9 Strange New Year’s Traditions from Around the World

December 28, 2010 11:10 am
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In Spain it is customary to eat grapes at midnight.

If you chose to be a little cultural this year and celebrate New Years in a different way, here are a couple of traditions that take place all over the world on the 31 of December.

South America - Residents all wear brightly colored underpants. Those who wear red, are hoping for love in the new year. Those who chose to wear yellow, are wishing for money.

Denmark - Many Danish leap off chairs at midnight, hoping to ban all bad spirits in the new year. They also have a very loud and destructive way of celebrating the new year- they break dishes. People throw their old dishes on their friends’ doors on New Years and the one with the most dishes outside their door, usually has the most friends.

Philippines - It is a tradition in the Philippines, that Filipinos focus on all round things. They consume round fruits such as grapes and wear clothing with round shapes such as polka dots. The round shape reminds and celebrates the roundness of coins, as they hope for prosperity in the new year.

Spain - At midnight, Spaniards consume 12 grapes and try to consume all of them by the time the clock stops chiming.

Belarus - In Belarus, unmarried women compete at games of skill to determine who will get married first in the new year. One game involves setting piles of corn and a rooster before each of the single ladies. Whichever pile the bird approaches first, is believed to be the one who is to be married first.

Germany and Austria - Germans and Austrians  pour lead as a tradition, which includes using molten lead like tea leaves. The lead pieces are pour into a bowl filled with water, leading the lead to form shapes which predict what is going to happen in the new year. If the lead forms a ball it means good luck, if it looks like an anchor it means you will need help in the new year and if it’s a cross it means death.

Ecuador - Usually when you burn someone’s picture it means bad break up. However in Ecuador, the fiesta includes all the locals gathering together with pictures that represent something you do not want in the new year from the last year and burning it.

Chile - In the city of Talca in Chili, people participate in a mass on New Years Eve and then they all go visit the graveyard, to set up their chairs and wait for the year to arrive with the dead.

Puerto Rico - When it’s New Year’s Eve in Puerto Rico, they throw buckets of water out the window to “clean” the old year out. They also clean their homes and decorate them, as it is supposed to symbolize the “cleaning” of the spirit.


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