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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. 


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New Year Advice For Starting Fresh

With the new year fast approaching, many people start to look to January as a time for a change, for a fresh start, and for ways to improve there life. Change can mean different things to different people, depending on how you currently live your life. Whether you require a new work out regime or want to spend more time with the people closest to you this year. Rest assured these pointers will help you get a hold of those dreaded January blues.

  • Let go of last year
  • Be specific about what you want
  • Start getting organised
  • Be nicer to people
  • Get that blood flowing
  • Sleep more
  • No more unnecessary distractions
  • Strengthen relationships that matter to you

Let go of last year

Often people who want to start fresh are held back by the knot of previous failures, involvements, feelings, obstacles. We cannot go for that job because of the last job rejection we got, or we cannot find time to visit our parents because we have too many other commitments.

If you are looking to start fresh this new year, you must get rid of all of this old baggage. A fresh start demands a clean slate. Let go of last year, and start anew in your mind. 

Be specific about what you want

The main reason resolutions fail is because they are non-specific. So many people go into the new year claiming “new year, new me”, with no specific direction as to how they plan to change. Why not try “new year, new strict meditation schedule to abide by”?

Aim to have a quantifiable goal, a date, and a series of checkpoints to complete to get yourself there. If you are serious about achieving your goal in the new year, you need to have a clear plan for how you are going to do it.

Start getting organised

As well as being specific about the main change you want to achieve this year, you must make sure all the other elements of your life are in good order. If you want to increase work productivity or cut down of junk food, then make sure you have the housework schedule organised!  

Having unwanted stresses and disturbances from other areas in your life can be a trigger for abandoning your new routine. Try to make sure you have a handle on other parts of your life to allow you to focus on changing the parts you don’t like.

Be nicer to people

It is no secret that giving to others is one of the best ways a person can feel truly fulfilled. Whether that comes in the form of giving to charity or simply smiling at someone on your morning commute. It will make them feel better, and as a result, you will feel better. No matter where we are, there are no shortages of people, causes or organisations that could benefit from our help and kindness.

Get your blood flowing

This tip applies to people whose main focus is related to their physical health and those who aren’t particularly looking to improve this. Doing regular exercise helps you in all walks of life. Staying active increases the production of endorphins, which help produce positive feelings. These positive feelings will serve you well on your journey to change. 

If physical fitness is top of your new year improvement agenda, then make sure you find a routine that works for you. Once you’ve found that perfect formula, make sure you stick to it! 

Sleep more

It is hard to be productive when you are exhausted. That’s because a good nights sleep is just as important to our health as regular exercise or a healthy diet. The best way to stick to your goals this new year is by getting a good rest at night.

There are a few ways you can ensure you can sleep better, try replacing your pillow, or reducing your blue light exposure in the evenings. We know what your thinking, I have to get off my phone in the evenings, no way! Fear not, if you can’t live without your phone, there are ways to stop blue light without having to go cold turkey. Download apps that block blue light on your smartphone. These are available for both iPhone’s and Android models. 

No more unnecessary distractions

If social media is distracting you, get rid of it. If it’s the television, get rid of it. Even if its the sound of the clock ticking in your study room, get rid of it. 

You will find more time to focus once you have gotten rid of unnecessary distractions. Focus on the thing that matters most. In this case, concentrate on how you are going to improve this year. Feel free to take breaks and indulge in your guilty distractions, but always return to focusing on what’s important.

Strengthen relationships that matter to you 

Sometimes we get lost in the chaos of our own lives and forget to spend time with our loved ones. Having people to connect with helps lower stress levels and gives you someone to confide when you are unsure about your choices.

We know life can get in the way sometimes with stuff like work, kids, and chores to be taken care off. Why not use Laundryheap to help free up some time? We can take care of all your laundry troubles and have your clothes returned to you within 24 hours of us collecting them. 


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Going Home For Christmas: To Do List

Christmas is once again upon us! The trees are up, decorations at the ready and you are presumably thinking about going home for Christmas. Before you pack your bags or start fantasising about your mothers Christmas pudding, there are some crucial things to remember.

