With New Year’s Eve approaching, we wondered how other countries rang in the new year. When it comes to numerous cultures and traditions from around the world, it appears that no two are exact. The celebration of New Year’s Eve, on the other hand, appears to be universal in most societies. Learn about some of the strange and unique New Year’s traditions throughout the world, such as eating twelve grapes at midnight and throwing pomegranates from a balcony.
This strange Scottish New Year’s celebration comes with a healthy dose of peril. The Hogmanay event, also known as the New Year’s Eve celebration, is held every December 31st. In Stonehaven, men march down the streets with two-foot-wide balls of chicken wire stuffed with newspaper, rags, and sticks! The balls are set on fire at midnight and chained with a three-foot-long chain to the creator’s head. Thousands of spectators converge to witness the spectacle of these fireballs being thrown around their heads regularly. According to legend, fireballs signified the sun in Pagan times and were used to ward off evil spirits and purify the world.
In the United Kingdom, New Year’s Eve is spent with friends and family. People typically host home parties, go to bars, or assemble for magnificent firework displays that begin when the clock strikes twelve. New Year’s Day is traditionally seen as a day to unwind and spend time with family.
Smashing plates and old dishes is a popular New Year’s Eve custom in Denmark. Other traditions include jumping from chairs at midnight to leap into the new year and enjoying Kransekage, a wreath-shaped dessert composed of marzipan rings stacked on top of each other with a bottle of wine in the centre. Ornaments and flags are used to embellish the cake. You can also order New year Cake online to celebrate this fantastic day.
If you want to make sure you don’t go hungry, spend New Year’s Eve in Estonia. Traditionally, individuals eat seven, nine, or twelve meals per day to have plenty in the next 365 days. These are the luckiest numbers; therefore, it’s entirely acceptable to cheat on your diet and start the new year with an extra pound or two. It is encouraged to leave some food on the dish for ancestor spirits.
Wearing special underwear on New Year’s Eve is considered lucky in Brazil and other Central and South American countries such as Ecuador, Bolivia, and Venezuela. The most popular colours for the New Year are red, which brings love, and yellow, which brings money.
In the Philippines, shape is more important than size, colour, or texture for good fortune. In this New Year’s tradition, avoid rectangles and triangles and instead hunt for everything round in vogue. Circles signify coins and wealth; thus the more circles you can gather, the better. Most locals will try to reach 12 spherical fruits, one for each month of the year.
The Polar Bear Swim, which began in 1920, involves individuals diving into the cold waters of English Bay in Vancouver on New Year’s Day. This frigid tradition has now expanded across the country, with Canadians all around the country kicking off the new year with a frosty start. To celebrate this day, one can send New Year gifts to their loved ones living far away from them.
When it comes to ringing in the New Year, the people of Buenos Aires, Argentina, are a little more inventive. On the last day of the year, they shred old documents and papers as a sign of laying the past behind. Around midday, individuals fling bits of paper from their windows all across the city, creating a confetti downpour.
In Peru, potatoes can be used to forecast your financial position for the future year. Throw one fully peeled, one half-peeled, and one unpeeled potato under the bed. Then, without looking, take the first potato you come across. If you pick the unpeeled potato, you will have good luck in the coming year. If you choose the half-peeled potato, you will have a typical year; if you choose the fully-peeled potato, you will have financial difficulties.
Do you think the 12-ring countdown is too long? Try on 108 to see how it fits. In Japan, bells are rung 108 times as part of a Buddhist custom to erase all human misdeeds. It’s also good luck to enter the New Year cheerful or laughing, but who knows how you’ll feel after sitting through that long ringing?