World’s Strangest New Year Traditions

It is not only the festive mood and the delightful cheer that marks the New Year but one can also see some interesting rituals and customs being performed on this day.

Over time, different beliefs and notions across the world have come to give birth to strange traditions being observed. Find out about the world’s strangest New Year traditions that are followed dutifully by people in different parts.

Wear Polka Dots Or Eat Round Fruits To Invite Luck- Philippines

People inPhilippineshave a special belief on the New Year that wearing something round or eating round fruits will bring good luck for the entire year. People are seen wearing dresses designed with circular patterns. Most of them in the island country turn up in polka dot dresses during the eve of the New Year. Observing this weird New Year tradition is expected to attract good financial fortune over the year.

Pouring Lead to Know About Future- Germany And Austria

Germans and Austrians have a weird and whacky way of funding about things that are in store for them in the New Year. The strange way adopted by them is popularly called as lead pouring in which molten lead is poured into a bowl containing water. Shape that is formed by the molten leaves in the bowl of water is interpreted to find out things that are likely to take place in the next year. for example’ if the molten lead takes the shape of an anchor in the water bowl then the person who has dropped it is believed to be in need of help in the New Year. The shape of a ball formed out of the molten lead signifies good fortune for the person throughout the year while a cross would imply death.

Wearing Colorful Underwear to Bring Luck- Mexico

Mexicans have a strange New Year tradition of securing happiness and luck by adorning colorful panties on the eve of the New Year. People, looking for luck, are seen wearing yellow colored underwear while those who want to find success in love, come out with red underwear. This weird New Year ritual is most popularly observed in the city ofSao Paulo,La Paz.

Burning Pictures to Leave the Past Behind-Ecuador

Ecuadorobserves a weird tradition during New Year to bid adieu to the past year. Burning portraits is considered unpleasant but this seems to be the real fun inEcuadoron the eve of the New Year. People gather outside their homes with photos that remind them of their painful incidents or inglorious days from the last year. These pictures are burned by the locals with the belief that burning them would help them get rid of the past and make progress smoothly.

People Celebrate New Year With a Visit to The Graveyard-Chile

It might seem creepy and uncanny but people inChiledo observe a strange custom during New Year by taking a visit to the graveyard. Locals in the small town ofTalcainChilecelebrate the New Year by practicing a freaky ritual of paying a visit to their dead relatives. Cemetery are found full after 11 pm on the night before the New Year as locals throng the place to welcome the year with their deceased relatives. This strange tradition of welcoming New Year inChileis said to have started way back in 1995. Tradition to visit the graveyard for celebrating the New Year is believed to have its origin after a family jumped over the cemetery fence to usher in the New Year by being besides the father’s grave. At present, more than 5000 people inChileare assumed to have taken this weird tradition for embracing the New Year.

Community Service and Fund Raising to Stay Happy Throughout the Year-Turkey

It is a strange yet common New Year ritual inTurkeythat helping out needy, less privileged people by conducting community service and raising funds on the New Year’s Day will bring in happiness for the entire year. With this belief in mind, a lot of people inTurkeyare seen participating in several events organized during this time for community service and for raising funds. Charity is done not for getting a girlfriend or a swanky car but for staying happy because of the blessings garnered while helping out someone in distress.

Watching the British Show “Dinner for One,” To Welcome The New Year-German

Germans are seen following a whacky New Year tradition to stay happy throughout the year. People inGermanywatch the British show “Dinner for One” every single year since 1972 to ring in the New Year. Although one knows of the year since this tradition has begun to be observed by German masses but very little is known about the story behind the origin of this strange tradition. It may seem an unreasonable tradition but it has gained immense popularity in the country. Most Germans are heard using the punch line meaning ““same procedure every year” as a catchphrase to usher in the New Year.

Change Underwear At Midnight- Bolivia

It is much like the New Year tradition followed inMexicowhere people wear yellow underwear for inviting luck with the only difference being that Bolivians wait for midnight put on yellow underwear. Bolivians believe that with the change in the undergarment at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve will also bring about change in their fortunes.

Throwing Dishes Considered to Be Good- Denmark

People inDenmarkthrow old and used dishes at their friend’s doors on New Year’s Eve as a means to show their integrity and loyalty towards their dear ones.

Leaves Placed Under Pillow To Get A Husband – Ireland

Most single women inIrelandpractice the strange New Year tradition of placing mistletoe leaves under their pillow in the hope of getting a good husband. Irish culture also finds this tradition useful in washing away bad luck.