Make sure you have everything on this list covered so you can unwind, stuff your face and saviour this magical time of year.

  • Make sure you are up to date on work 
  • No need to over pack 
  • Don’t forget to pack all your presents 
  • Turn everything off
  • Empty your fridge
  • Be cyber-safe when leaving
  • Forget about work for a few days
  • Try not to become a complete slob
  • One last check before going home for Christmas

Make sure you are up to date on work

As exciting as it can seem to be finishing work for the Christmas period, you should still try to stay ahead of your responsibilities. No one wants to spend Christmas stressing out about reports when we should only be worrying about eating our body-weight in turkey.  

We can’t think of anything worse than returning to work with a week-long hangover, and finding yourself buried under a pile of work. Getting ahead will allow you to go home for Christmas and have a truly relaxing time.

No need to over pack 

How much to pack before going home for Christmas ultimately depends on how much time off you get. Whether you get a few days or a few weeks off, be sure to bear in mind that there will be a washing machine where you are going. With this in mind, do you need to take your whole wardrobe home for Christmas? 

You will be especially thankful for this tip when you are watching an army of poor souls dragging their suitcases through busy stations. By packing less, you will be the envy of everyone on your carriage. 

Don’t forget to pack all your presents

In stark contrast to the previous tip, we are now encouraging you to load up your luggage. Although, rather than filling up your baggage with clothes you don’t require, why not load it full of presents you’ve bought friends and family.

Make sure you make a note of everything you buy with a gift list. If not, you could end up forgetting grannies gift, and what a disaster that would be. Travelling back to collect it might not be an option, and posting it later may be expensive. So, if you take one thing from this list, remember your gifts!

Turn everything off

With so much spinning around in your mind before going home for Christmas, be sure to remember to switch everything off! Central heating? Off. Lights? Off. Wifi? Off.

The last thing you want when you return home is a mountain of scary bills on the floor when no one has even been home over Christmas. Worse yet, imagine getting to your family home and having a sudden panic that you have left the gas on the cooker and you are 150 miles away.

Empty your fridge

No one wants to return home after a pleasant, relaxing Christmas to find a carton of milk that’s spoilt and looks more like a carton of cheddar. Make sure you completely empty your fridge before returning home for Christmas. If not, the smell that will greet you on your return will be revolting. You may find yourself spending all of next year trying to get rid of it.

Be cyber-safe when leaving

One common mistake people make when returning home for Christmas is they post about their trip on social media. We can’t stress this enough: DO NOT announce online that your house will be empty for days, maybe weeks. 

Christmas time is one of the busiest years for burglaries because the criminals know people go home. Try not to make it easier for them by letting the world know you won’t be there. 

Forget about work for a few days

Christmas is a magical time of year, so relax and enjoy being back home. Try to wash any impending deadline or reports that need to be in for the new year.  

Set aside a few days between Christmas and New Year to go over anything bothering you, if it makes you feel better. Still, make sure you are not distracted and enjoy your quality time with family. After all, you may not get a chance to see them again for a while, and don’t want waste your Christmas fretting about work. 

Try not to become a complete slob 

We all know how easy it to return home for Christmas and turn into a clone of our teenage self. Just because your adoring parents are happy to have you back, it does not mean you have free licence to do nothing at all.

Try to make every effort to fall back in line with how your parents want you to behave at home. You have no doubt both changed slightly in your time away. In this case, just wash your dishes, clean your dirty pants and don’t expect your parents to wait on you hand and foot. 

One last check before going home for Christmas

Just before you go home for Christmas, double-check you have all your essential bits and pieces. These include your purse or wallet, train tickets, laptops, presents and your mobile phone. 

It seems obvious, but with so much on your mind before returning home, it can be easy to forget trivial things. You do not want to get on the train only to find out you left your laptop with all your work saved on it. This stuff does happen, so don’t let it be you. 

Thinking about travelling home for Christmas and want a load of fresh laundry waiting for you when you return? Laundryheap can solve all your laundry pressures over the festive period.