The holidays are almost over and it’s time to shrug off the Christmas sweaters, stripy pajamas and lethargy, and get your batteries charged up for the year ahead! Chances are you’ve made your resolutions, set your goals and you’re biting at the bit to get ahead–or maybe not just yet. With just a few days to go until 2018, why not make the most of the chilly winter weather to have a laugh at some of these crazy, intense and interesting New Year traditions from around the world.
If you’re thinking, this is the Greeks, right? You’re wrong. The first in the list of New Year traditions actually belongs to Denmark. So, should you find yourself in Copenhagen on the 31st December and you hear a lot of crockery breaking, don’t be alarmed. It’s actually a sign of affection.
Breaking plates against the doors of your family and friends is meant to bring them good luck and, I guess, save on washing the dishes!
Related Post: Why Do We Say Merry Christmas?
Stuffing Yourself with Grapes
While most people around the world indulge in a few glasses of wine on New Year’s Eve, the Spanish take it to a whole new level. With each chime of the clock at midnight, they eat a grape. But not all New Year traditions come easy.
For anyone who’s ever tried to stuff 12 grapes into their mouth in a minute, they will know, it’s pretty hard to do. But if you can manage it, you’re guaranteed to have good luck for the rest of the year.
Money Makes The World Go Round
Carrying on with New Year traditions, in the Philippines, don’t be surprised if your food looks strangely circular. That’s because it is. The people believe that round food represents coins. By making sure that as much food as possible on the table is round, you’ll be bringing in wealth for the year ahead.
You’ll also find plenty of noodles and chicken. Eating chicken will bring a year of good fortune and prosperity, and the noodles are for a long and healthy life.
Dropping Ice cream
Celebrating New Year’s in Bern? If you are, you might just find people dropping ice cream on the floor. It isn’t that everyone around you has suddenly suffered an attack of the clumsies. It’s actually a tradition in Switzerland to drop ice cream on the floor at midnight. What a waste of perfectly good dessert!
Watch Out for Flying Buckets
Of all the New Year traditions around the world, Puerto Rico may win the prize for the most dangerous. In some parts of the country, they celebrate the new year by throwing pails of water out of their windows to ward off evil spirits.
Just make sure you aren’t out walking on the street or driving in your car at midnight or you might end up with a fatal injury!
There’s a Coin in Your Dessert
One of the sweetest New Year traditions to come out of South America, in Bolivia, they bake coins into their desserts. Whoever finds a coin will be blessed with good fortune for the year ahead. That is, of course, provided that they find the coin before ingesting it and getting it stuck in their throat!
Too Much Baggage
If you happen to be on the streets of Bogota on December 31st, you could be fooled into thinking that everyone was traveling somewhere.
While some people may be moving around the country on this day, the majority are simply fulfilling one of Colombia’s New Year traditions. Colombians carry around a suitcase all day in the hope of having a year ahead filled with travel.
Related Post: Why Colombia is a Great Location to Learn Spanish
Reach for The Sky
In Denmark at the stroke of 12 people try to jump as high as they can to welcome the New Year in. This might be off of chairs, tables, or even buildings. The higher you can jump, the better, and the more good luck you will have in the coming year. Unless you break a limb in the process! So be careful if you decide to start jumping to receive the New Year.
Waking the Dead
This may be the freakiest of all New Year traditions and it comes from South America. In Chile, many families spend the night of the 31st sleeping in the cemetery alongside their deceased loved ones.
It’s a nice sentiment, but still kind of creepy. If the idea of sleeping in a graveyard doesn’t take your fancy, hop on over to Argentina, where you can bring the New Year in with fireworks and dancing.
If you want to hurdle balls of dough at the walls, the Emerald Isle is the place for you. The Irish are also superstitious about evil spirits, but they don’t throw water. Instead, they throw bread on New Years’ Eve. And, of course, they also down copious amounts of Guinness in the process.
Okay, so the South Africans may snatch the prize from the Puerto Ricans for the most dangerous New Year traditions. In some parts of the country, people throw old furniture out of the window to welcome in the New Year.
So if you happen to be in this country on the 31st, be sure to cover your head so that you don’t get hit by flying tables and chairs.
Related Post: Preserving Culture And Tradition in The Modern World
In Siberia, they welcome in the New Year by jumping into frozen lakes! Brrrrrr. And if that wasn’t enough to put you off, they do it carrying tree trunks. Whatever floats your boat, right?
What Are Your New Year Traditions?
How do you celebrate the New Year? What traditions do you have in your country? Do you leap, jump, throw, or burn? Stuff yourself with round fruit, chicken, or dessert with coins in?
Let us know by typing your comments below! A very Happy New Year from all the team at Day Translations! May it be filled with health, wealth and prosperity for all!