Everyone has a New Year’s rituals. Whether it’s watching the Twilight Zone or standing up on a table before the clock strikes zero to literally jump into the New Year.
Check out these rituals that are celebrated around the world.
Spain and some parts of Latin America
At 12 o’clock eat 12 grapes, one for each stroke of the clock. Each one means good luck for one month of the upcoming year.
Every year at the end of December people in this small Peruvian villages fist fight to settle their differences. They then start the year off on a clean slate.
They celebrate the New Year by dropping ice cream on the floor.
It’s believed that hanging an onion, or “kremmida” on your door on New Year’s Eve as a symbol of rebirth in the coming year.
They throw their spare coins into the river for good luck.
They predict the fortunes for the coming year by casting molten tin into a container of water and interpreting the shape the metal takes after it hardens. A heart or ring shape means a wedding, a ship signifies travel. a pig means lots of good food.
They throw pails of water out of their windows to drive away evil spirits.
They hit the walls with bread to get rid of evil spirits
In Denmark they prepare an evening meal that ends with a special dessert known as Kransekage, a steep-sloped cone-shaped cake decorated with firecrackers and flags. They share dishes on January 1st with the neighbors to make sure they will have friends the entire year.
Coins are baked into sweets and whoever finds the coins has good luck for the next year.
They throw furniture out the window.
Unmarried women play games to predict who will get hitched in the new year. In one game a pile of corn is put in front of each woman and a rooster is let loose. Whatever pile he approaches first shows which woman will be the first to marry.
The French like to keep things simple and delicious. Every New Year they consume a stack of pancakes.
Japanese clean their homes and send thank-you cards called nengajo that wish a Happy New Year and give thanks to friends and relatives.
On what they call Hogmanay, the first person to cross the threshold of a home in the New Year should bring a gift for good luck. In the village of Stonehaven, folks parade around while swinging giant fireballs on poles.
They carry their suitcases around with them all day in hopes of having a travel filled year.
Effigies of well-known people – called munecos – are burned in New Year’s bonfires. The effigies represent the old year and burning them drives away evil spirits.
Besides throwing buckets of water on each other in Thailand they also go around smearing each other with gray talc.
People eat seven times on New Year’s day to ensure abundance in the new year.
Families spend the night in the company of their deceased loved ones by sleeping at the cemetery.
Single women of Ireland place sprigs of mistletoe under their pillows on New Year’s night in hopes that it will bring them better luck and a future husband.
New Year’s Eve is celebrated both on December 31st as well as on January 14 according to the Macedonian Orthodox (also known as the Julian or Lunar) Calendar.
In some parts of Latin America on New Years Eve they wear special underwear. It needs to be new and if you wear yellow it means money for the New Year and red means love.
Romanian farmers try to communicate with their cows. If they succeed, however, it means bad luck for the year.
They believe that everything should be round so to represent coins and bring wealth. Round food, round clothes, as long as it’s round.
They celebrate the New Year by burning paper filled scarecrows at midnight. They also burn photographs from last year. All in the name of good fortune.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org