is lit, it’s time to play some games. Gather around your guests, play some music, and start by playing Hot Potato. Stand in a circle, a safe distance away from the bonfire, and throw a potato from one person to the next. Whoever is left with the potato when the music stops is holding the ‘hot potato’ and is therefore out. Keep going until there is one victorious player remaining. 

After you’ve warmed everyone up with Hot Potato, next is In the Bonfire. There are four phrases to learn for In the Bonfire-

1. In the Bonfire- everyone put their hands out to warm on a bonfire,

2. Out of the Bonfire- everyone puts their hands high in the air,

3. On the Logs- everyone put their hands on their knees,

4. Sparklers- everyone put their hands in the air and shake them around.

Nominate one person to shout out the phrases in any order. If anyone does the wrong movement they are out, as is the slowest person to complete the movement. 

To end your night of games, why not indulge in a singalong. Choose your favourite songs, gather everyone around the bonfire and sing the night to a close. 

If you haven’t got the space to light a bonfire, don’t worry, you can have just as much fun playing these games indoors.

Throw a firework display 

There is no better way to bring the night to an end then by throwing a personal firework display. Stock up on your fireworks, and stand in awe as a kaleidoscope of colourful flames light up the nights sky. 

If you are hosting your own firework display, make sure that you only buy your fireworks from a reputable shop. To ensure that your fireworks are legal, make sure that they have CE and BS 7114 on the lid of the box. 

Before setting your fireworks off, make sure that you read the instructions of each firework and fully understand them. When you are ready to set your firework off, aim it away from any buildings or stand buyers, light the firework at arms length, and stand well back from it as it explodes in the sky. 

It’s important to stay safe around fireworks and when setting fireworks off. Make sure that you have read up on your local areas firework safety guidance prior to setting any off. 

Light some sparklers 

Sparklers are a magical bonfire night treat for all. Unlike with bonfires and firework displays, you do not need to have a large open space to light a sparkler, however, you do need to light them outside and a good distance away from others. 

Light your sparklers outside, and observe the way they sparkle at arms length. Once the sparkler has burnt out, or if you want to put it out, put it in a bucket of water and leave the flames to completely extinguish. 

Make marshmallow rockets 

Marshmallow rockets are a simple, yet delicious, bonfire night treat. 

All you need for your marshmallow rockets is 

  • Wooden skewers
  • Marshmallows 
  • Chocoalte of your choice 
  • Sprinkles 

To make your marshmallow rockets, begin by piercing your marshmallows on the end of your wooden skewers. Next, melt down the chocolate of your choice either by microwaving or melting it on the hob. Once your chocolate is melted, dip your marshmallows into the chocolate until they are three quarters covered. After your marshmallows are covered, sprinkle a handful of sprinkles on the top of each marshmallow, and leave them to stand until they are set. As soon as they are set, share them amongst your friends and family, and enjoy your bonfire night. 

Don’t let laundry ruin your bonfire night, let us pick up your laundry, dry clean it, and redeliver it back to you, completely contactless. To book your Laundryheap service head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 

Laundryheap is operational across the UK in London, Birmingham, Coventry, and Manchester.