This is exactly what comes to your mind when you think of a New Year. People celebrate New Year in every country. Although in each country it looks different.
The New Year’s eve keeps the mirth and merriment of Christmas alive. From decorating the entire house from wall to wall, baking treats for the feast, shopping for gifts, and immersing in the local celebrations. What is there to not like about the eve of December 31st? For a week, every year, the world takes on a magical glow. People look merrier and a festive vibe rejuvenates the aura. It is a time when we want to be with our family and traveling is just not on the to-do list. What if we could change that? The most fun and interesting New Year’s customs and beliefs from around the world have the power to push you to the airport to travel far and wide to live all of them, one each year.
However, in view of the COVID outbreak that adds to the ever peculiar 2020, we are definitely not asking you to set off on your exploration journey. So what to do? Here we shall present to you our favorite traditions which are loud, proud, and guarantee oodles of fun. Let us see what rodent people all across the world lower from their roof when the clock strikes midnight.
And the Celebrations begin…
In America, the biggest party is in Times Square. About a million people attend, and a gazillion watches at home. There is a countdown to midnight. Evidently, this is marked in New York with the ball drop. the party favors, silly strings, confetti, streamers, noisemakers, and the fireworks are indubitably amaze-balls to the sight. The drink of choice for New Year’s Eve is Champagne. At midnight, people make a champagne toast. Another tradition is a midnight kiss. Along with this, most people listen to a traditional Scottish song named, “Auld Lang Syne”. It means “days gone by”. Also, many make New Year’s Resolutions as well. These are the things you want to change or include for the better.
Dates do not matter
Just because this tradition is practiced in April, does not mean it is not a New Year’s celebration. In Thailand, they ring in the New Year with a festival in April. Well, this is not the weird part. The activities that take place during the three-day “Songkran” festival instead are a bit peculiar. To mark an end to the dry season, people take to the streets a literal water fight. They would shoot water guns at each other or pour buckets of water on people. Thai citizens also join in with huge amounts of talc. So much so that that city streets look like they have been hit with a snow storm.
The belly rules it all
Eating 12 Grapes
There are many New Year’s customs involving food. You might eat cabbage and black-eyed peas if you grew up in the western culture. However, if you grew up in Spain or other parts of Europe, you may pop twelve grapes at the stroke of the midnight hour. When the clock strikes 12:00, people try to eat a grape every time a bell chimes. Sounds easier said than done. The reason is to bring in good luck for the next 12 months ahead.
This is for all you foodies out there. People in Estonia binge eat on New Year’s eve and the number of meals you have that day matters. A total of seven, nine, or twelve meals are lucky. The belief is that the number of times you stuff your face is equivalent to the amount of strength you will have the following year. Moreover, leftovers on your plate are believed to make your ancestors happy.
Make some Noise
In Japan, on the New Year, you could hear a hundred and eight bell strokes for different vices. These are inclusive of greed, anger, stupidity, and many more. On the arrival of the New Year, the Japanese laugh out loud. They do so as they believe laughter brings good luck. Most businesses shut down from January 1st to January 3rd. The Japanese gather with their families and friends and embark upon the new journey. They welcome the New Year with laughter and joy. Thereby hoping the year brings in their life oodles of happiness and contentment.
Smashing plates or ceramics during celebrations is not unheard of. However, in Denmark, after the clock strikes 12:00, if you have a pile of smashed china outside your door, you might be popular. This is because in the country people gather their chipped china and throw it at their friends’ door. The custom is supposed to bring luck and rejuvenates the relationship. Moreover, it is believed to release and relieve any grievances from the previous year. This implies that the bigger the pile that sits outside your door, the more people love you.
People here do not eat their food on New Year’s Day. Instead, they use it to ward off bad luck and evil spirits. Every year, they take loaves of hard bread and smack it against the wall. This is in hopes that the loud noise will keep bad luck out of their homes. What’s the harm if some noise brings in good.
Have celebrations gone offbeat?
The holidays might be a time to reflect on the family and friends we have lost throughout the years. The people of Chile have taken the matters into their hands. Rather than grieving the loss of their loved ones, they decided to spend New Years’ with them, literally. The citizens of a town spend the entire night in the graveyards. They believe that this not only brings peace to their hearts but also good luck for the upcoming year.
Shades of Luck
In Venezuela, New Year has to be met wearing yellow underwear as it is believed to bring good luck. Also, Venezuelans pen down all their wishes. When midnight is close, they gather their wish notes and burn them.
Underwater Tree Planting
In Russia, one may observe a plethora of Christmas trees. Well, you are mistaken if you thought they are to celebrate Christmas. Instead, they are ‘Yolka’ (fir trees) has been used in New Years’ celebrations for centuries. However, the Siberians do something bizarre with the Yolka. The divers take it to the negative 49 degrees water to set it up on the floor of a lake.
As the clock strikes twelve, people kiss their loved ones all over the world. Well, Venice has taken this custom to a whole another level. Tens of thousands of people flock to the celebrations and participate in a collective New Year’s Eve Kiss-a-thon. Venice is a place to be for all you love birds out there.
The world is a huge place full of people from all walks of life. Thus, it is no wonder that they choose to ring in the New Year in completely different yet fun and bizarre ways. New Year’s eve is a testimony to life insinuating celebratory moments from all across the world. What more of an occasion one needs to celebrate. After all, what life expects of us is that we celebrate. It is the time to close your eyes to the old ends and open your heart to the new beginnings. Cheers!