Photo Courtesy of Lady Long Rider – Bernice Ende Facebook page.


New Years Traditions from across the world

By Brian Baxter


American New Year’s Eve traditional celebrations include festive dinners, and watching the ball drop in New York City’s Time Square and other American cities. Also listening to or singing Auld Lang Syne, originally written in a language known as Scots, the literal translation is old long since, and has been transformed into for old times sake. Robert Burns wrote the poem this song is based on in 1788, and it was sung set to the tune of an old traditional folk song, while celebrating Hogmanay, the new years celebration in Scotland. Now adopted by many in the United States, it’s sung as the stroke of midnight brings us into a new year, and is accompanied by kissing our loved ones and friends, tossing streamers, blowing horns, sipping champagne, and making resolutions.

Traditionally in Greece, the Holiday is known as Prothronia. It’s also St. Basil’s Day. The Greeks go in for fireworks displays near the Parthenon in Athens on Acropolis Hill. Carolers visit neighbors and sing songs referred to as Kalanda. Corolers coming to your house is thought to be a blessing on your home. St. Basil is the Greek Santa Claus and comes on January first. The Greek people play card games, bake orange flavored pound cakes, Christmas cookies called snowy kourabiedes, and melomakarona, which are sweet cookies soaked in honey. Also, they hang pomegranates above the main entrance to their houses, as pomegranates are said to be a sign of fertility, prosperity, and regeneration.

In the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, they all say Happy New Year in a similar way, Godt Nytar, but with different spellings and traditions. The Swedes enjoy the dinners with friends that are set in their finest tableware, while dressed in their best outfits. At midnight a televised broadcast from Skansen Open-Air Museum in Stockholm is enjoyed, which includes chiming bells as verse is read called Ring Out Wild Bells, and live music and choir songs are enjoyed. In Denmark, festive dinners of boiled cod and stewed kale are delectable, before their annual biggest party. The Danes dance, drink, and may view the great fireworks display in Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens. Fireworks are the main feature of Norwegian New Years celebrations. Early in the evening children can enjoy the displays with a cup of hot cocoa and stay warm. Adults wrap up the evening with fine wine, fireworks, and champagne to toast to a new year.

Spaniards usually spend Nochovieja, or, old night eating a dozen grapes, representing good luck for each month of the year, right at midnight. They view, either in person or televised-video transmissions, the chiming of the bells on top of the clock tower in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol Square, and drinking cava, a sparkling Spanish white wine similar to champagne. This is combined with dancing and affectionate signs with their family and friends. May your home, and our country be blessed with good health, prosperity, and happiness in the New Year.

Lady Long Rider and her amazing story

By Moira Blazi


Up here in the Mountain West, with our big skies and wide horizons, trekking and traveling is cherished and deeply understood, a part of our collective culture.

No one embodies this sensibility better than Bernice Ende, better known to thousands as “Lady Long Rider”. Recently inducted into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame, representing Lincoln County, Ende, a lifelong Fortune resident, took the time to recently chat with the Montanian.

“ There are many reasons why I ride, here are four: one, encourage female leadership, two, to discover new things and places, three, to learn, four, to grow” Ende said.

She has made 8 long rides, totaling 30,000 miles, spanning the country from coast to  coast, Mexico to Canada. She had planned to do another tour in July and August of


2020, a “suffragette tour” in honor of the 100th anniversary of the 20th amendment which gave women the right to vote. Unfortunately, Ende was forced to cancel due to Covid-19 restrictions.  “ This is the first time in 15 years that I haven’t  been riding, Ende lamented, “Its just like I’ve been tethered to something”. Now she is living with her sister in New Mexico,” I still live outside ,in my tent, in the shade, with my sister, with my horses and I keep active, things haven’t really changed that much, but I do drive a car”  Ende said with a chuckle, “I miss that “unattainable line” of horizon, a place she says, “makes you find out what you are made of.”

Looking at the various videos and news clips available on you tube and other venues, it can appear that Ende had planned large pieces of her journeys. When I asked her about this, she just laughed .”When I am

out there I generally have no idea where I am going to camp , about 4 o’clock I would seriously start looking for a place to spend the night.”  She always has had her companions ,Fjord Ponies, the only horses she rides with, to think about. “When I would see horses in a field or yard, It was just like a feed store” she recalled with a laugh.” Sometimes I was caught out and literally just had to lay down on the ground, under my horse”, Ende added.

Although it is quite an honor to be inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame, Ende takes it in stride.” I don’t think it really affects me at all” she told the Montanian. “I have no idea what it really means, I mean I’m  not even a cowgirl, or a cowboy” . Still,  there is an induction ceremony slated for this coming April.

Ende never listened to music, never had a cell phone or a laptop computer, and never was

bored. “You are constantly paying attention to the immediate now, asking for food, water, directions.” She told the Montanian. “ Sometimes a car would stop and ask what I was doing,”

Ende faced so much more than the elements on her journeys, with hundreds of miles leading her through towns and cities. traveling without a computer and without a cell phone, leaving herself and her beloved ponies open to the kindness of strangers. “ I found out how generous people really are, it was such a humbling experience, and I learned how important it is to just know how to ask for help. Asking , gives others the opportunity to give”.   Often when she would come into a town,. Ende recalls ,there were some intense reactions. “When you ride into town on a horse, it is a profound, iconic image, not the same as a bike rider” she recalled. “ the medium by which you travel changes the dynamics” she added. Ende hopes to do more rides in the future, but she wants to stay in the wilderness and national park lands, “America has changed so much, more traffic, and I just don’t want to be around people so much”.

There are several videos about the Lady Long Rider, widely available on the world wide web.