Moldova celebrates New Year’s Day with a public holiday every 1 January, as does most of the rest of the world. However, the celebrations really begin on New Year’s Eve and reach a high point with the turning of the clock from 11:59pm on 31 December to midnight on 1 January.
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New Year’s Day is a time of resolutions and starting fresh for some, while for others it is spent recovering from a big, late night spent with friends and family.
In Moldova, New Year’s Day on 1 January basically functions like Christmas elsewhere. December is shopping month, so the stores are always packed, and there’s always a sale going on. Children will meet frequently with Grandfather Frost in the malls and on the streets leading up to New Year’s Eve.
People stay up until midnight to drink wine and welcome in the new year. This is also the time when Grandfather Frost leaves presents under a holiday tree for the kids to discover on New Year’s Day morning.
During New Year’s Eve dinner, late at night, Moldovans traditionally eat a cake called “placinte”. Inside of it is placed a small paper with a new year blessing written on it. Whatever your paper says is supposed to be what will happen to you in the year ahead.
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