Kissing At Midnight To Bring On Love in Life-America

It’s a long-lived tradition inAmericato kiss dear ones to make the next year beautiful. Tradition of sharing a sweet midnight kiss is supposed to bring true love and help people get rid of their bad memories of the past.

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New Year in Washington- Customs and Traditions

The state of Washington celebrates its New Year according to Georgian calendar on January 1, in concord with rest of the United States. Apart from the customary celebrations, the traditional New Year celebrations as made in Washington are highly drawn from the traditions of United States.

New Year Celebrations in Washington

Washington offers enormous number of pleasurable things to be a part of, during the time of New Year. Washington hosts number of gala events during the New Years time, which offers enormous options to the party lovers to choose from. Most of these parties have great food, the finest qualities of wine, and the best music to dance on.

Also, some of them put across live shows of musicians, dancers, vocalists, and acrobats for adding extra aspects of vigor to the entire celebrations. People love to dance all night, and be in the company of their friends and family members.

Usually, most of the parties organized in night clubs, discotheques, and pubs go on till the early morning hours of the New Year’s Day. Also, street parties are in no way less in the intensity of celebrations, and one can easily find throngs of people eating, drinking, and dancing on streets for the whole night.

Apart from cultural shows, many other social and educational events are also organized in Washington during the time of New Year, which also draw large number of crowds of its segment.

Traditional New Year Celebrations in Washington

People in Washington observe many New Year traditions out of their belief in them. One such prominent tradition is of burning firecrackers. According to beliefs, burning of firecrackers is considered as a traditional way of swaying all evil spirits and negative energies of the past time away from one’s life, so that one can have a positive and fortunate time ahead.

Apart from being a part of tradition, fireworks show is also the highlight aspect of the New Year’s midnight, for which people eagerly await for. The spectacular skyline of Washington further turns into a more spectacular sight with vibrant colors and lights, when firecrackers are set off at midnight stroke of twelve.

There is another highly cherished tradition of watching football games on New Year’s Day. These football games are telecasted over television. Majority of the population after having a frantic time on New Year’s Eve, love to relax by watching football games on their television sets. This tradition is in place since the year of 1902, when the Rose football game was first played as a part of the ‘Tournament of Roses’. However, the very next year, it was replaced by Roman chariot races. However, around 13 years later, i.e. in 1916, the football game came back to retain its true place.

The ‘Rose Bowl’ tradition is also rigorously followed by many in Washington during New Year’s time. As a part of this tradition, ‘Rose Bowl’ parties, or the ‘open house’ parties are organized on the day of New Year. This tradition of organizing parties on New Year’s Day, where everyone is invited, was initiated by George Washington. Later, with the passage of time, such parties gain popularity among masses.

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New Year in Venezuela – Traditions and Customs

The tropical South American country of Venezuela celebrates New Year on January 1 according to Georgian calendar.

Being considered as an important festival as well as time of the year, New Year is celebrated with great spectacle and display by the natives of Venezuela.

The high-energy celebrations, in the light of the traditions and customs of Venezuela make it a different experience for everyone who is participating in it. The popularity of New Year celebrations made in Venezuela is immense, and this is the reason behind why people from different corners of the world arrive in this tropical country during the New Year’s time.

New Year Celebrations in Venezuela

During the time of New Year, the entire Venezuela gets into a party mood. To make it look like a big party stage, the entire of Venezuela, including its markets, streets, shopping centers, and business centers are covered up with vibrant colors and lights. Other than that, some real lively parties go on in different parts of the country, with some of them also acting as hosts for rock concerts, live music shows, music choirs, and live band performances. With midnight getting closer and closer, all street parties, as well as parties going on in clubs, bars, and discotheques reach at their intense best.

Other than those coming out of their houses and participating in social New Year celebrations, there are some who prefer to stay at home while being glued to television set or a radio station. Most of the people watch or hear the live telecast of the countdown of the New Year. Other than that, there is a tradition of broadcasting songs expressing sadness at the end of the year. As soon as midnight arrives, everyone cheers out loud, and wish everyone with good luck and New Year wishes for the coming time. The Cathedral of Caracas located in the Caracas city has a tradition of ringing twelve bells at that moment.

Craft fairs organize during the time draw large amount of visitors, in particularly those looking to explore the cultural and traditional aspects of the country. These craft shows display exquisite works of local arts, which are loved by many. For the fact, there is a great demand for these locally manufactured products among the foreign as well as local tourists, much because of their high quality, great creativity sense, and astonishing beauty. These craft shows also serve great food belonging to the local and South American cuisines.

