Any reason to party is good enough reason for us. New Year is one celebration where the whole world comes together. But does it mean that we all celebrate it in the same way? Yes, kissing, fireworks and champagne have all become very common, but there are deeper cultural New Year traditions that vary vastly.
Let’s take a look at how countries around the world will mark the start of 2019:
New Year must bring along good fortune and the Brits understand it well. They believe the first guest to enter through the front door in the newly arrived year should be a young, dark-headed male. It doesn’t end there! The person should also be bearing gifts like salt to be wealthy and coal to stay warm.
People in Denmark save old dishes to break them on each other’s’ front doors. And guess what? All this is done in the name of friendship. The Danes let the broken dishes pile up in front of their doors to show who has the most friends.
Wear all white clothes on New Year’s Eve and ward off evil spirits – this is how Brazilians celebrate the arrival of a New Year. Other traditions include jumping over seven ocean waves; dedicating each jump to one day of the week and throwing flowers into the sea.
Well, the Chileans have quite a unique tradition. They eat spoonful of lentils at midnight and put money at the bottom of their shoes. This is supposed to bring you prosperity for the next 12 months. If you’re more of a daredevil kind, then you can also spend the 31st December night at a graveyard and ring in the New Year with your deceased love ones.
Cubans recommend that you circle your house with a suitcase the moment the clock strikes at midnight. It’s meant to bring you travel opportunities in the next 12 months. Otherwise the Cubans sweep their houses or throw water out of the window for good luck.
Ecuadorians certain begin the New Year on a cathartic note- they burn effigies of politicians or any other people they don’t like at midnight. The purpose is to get rid of all the negative energy of the previous year.
#7 The Netherlands
Every year, the Dutch get busy in carbide shooting, a fancy term for blowing up milk cans. Though prohibited in many cities, it hasn’t stopped many adventurous teenagers from partaking in this tradition. For the ones less inclined to amateur explosives, New Year’s Dive is an opportunity for swimmers to half-nakedly brave the freezing waters of the North Sea.
How far will you go to make a wish come true? Will you write down your wish on a piece of paper, burn it, put the ashes in a glass of champagne and drink it down? If not, then you’re clearly not willing to go as far as the Russians.
#9 South Africa
South Africans, especially the ones in Johannesburg take cleaning the house for the New Year to an entirely new level. They throw old furniture and appliances (think fridges) from the windows of tall buildings. All the pedestrians watch out!
The Spanish celebrate New Year by eating 12 grapes at midnight. Very easy, right? Except you have to eat one each time the clock chimes. Or else, you’ll miss out on an extra good luck.