10 Interesting ways people celebrate New Year around the world
While fireworks and seeing the New Year in with a glass of bubbly is the norm for many of us, in some countries, they have different New Year traditions, which are centuries old and very different. New Year’s Eve is not on the 31st of December for everyone either. Here are ten interesting ways that people from around the world celebrate New Year:
1. Chile – Spending the bight with the dead
Many New Year traditions revolve around brining good luck and good fortune in the coming years and, in Chile, they eat a spoonful of lentils and put honey on their shoes for that. The more adventurous in Chile though, like to include their dead relatives in the celebration, so they spend the night in the graveyard.
2. Greece – Close your eyes – the New Year is coming
In Greece, New Year’s carols are sung by the children who receive money from family and friends in return for their singing. The Greeks also turn off the lights and close their eyes, for the New Year’s countdown, so that they can start the New Year with fresh eyes.
3. Spain – Countdown with grapes
The Spaniards eat a grape to mark each of the chimes in the countdown to the New Year. The tradition is believed to have been started by some Spanish farmers, when they realised that they had a surplus of grapes in 1895.
4. China – Painting the door red
The Chinese calendar takes account of the lunar-solar calendar, so the actual date of the Chinese New Year’s Eve varies from year to year. When the New Year does arrive, the Chinese paint their front door red to symbolize good luck and happiness. They also put away any sharp knives for twenty four hours, because they believe that if you cut yourself on New Year’s Day, you cut your luck for the year.
5. Ecuador – Burning the misfortune
In Ecuador, people make life-sized, scarecrow like, dummies to represent any misfortunes they suffered in the last year. At midnight, families gather together in the streets to burn the dummies to signify the passing of all misfortunes.
6. The Philippines – Polka dots
In the Philippines, round objects signify prosperity, so many of the women of the Philippines wear polka-dot dresses on New Year’s Eve and carry coins in their pockets. Families also eat round fruits such, as oranges and grapefruits.
7. Ireland – Mistletoe for the single ladies
Single Irish ladies place a sprig of mistletoe under their pillow in the hope that it will bring them a husband in the New Year. They also try to make sure that the first person to enter their home is a tall, dark, handsome man, because that will bring them good fortune too.
8. Russia – How to make a dream come true?
In Russia, to make a dream come true, they write that dream down on a piece of paper, burn the paper and mix the ashes into a glass of champagne. They then drink the ash filled concoction and they believe that their dreams for the New Year will come true.
9. Germany – Foretelling the future
When the Germans want to see what the New Year has in store for them, they melt lead in a teaspoon, pour it in some cold water and then interpret the shapes that are made. They also have an obsession with an obscure British TV comedy sketch called ‘Dinner for One’. Although this show is virtually unknown in Britain, it is shown every New Year’s Eve on German television.
10. Argentina – Beans for luck
In Argentina, people eat beans before midnight on New Year’s Eve to bring them luck. They also believe that, if they carry a suitcase into their home, it will mean that they will travel in the coming year.
Do you know some other interesting ways people celebrate New Year around the world?
Stay happy, healthy and blessed! Happy New Year to you and your loved ones! May all your dreams come true!