Traditional New Year Celebrations in Venezuela

Traditionally, the New Year celebrations made in Venezuela are very much similar to the celebrations made in other South American countries, and the European country of Spain. Most of the traditions followed during the time are believed to confer its practitioner with good luck in the coming time. Some of the prominent traditions include wearing red underwear, which is believed to confer one with a love partner in the coming year. Similarly, wearing yellow underwear is believed to confer one with deep contentment in New Year.

There is another tradition of having a high value bill, which is believed to confer one with wealth and prosperity in the coming New Year. There is another prominently followed tradition of moving out of the house with some luggage in hand on New Year’s Eve. Also, people write wishes o piece of papers, and then burn them with a hope that they get fulfilled in the coming year.

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New Year in America – Traditions and Customs

Come and be part of the celebrations to discover the American New Year traditions and enjoy the fun filled moments on the new year eve. America is of diversified culture with different ethnic background people.

You would enjoy the various traditions of New Year in America. In the US, new year is a declared public holiday and everyone is eagerly waits for the celebrations.

You would be surprised to explore the different American New Year traditions that bring fireworks, parties, gifts and musical events. New York is the main attraction during the Christmas and New Year. You can expect people from all corners of the world joining to enjoy the festive mood.

New Year Traditions in the US

Gatherings and fun moments includes watching of championship football games in the stadiums. The streets are crowded with youth and elderly people dressed fashionably to welcome the new year with great joy.

The Times Square in the New York City hosts several events which is hosted by the television celebrity Dick Clark. Many people love watching these programs broadcasted on the television with all their family and friends. The streets are decorated with lanterns, flash lights and colored papers. Flags are also adorned to express happiness. Giant vibrant colored electric apples are lowered to the ground at the time when people start saying “Happy New Year”.

American New Year customs are very colorful and entertaining event. You can have fun at the dance parties which is one of the major celebrations on New Year eve. At the stroke of midnight all the Americans shares kisses and express their New Year greetings. This tradition came in existence from the masked ball which symbolizes evil spirits. It is believed that when you kiss it wades off the veil spirits and purifies the new beginning.

With the change of celebrating ways people have altered this tradition. They honk car horns to express the announcement of New Year party time. People blow paper blowers and whistles which is very exciting way of wishing happy new year!

Traditional American feast on new year

In the United States, it is believed that black-eyed beans are very lucky. It is American custom on New Year to prepare special dinner with different cuisines to gather for family feasts.

A special soul food with rice which is popularly called Hoppin’ John is consumed with black eyed beans. During the party people also, have cakes and champagne which is considered very auspicious.

South American New Year traditions

In South America, New Year is known as ‘Ano Viego’. People create fake person or dummies and it is placed outside the home. This scarecrow looking toy is stuffed with waste papers and fire crackers. The dummy is dressed like human and it is believed that this symbolized last year.

At the midnight, all the elders of the family set the dummies on fire. This depicts the wading off the old year and evils to welcome the new year. As, the dummy burns the firecrackers also go off to add sparkle and color. This is enjoyed by the children in America. Wish you all a very happy and festive New Year!

New Year Celebration In America

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New Year in United Kingdom – Traditions and Customs

January I is a big day in the lives of those living in United Kingdom, as it is the day of New Year. The tradition of celebrating New Year on January 1 according to Georgian calendar began officially in the year of 1752. People in United Kingdom eagerly wait for its arrival. When New Year actually arrives, they make sure to welcome it with lots of grandeur, cheer, and festivities.

New Year Celebrations in United Kingdom

New Year celebrations made in United Kingdom are grand, best, and one of its kind, which is very much evident by the number of tourists vesting the country during the time of New Year. Almost each major city in United Kingdom is hosting at least one major grand celebration event on New Year’s Eve. These events are now being celebrated since many years, and thus has become that essential part of the life without which no one might feel like being into a New Year. Most of these events usually have thousands of people gathering together, dancing together, celebrating together and cheering together to give a grand mutual welcome to the first few moments of New Year.

As a part of New Year celebrations in United Kingdom, anything and everything, from streets to buildings to towns and hills, is illuminated with vibrant lights. Lavish parties are thrown everywhere, with finest of food and drinks served to all those participating. It is well complimented by high energy music, and equally high energy people who incessantly dance to its tunes. Almost everyone remain engaged in one or the other club or house party, or a short trip, or any other New Year celebration event. Other than these, theme parties, salsa dance, live shows, and music concerts are some of the other fervent events of New Year in United Kingdom.

