Weirdest New Year's Eve Traditions In The World
While some belief in smashing some crockery, others believe in fortune-telling underwear (no, I’m not kidding). So with New Year fast approaching, here are 9 of the weirdest and unusual New Year’s Eve traditions from around the world, according to TravelEarth.
1. The 12 Grapes of Luck – Spain
In Spain, one New Year’s tradition is to eat 12 grapes, one for every strike of the clock until midnight, to ensure prosperity. If you can finish them in time, you’ll have good luck all through the coming year. The flavour of the grapes -whether sweet or sour – also predicts what the year will bring. The tradition of the las doce uvas de la suerte (the 12 lucky grapes) is said to have originated in 1909 when a Spanish region has an exceptionally good grape harvest.
2. Smashing Plates – Denmark
A Danish tradition sees people smashing plates and crockery against the doors of their neighbours to bring them good luck for the year ahead. All year round unused plates are saved and on the 31st December, they are all hurled at the front doors of friends and family. It’s believed that the bigger the pile of broken china, the more friends and good luck you’ll have in the coming year. Danes also have a traditional New Year’s Eve meal of boiled cod with mustard followed by marzipan doughnuts called kransekage.
3. Colorful Undies - Mexico
In Latin American countries like Mexico, Bolivia and Brazil, the color of your panties will determine what kind of year you’ll have, so choose carefully! Tradition holds that red will bring love and romance, and yellow leads to wealth and success. White stands for peace and harmony, while green signifies well-being and nature. In Turkey, red panties are also handed out as gifts for good luck and the promise of a fruitful new year, Fodors noted.
4. Pouring Lead - Germany
Who doesn’t want to know what the next year might bring? In Germany, people melt small pieces of lead in a spoon over a candle, then pour the liquid into cold water. The bizarre shapes from the Bleigießen (lead pouring) are supposed to reveal what the year ahead will bring. If the lead forms a ball, luck will roll one’s way, while the shape of a crown means wealth; a cross signifies death and a star will bring happiness.
5. Scarecrow Burning - Ecuador
To banish any ill fortune or bad things that happened in the past year, Ecuadorians set fire to scarecrows filled with paper at midnight on New Year’s Eve. They also burn photographs of things that represent the past year, which leads us to believe that New Year is just a thinly veiled excuse for Ecuadorian pyromaniacs to set things on fire, as regarded by Realbuzz.
6. 108 Rings - Japan
Think the countdown of 12 rings takes too long? Try 108 on for size. In Japan bells are rang 108 times in a Buddhist tradition that is believed to banish all human sins. It’s also good luck to be smiling or laughing going into the New Year, but who knows how you can be in a good mood after having to sit through that prolonged ringing.
7. Round Things – Philippines
In the Philippines, New Year is all about MONEY. Hoping to bring prosperity and wealth for the year ahead, the Filipinos believe in surrounding themselves with round things (to represent coins and wealth). Therefore, they consume grapes; keep coins (they are kept in the pockets and constantly jangled), wear clothes with polka dots, among other things. All this to keep the money flowing.
8. Tossing Furniture Out Of The Window – Italy
In parts of Italy such as Naples the motto is “Out with the old”, where on New Year’s Eve, it is traditional to throw old, unwanted furniture out of balconies to symbolise a fresh start for the year ahead. Although to prevent injuries, most locals just stick to small and soft objects for their throwing tradition but still, it’s a good idea to watch out while strolling the streets of Naples on New Year’s Eve. Oddly enough, this custom is also practised in Johannesburg, South Africa.
9. First Footing – Scotland
One of the oldest Scottish traditions, the ‘first foot’ is also known as quaaltagh or qualtagh, and dictates that the first person to cross the threshold after midnight on New Year’s Eve should come bearing gifts. These gifts can be coins, coal, bread, salt, and a “wee dram” of whiskey, to bring the best luck for the house. Traditionally a tall dark-haired male is picked to be the first footer, while big blonde strangers commonly armed with axes and swords at the door meant trouble.
|The new year is rapidly approaching, bringing with it the hopes for prosperity and positive change that seem to be a universal human desire whenever the current calendar turns its final page. No matter where you are celebrating this meaningful event, don't forget to spend time with your beloved one and give them best wishes for a happy new year!|
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