Learn About New Year’s Eve Traditions Around the World!

January 1, 2017 12:01 pm

In the US, you likely celebrate New Year's by watching the ball drop in Times Square, kissing your loved ones at midnight and maybe checking out a parade on New Year's Day. In countries around the world, however, there are a number of other fascinating New Year's Eve traditions. Here are just a few.

  • Brazil. In Brazil, people eat lentils to celebrate. The locals believe that lentil-based dishes represent wealth and prosperity in the new year.
  • Greece. In Greece, January 1 is known as Basil's Day. On this day, locals bake a special loaf of bread with a coin inside; whoever gets the piece of bread with the coin will have extra luck in the coming year!
  • Germany. The Germans love Christmas and New Year's, and they have many steadfast traditions for both holidays. On New Year's Eve, German people pour molten lava into cold water, and the shape that the lava takes represents what your upcoming year will look like. For example, a heart shape means that you'll find love, while an anchor shape means that you may face some troubles.
  • Austria. On New Year's Day, Austrians eat suckling pig, which represents good luck.
  • Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico, people throw buckets of water out their windows and clean their homes top to bottom to rid their spaces of negative energy in the new year.
  • Wales. In Wales, people lock their back doors at the strike of midnight to "lock out" the previous year. Later, they open the door to "let in" in the new year.

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Here’s How to Shovel Snow Without Hurting Yourself

December 20, 2016 1:01 pm

While snow is beautiful around the holidays, it's a pain when you have to shovel it from your walkways. Before you bundle up to remove the snow from outside your home, use these smart safety tips for preventing injury while shoveling.

  • Take it slow. It may not seem like it, but shoveling snow is very grueling on the body, especially if you're not used to manual labor. Make sure to only lift as much as you can handle, and stop frequently to rest and drink some water.
  • Use the right shovel. Invest in an ergonomic shovel that isn't too big for your body type. Only lift small portions of snow at a time, and use swift, gentle motions.
  • Lift with your legs. Just like when you're moving furniture, you'll want to lift with your legs and thighs rather than your lower back to avoid strain.
  • Bundle up. Wear a wind-resistant coat and numerous layers to keep yourself warm while shoveling. Avoid slipping by wearing boots with a high tread, and be sure to wear waterproof gloves with a good grip.
  • Watch the temperature. If the temperature drops below freezing or the wind chill ramps up to dangerous levels, leave the snow there. It can wait until you're able to safely go outside without risking your health.

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Celebrate National Hand Washing Awareness Week with These Easy Tips!

December 5, 2016 1:30 pm

It's National Hand Washing Awareness Week, and that means that you should practice proper hand washing tips to avoid spreading germs this cold season! If you want to prevent yourself and your family from getting sick, learn these important rules for keeping your hands clean and free of germs.

  • Wash your hands before and after preparing foods, when caring for a sick or injured person, and every time you cough or sneeze to help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.
  • Use warm or hot water to wash hands, as this helps to kill germs better than cold water.
  • Wet your hands first, and then lather with an antibacterial soap all over the front and back of your hands. Rub vigorously for at least 20 seconds, taking care to reach in between the fingers and on the fingernails.
  • Rinse your hands well to remove any soap residue and germs.
  • Dry your hands using a clean, sanitary towel or hand dryer. If you're in a public restroom that only has reuseable towels, give your hands a good shake to air dry instead of using the communal towel.
  • If possible, turn off any public faucets with your elbow or wrist to avoid re-contaminating your hands after washing.
  • Carry an antibacterial hand sanitizer or wipes with you any time you go out in public. Give your hands a quick cleaning after shaking hands, using door handles, or shopping in a store.

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