The most cheerful moment arrives at the stroke of midnight, when all people cheer out loud, whistle, and beat drums. People raise toasts, and wish one another with New Year wishes by hugging and kissing.

New Year Parade in United Kingdom

New Year parade is the biggest attraction of New Year celebrations in United Kingdom. It is organized in almost all major cities of UK. These parades go through various popular streets of the city. Many eminent and local performers participate in it. Being high on entertainment value and the vibrant festive environment it crates, almost everyone ensures to be a part of this gala. The biggest New Year parade is organized in Britain, which goes through the famous streets of Whitehall and Pall Mall, and concluding at Berkley Square. It initiates during the noon time, and everyone is invited to be a part of it. Parade has all sorts of performers from musicians, dancers, acrobats, magicians, drummers, etc. entertaining everyone all through the way of procession.

New Year Celebrations in Four Countries

United Kingdom is divided in four parts- England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Island. Among these, the initial four celebrate New Year. The major part of these celebrations is mostly similar.

New Year in England- England hosts prolific New Year parties which began on the evening of December 31 and go on till the dawn of New Year’s Day. Other than this, there is a tradition of organizing parades, and firecrackers show at midnight of the arrival of New Year.

There is a tradition according to which people keep the back door of their houses open to symbolize for their farewell to the old year. On the same lines, they expect a dark haired and young man to arrive at their threshold on New Year’s Day, as it is considered to symbolize for good luck in the coming year. They are made to carry salt, coal, and bread, which respectively symbolizes for abundance of money, warmth, and food in the coming year. However, arrival of a blonde, or a red haired, or a woman is considered to be the source of bad luck in the coming year. There is also a tradition of burning bush, which symbolizes for tearing down of all evils and bad lucks of the past.

New Year in Scotland- The New Year celebrations as hosted by Scotland can be undoubtedly called as one of the best and grandest celebrations of the world. In Scotland, New Year celebration is referred as ‘Hogmanay’, which is also the name of an oatmeal cake given to small children on New Year’s Eve. People in Scotland also follow the first footing tradition, similar to the way it is followed by the people of England.

New Year in Wales- In Wales, New Year’s Eve is referred as ‘Nos Galan’, and New Year Day is referred as ‘Dydd Calan’. There is a tradition of clearing all past debts before the arrival of New Year. On New Year’s Day, small children wake up early, gather as one, and make a visit to all the houses in neighborhood while singing New Year special songs. In turn, people confer them with sweets, cookies, pies, apples, and coins.

New Year Celebration in United Kingdom
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New Year In Ukraine – Traditions and Customs

Ranking among the most auspicious events celebrated across the world. New Year is celebrated by millions of people and brings people of all races, creeds, customs and ages together.

All countries celebrate the first day of the year in their own possible way. There is nothing more exciting than hosting parties among your relatives and friends. To make your party experience special, you can choose from a number of party themes or make your own innovative party idea.

Dining forms a major part of New Year parties. Some of the food items which are served New Year are cakes, confectionaries, fish, pork, legumes and so on. Red wine and white wine are very popular New Year drinks. Some of the major New Year party themes are:

Patriotic theme: One of the popular party themes for New Year, the patriotic theme symbolizes New Year according to your country’s customs and traditions. You can decorate your interior and exterior with small symbols and flags of your country and make wear traditional dresses. Local food is prepared as well.

Clock Theme: One of the enjoyable New Year party themes, the clock theme is wonderfully used to symbolize the coming year. You can make your invitations in gift boxes shaped as clocks and watches. Children can dress themselves as giant clocks and watches. Cakes shaped as watches are also served.

Celebrity theme: In this theme, people dress themselves as celebrities. You can choose the style of any celebrity you like and follow his or her hairstyle, dressing style, behaviors and so on. Celebrity fancy dress competitions are also held.

New Year Messages


New Year customs in Ukraine

If you love dancing with exhilarating foot tapping music, then a disco theme party is your perfect choice. Dance to the great disco music of the 70s, 80s and of today and have a great time with your friends and relatives. Wear polyester print disco shirts and disco suits and bell bottom trouser to bring that retro look. Decorate your party area with lights.

In addition to these, you can also organize other New Year party themes like stock hop party themes, slumber theme, fancy party themes, traditional party themes and lots. By making parties with these themes, you can enjoy with your dear and dear ones to the fullest degree.

