Loriza Hasa ’20, astronomy and astrophysics
The first 12 seconds of New Year’s Day are spent eating 12 grapes at Loriza Hasa’s home in Albania. A dozen grapes symbolize 12 months of luck for the new year.
“Some families also believe that the fate of that year will depend on how lucky the first person who steps inside the house after New Year’s Eve [is],” Hasa says.
Hasa’s family usually puts up a tree early in December and takes it down a few days after New Year’s Eve. Giving gifts and postcards is also part of their tradition, as well as eating turkey for dinner and baklava for desert.
“At midnight, you go to the center of the city to fire fireworks, then celebrate with friends,” Hasa says. “After that night, we usually expect visitors and go visit family friends to wish them Happy New Year’s.”