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Plan a grand New Year bash

When the New Year approaches there are two things that come to mind – one is the Grand New Year Eve party and the New Year Resolutions. The New Year Eve begins on 31st December. 1st of January is celebrated as New Year’s Day in almost all parts of the world.

As for any other party first of all draw out a list of guests you would like to grace your New Year party. Once that is done, design a menu that will be liked by all your guests.

If you want to have a theme party then first of all inform all your guests of the theme so that they come to party appropriately dressed. Then get down to planning the food around the theme. Once that is done, list out what you can prepare at home and what you will need to order from outside. Food taken care of, you should then concentrate on the décor which again should suit the theme.

A buffet party is ideal because generally there are a large number of invitees. Not just that, by having a buffet you can more or less be assured that food will not be wasted. For people will pick up what they want to eat rather than being in a dilemma of having to finish what is served to them on the plate for fear of offending the host. Also prepare a few dishes which should be in adequate amounts rather serving a number of dishes. People like to taste all the food that is displayed on the table and if there are too many, they may not be able to taste everything.

Ah yes, finger foods are a must. They go so very well with the drinks. But make sure that these are light and do not spoil your appetite for the main meal. Alternately you can plan a number of finger foods and the main meal can be just one dish with an accompaniment for after having the fingers foods there will be little appetite to have anything heavy. How can one forget the dessert? On such a happy occasion – that of the beginning of the New Year – a sweet dish is definitely a must.

Lastly remember that the food that you serve should be presented attractively. Garnishes not only add texture and colour but also enhance the nutritional value of the food. Citrus twists look inviting on iced drinks. Just use a potato peeler on the lemon or firm orange rind and let the peel twist naturally. Thick soups do well with a swirl of cream, especially spinach and tomato simply shine up. All puddings mostly do well with rosettes of whipped cream!

So go ahead have a great party and greater year that follows.

Ring out the old and ring in the New Year

Actually when the New Year approaches there are two things that come to mind – one is the Grand New Year Eve party and the New Year Resolutions.

It is believed that whatever we do on the first day of the New Year affects our entire year. So start the year with a good deed and you will continue doing them throughout the year. It is also believed that one should begin the New Year by wearing brand new clothes. Not only is it auspicious but it also ensures that you have a steady flow of new clothes the entire year to jazz up your wardrobe!

Greet the New Year by making loud noises. Not only would you enjoy doing that, but also it is believed that it scares away evil spirits thus ensuring you have a hassle free New Year. It is also recommended that you remain happy and cheerful on the first day of the year as it ensures that you shall have a cheerful year ahead!

New Year celebrations in different parts of the world

In Russia, amongst the most popular New Year symbols is a New Year’s Tree called Novogodnaya Yolka that is topped with a bright star and decorated with various sweets. New Year presents are kept under the New Year Tree. The most important part of the New Year activities is the sumptuous dinner with light music and champagne. The most important meals consist of meat, green peas, pickles, mayonnaise, onion, carrots and potatoes.

In Europe New Year is celebrated in a very traditional way with all the age old customs being followed. ‘First footing’ is a very old tradition, practiced very seriously in Europe till date. When the clock strikes at midnight, a male stranger must be the first person to enter the house. It is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity for the family.

In the United States, New Year’s Day begins with wishing the near and dear ones ‘Happy New Year’. People visit their loved ones and sometimes go out for a picnic with them. Watching the famous Tournament of Roses Parade further accelerates New Year celebrations. Theme of the parade varies every year. There is also a New Year custom to play the most famous games of football such as the Orange Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl.

In Japan, on a New Year Eve, people eat Toshikoshi-soba (a kind of noodle) at night. They offer prayers at midnight. It is considered highly auspicious to listen to the chimes of a temple bell. According to the Japanese religion, sound of the 108 chimes drives away all the sins and gives birth to new life.

The people of Germany welcome New Year in a merry way. The Germans believe that it is very auspicious to have carp (a type of fish) or herring and toast made with champagne or sekt. Cabbage and carrots are also eaten to bring in financial stability. Lentil soup with wieners is very popular.

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.