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Top 10 New Year Traditions

As the Christmas celebrations draw a close, the New Year party arrangements start everywhere with people making preparations to usher in the year on a grand note. It is the time to bask in revelry and enjoy all the good things. Besides the usual arrangements and parties organized to welcome the New Year, there are also some interesting rituals observed during this time.

Here is a look at the top 10 New Year traditions.

1. First Footing Of A Male on the New Year Considered Auspicious- Europe

It is a common and a long-lived custom in Europe to allow the entry of a male person inside one’s home after the clock strikes midnight on the New Year. First footing is considered to be an old and popular European tradition of ringing in the New Year. A male with preferably dark hair is chosen for first footing as blondes are generally linked to Vikings. The common belief is that the first footer should bring gifts that symbolize good things such as bread for food, salt for flavor, coin for prosperity and whiskey to bring in good cheer at home. Anyone from the family can come forward to perform this ancient European custom but such a member should remain outside during the hours leading up to the midnight.

2. Predict The Future Of the Country By Looking At the Direction of the Wind-Ireland

Irish people check the direction of the wind blowing at midnight on New Year’s Eve to predict the political future of their country. This Irish tradition features among the most interesting New Year traditions in the world. Good fortune is believed to prevail in the New Year if the wind blows from the west. However, the intervention of British is expected in the year when the direction of the wind is from the east. Irish people also observe the tradition of exchanging mistletoe leaves to wash away the bad luck and it was used by single women to get hitched with handsome men. Knocking on the doors and windows with bread is considered to wipe out evil spirits and ensure prosperity for the New Year.

3. Organizing Spectacular Parties and Celebrations- Portugal

Portugal ushers in the New Year by lightning up the midnight sky with fireworks. In fact, a small Portugese island named Madeira has been awarded a place in the Guinness Book of Records for organizing the most unforgettable and highly pulsating New Year’s party. The capital city of Madeira- Funchal looks stunning with over thousands of fireworks being lighted up. Tourists from different parts of the world come to this city to revel in the electrifying atmosphere and celebrate New Year. Government also sponsors the fireworks to ensure that the New Year tradition is kept alive year after year.

4. People celebrate Hogmanay to Usher in the New Year-Scotland

New Year is the biggest holiday of the year in Scotland and people of this country give celebrations the name of Hogmanay. Visiting the house of dear ones is one of the New Year traditions followed dutifully by the Scottish people. First footing or being the first one to enter the house right after the clock strikes midnight on the eve of the New Year is a long-lived ritual of this country. Visitors carry a lump of coal to a friend’s or relative’s house when observing this tradition. Burning juniper branches and carrying them throughout the house is also a tradition carried out by many in Scotland.

5. Imperial Ball At Austria

Each New Year, a tradition of the Hapsburg dynasty is followed in Austria, whereby the dancers have to turn up in white gowns and black jackets. “The Blue Danube” is played at midnight and each New Year’s Day is welcomed with the performance of the Strauss operetta, “Die Fledermaus. Eating suckling pig is considered to bring in good luck in Austria and this interesting New Year tradition has continued for several years.

6. Roll Coconut And Get Rid of Evil Spirits-Puerto Rico

A ritual of rolling coconut around the house and later throwing it in ocean followed in Puerto Rico is featured in the one of the top most New Year traditions. Children also throw buckets of water outside the window at the stroke of midnight as a custom to wash away evil spirits. Frankincense and myrrh are burned inside the home to remove all negativity.

7. Preparations made to welcome New Year’s God- Japan

Another strange but a chief New Year ritual is observed in Japan, wherein people spent the entire day in making arrangements to welcome toshigami- considered to be the New Year’s god. Houses are cleaned and Kadomatsu or Shimenawa are cooked up to be offered to the God. Bells in the Buddhist temple, which represent 108 elements of bonno or defilements, are struck 108 times on midnight.

8. Emancipation Day For African Americans in The US

New Year holds a special meaning as it was on January 1, 1863 that the Emancipation Proclamation was read in Boston. The declaration freed the slaves from bondage and it is from then onwards that African- American families hold watch services on the New Year. It is often referred to as the Jubilee Day. The New Year celebration spans over seven days, beginning from December 26. It is a way of African-American people to connect with their roots.

9. Effigies are burnt on New Year’s Day- Ecuador

One of the unique New Year traditions followed in Ecuador is burning of effigies representing some political leaders or people who are disliked by the public. Effigies are made up of newspaper, straw and old clothes and stuffed with fire crackers. People gather together to burn the effigies at midnight. This tradition symbolizes burning of the evil spirits of the past year and embracing the New Year.

