Aside the common norm of ‘new year resolution’ every culture around the world have their unique way of celebrating New Year. While many welcome the new year with festivities, surrounded by families and friends, others have more sacred ways of celebrating the new year. Here are some fascinating New Year traditions around the world.
In Spain, it is customary to eat 12 grapes, one at each stroke of the clock at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Each grape represents good luck for one month of the coming year. In bigger cities like Madrid and Barcelona, people gather in main squares to eat their grapes together and pass around bottles of cava.
To drive off evil spirits for a fresh New Year’s start, it is tradition to burn effigies (muñecos) of well-known people such as television characters and political figures in Panama. The effigies are meant to represent the old year.
In Colombia, locals will walk around their neighbourhood with an empty suitcase to set themselves up for a year full of adventure.
In Switzerland, locals ring in the New Year by throwing a scoop of ice cream on the floor. The wasted dessert is thought to bring abundance in the new year.
In Bolivia, it is believed that the colour of your underwear seals your fate for the new year. A pair of red undies will bring you love, while a gold pair will ensure wealth over the next twelve months.
Residents of the Chumbivilcas province in Peru take part in Takanakuy, an annual fistfight with their neighbours. People physically battle out their differences from the previous year during a day-long festival on December 25, allowing everyone to start the new year afresh.
In Denmark, the more broken glassware you have on your doorstep on New Year’s Day, the more popular you are. To celebrate the New Year, residents of Denmark throw old plates and glasses against the doors of family and friends to banish bad spirits. They also stand on chairs and jump off of them together at midnight to “leap” into January in hopes of good luck.
New Year’s resolutions are all about changing something you did in the past year. In Ecuador, locals take a photo of something they don’t want to bring with them into the coming year and burn it before the new year begins. Scarecrows are also often burned to ward off evil spirits.
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.
An onion is traditionally hung on the front door of homes on New Year’s Eve in Greece as a symbol of rebirth in the New Year. On New Year’s Day, parents wake their children by tapping them on the head with the onion.
Which of these traditions is your favourite? Do you have a new year tradition of your own? Feel free to interact with us in the comment section. We wish all our esteemed readers a happy new year!