10. Arrangements for Musical Events And Bonfires To Welcome New Year -Iceland

People in Iceland set up bonfires throughout the country. Musical events, fun-filled shows and food tables are organized to usher in the New Year.

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New Year In Switzerland – Traditions and Customs

New Year celebrations across the world involve different traditions and customs. In every tradition, the main focus is on celebrating the end of a year and welcoming the beginning of a New Year with new hopes and promises.

In Switzerland as well, this is no different. In fact, there are some New Year customs in Switzerland, which despite being similar with other in other places, have their own unique Swiss touch. Celebrations in Switzerland begin on New Year eve, with a gathering of family and friends.

Ideally, there are no traditions dishes which are associated with New Year celebrations. However, many people prefer to celebrate this special occasion with sweets and desserts. Often families gather together to make the dishes, but buying from the store is also preferred in many places. Basically, making or buying the food at New Year it is all about convenience.

Traditionally, Swiss celebrate New Year twice in a year. The country follows the Julian calendar, so they celebrate New Year for a second time on 13th January. This day also marks Sylvester’s Day – a traditional day for exchanging gifts and dining with the family. During the festive season, Swiss take to the streets in colorful costumes and perform the symbolic ceremony of chasing away sprits. The great thing about this second celebration is that, if you cannot be in the country on 31st December, you can still take part and witness the celebrations in 13th January.

New Year Celebrations in Switzerland

Some of the festivities witnessed around this time are pretty much similar to what you can see in other places. Live music, extravagant display of fireworks and free flowing drinks, are some of them. The New Year celebrations at the banks of the River Limmat and Lake Zurich attract more than 150,000 people every year. The festivities here feature ringing of the church bells at midnight and illuminating the sky with spectacular fireworks.

If you like to celebrate New Year well into the night, the city of Zurich is an ideal choice. Here, the live music pauses only for the fireworks, and then runs till 3 in the morning. The city has excellent public transport services, which can be used by revelers to go back to their hotels. You will enjoy the wonderful New Year celebrations here, with family and friends. Apart from these two cities, other places in Switzerland also see exciting festivities around this time.

New Year Vacations in Switzerland

Many people prefer to welcome the New Year in Switzerland. And why not, Switzerland is a beautiful country and this comes out in the fore, during the winter season. Every year thousand of tourists head over to the Swiss cities to take part and see the celebrations there. During this time, you will find snow everywhere and this is one of the charms of being in Switzerland at that time. However, you must remember that there is more to celebrating New Year in Switzerland than the snows. There are many interesting New Year traditions in Switzerland, which have been followed for years.

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New Year in Sweden – Traditions and Customs

Sweden, the Northern European country, celebrates New Year on January 1. New Year in Sweden is considered to be the perfect time for everyone to have some enthralling time, and thus everyone ensure to celebrate it with splendor and joy.

One gets to see the true spirit and the essence of New Year, when people even in the extreme cold conditions, come out of their houses to mark their cheer and happiness, and to ensure a grand welcome to the New Year.

It is just because of their belief for New Year, and their consideration of it as an important time and festival of their country, that people of Sweden engage in lots of grand celebrations, which are full of fervor and flourish.

New Year Celebrations in Sweden

During the time of the New Year, most of the Sweden, in particularly the southern part, goes through unconscionable cold climatic conditions. In such weather, people do tend to come out covered up all over from head to toe, and never miss a chance to let down few extra pegs of champagne down through their throat. They love to have their New Year celebrations to be intensely prolific, modern, and flamboyant.

It is easy to find many who are planning to be a part of New Year Eve parties, which reflect less of the local culture and are more of an evidence of the adopted continental lifestyle. New Year celebrations are also more about spending time with friends, rather than members of the family, which otherwise is outright reserved during the time of preceding Christmas time. New Year celebrations begin on New Year’s Eve and go on the whole night to conclude in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

With the arrival of the moment of New Year, people cheer out loud with whatever they have. Their natural senses, car horns, whistling talent, church bells, or drum beats, all live their vibrant moment as soon as clock turns twelve at midnight. The fireworks show complements them, when they distribute colors and lights over the night sky of Sweden. According to beliefs, it is a way with which evil spirits are swayed away.

Traditional New Year Celebrations in Sweden

Apart from the conventional celebrations, one also gets to see a loyal implementation of customs and traditions in New Year celebrations. There is a tradition of eating twelve grapes on the midnight of the New Year. Also, there is another tradition of eating chocolate with fritters at the end of the celebrations. On the occasion of New Year, people make sure to dress up best and preferably in newly bought clothes. Also, it is ensured to have clean and tidy house, preferably with finest tablecloth, dinnerware, and candles.

The dinner as planned for the day saw everyone sitting, eating, cheering, and celebrating the moment. It is considered as a symbol of good luck and prosperity to have black-eyed peas and legumes as a part of New Year dish. Discussions are made over the year that went, and the year that has to come. With clock ringing twelve at midnight, all those present either by an announcement in public or in their hearts, promises to be a better human being in the coming year. Some also make resolutions, with the most common being is to get rid of any bad habit, say smoking, excessive drinking, or to achieve something, say lose weight, make savings, etc. However, it is not necessarily firmly followed by everyone, at least not for an entire year. Though, there are exceptions, which are difficult to found.

There is a tradition of Ano Viejo, as a part of which an effigy is prepared in the dress of a scarecrow, and is covered up with newspapers and is equipped with firecrackers. It represents for all the evil and bad things iof the past. At midnight, it is burnt, and people cheer and celebrate in joy.

There is a ritual of chiming bells and speaking out a New Year verse to the nation on New Year’s Eve. It occurs in the Skansen open-air museum, and is live telecasted to the entire nation. This is prominently important as a majority of the Sweden population find it to be too difficult to break their solitary their warm winter rugs, which cause them to have their New Year celebrations over their beds or sofas, with a TV at fore. However, there are some who prefer to let the cold air touch their skin, and thus, they move out to have a live view of the fireworks show.

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Strange traditions around the world to mark the New Year

The diversity of our world is evident also in the traditions that mark the arrival of a brand New Year. People round the world have their unique beliefs and customs to usher in the New Year.

But across the globe, one thing remains constant – all the rituals are observed to eradicate everything that is inauspicious and welcome all that is positive for the upcoming months. After all, the beginning of a New Year is always full of hope and positivity!

Romania – Bear Dance:

In Romania, the Bear Dance is a common custom to ring in the New Year. People wear masks of bears which are considered to be the iconic animal of the forest in Romania to participate in the dance. This is believed to scare away all that is evil

North Carolina – Possum Drop:

In North Carolina it is the custom to capture a possum (a nocturnal animal) and put it in a cage, and then that cage is lowered to mark the advent of the New Year. The possum is then released. Proper State and Federal license are obtained for the capture and handling of the animal. PETA argued about scaring and wrecking the health of the captured possum, but the ritual was allowed to stay on by the court of law stating that the whole thing is done with much care.

Pennsylvania – Pickle Drop:

In Pennsylvania each year the advent of the New Year is marked by dropping a three feet tall papier-mâché pickle down a forty five feet tall flagpole into a nicely preserved redwood pickle tank. Thousands of people gather to watch the event.

Germany – Lead Drop:

Molybdomancy for New Year is a common tradition in many Nordic countries including Germany. Apart from enjoying mulled wine and fireworks, the Germans have hold on to the tradition of melting lead to predict the upcoming year. A little amount of the metal is taken in a spoon and held on a source of heat. When it is molten, it is poured in a bowl or bucket full of ice cold water. The metal hardens to take a shape. The German believe that this shape is indicative of how the New Year would turn out for them. A broken or fragile shape depicts misfortune; keys represent advancement in career; bubble promise prosperity; etc.

South Africa – Furniture Drop:

Stemming out of the concept of starting afresh in the New Year, it is a common custom in South Africa to throw furniture from windows or balconies to celebrate the New Year. This custom is celebrated most in the Hillsboro district of Johannesburg where even fridges, microwaves, beds and other similar objects are reported to be thrown out. The police are trying to curb the practice to avoid accidents.

Atlanta – Peach Drop:

This is the largest New Year’s Eve event organized in Atlanta by Underground Atlanta. This sixteen hour long carnival begins at noon with fun activities for children. The climax is reached in the midnight when a fiberglass peach weighing 800 lbs is dropped from the top of a tower of lights that is 138 feet high. This peach drop is then followed by fireworks.

Switzerland – Ice cream Drop:

The Swiss people consider it to bring in prosperity if they drop ice cream on the floor on the New Year’s Eve, although some groups of activists have voiced out their concern about the wastage. People, especially children, also have fun throwing scoops of ice cream on each other.

Puerto Rico – Bucket Drop:

In Puerto Rico people throw out buckets of water from their windows on the New Year’s Eve. This they believe would take with it all the bad omens from their home to make way for the good omens to arrive in the New Year. This also marks cleaning their homes and also their Spirits to mark the New Year.

Wisconsin – Carp Drop:

People from near and far gather in Wisconsin to experience the Carp Drop on the New Year’s Eve creating a huge rush of visitors in hotels, eateries and even shops. A dead carp, weighing between 25 and 30 pounds, that is caught locally is frozen for the occasion. This Carp is nicknames as Lucky. On the day, it is partially thawed and lowered on to a throne. This event is then followed by fireworks.

Spain – Eating Lucky Grapes:

The shape round that resembles a coin is considered to be a mark of prosperity. As such, to welcome the New Year, people in Spain eat 12 grapes, one for each of the months of the upcoming New Year. They believe that this would usher in good fortune and prosperity.

Scotland – Barrel Rolling:

To mark the passage of the old year, people in Scotland set fire to barrels of tar and then roll them down the streets. This symbolizes burning away all that is old to make way for the New Year.

Denmark – Broken Plates:

Danish people believe in counting the number of loyal friends they have as the New Year begins. People collect crockery round the year to smash them in front of the front doors of their neighbors or friends on the New Year’s Eve. On the New Year’s Day people revel at the heap of broken crockery at their front door. People believe that the larger the heap the more is the number of loyal friends and well wishers.

Ecuador – Burning all that is old:

Ecuador believes in ushering in their New Year by burning out all that is old. This includes pictures that mean something to them from the past year. People gather in the streets to mark this ritual together. Paper made scarecrows are also burnt for the same purpose.

South America – Sporting bright colored underwear:

People in some parts of South America believe that the color choice they make of the underwear they would sport on the New Year’s Day would be linked to their fate in the upcoming year. They believe that white would stand for peace and happiness, pink resembles love, red is the color of passion, yellow or golden color would usher in prosperity, so on and so forth.

Japan – Ringing 108 Bells:

In Japan New Year traditions include the chiming of the temple bells for 108 times. This custom arises out of the Buddhist belief that in his journey towards worldly happiness human beings are fallible to 108 kinds of sins. Each of the bells represent one of the sins and the sound of the bells remind people of the sins and warns them to stay away from those sins in the New Year.

Peru – Takanakuy Festival:

An interesting New Year tradition in Peru is to fight with their neighbors or fellow friends. This custom is known by the name of Takanakuy. This is a way to resolve the disputes between all people and starting the New Year with a clean slate and goodwill towards all.

Romania – Coin Flip:

In Romania people believe that if you toss a coin into the water where you wash your hands at the beginning of the New Year, fortune will stay with you all round the year and you shall be blessed with more money. In earlier times when silver and gold coins were used as currency, people even tossed them in their neighborhood rivers or other water bodies.

Chile – Sleepover at the cemetery:

In Chile, people believe that on the New Year’s Eve their deceased ancestors wait for them in the cemeteries. As such they go to the cemeteries to reunite with them on the joyous occasion of the New Year. As people wait for the stroke of midnight ambient music keeps them company.

Belgium – Whispering to the Cattle:

When the society was primarily agrarian, it was often the custom for people to attach utmost importance to their cattle. A healthy flock of cattle would ensure better farming leading to a prosperous New Year. Stemming from this concept, people whisper good wishes to the cattle in the New Year, for they believed that their prosperity in the coming year depended upon the wellbeing of their cattle.

Panama – Burning Effigy:

People in Panama believe that if they burn an effigy at the onset of the New Year, it would scare away all that is negative and bad. The burning also symbolizes eradication of all the not so good things that happened in the year going away. It also represents burning away any sin committed in the year gone by. The ritual as such symbolizes starting afresh.

Philippines – Wearing Polka Dots:

In Philippines, people believe that the shape round is a mark of prosperity. As such to bring in more wealth and worldly pleasures to their life in the New Year, it is a common custom for people there to wear garments or accessories with polka dots on the New Year’s Day or on the New Year’s Eve. They also carry coins in their pockets and eat round fruits like oranges.

Ireland – Mistletoe under pillow:

The Irish people consider it to usher in love to their life if they sleep with a twig of mistletoe under their pillow on the New Year’s Eve. Some people also use branches of holly or ivy. This is especially followed by single people in the hope to find the love of their life in the New Year.

Brazil – Offering to the Sea Goddess:

In Brazil, people pray to the Sea Goddess Yemanja hoping that all their wishes would come true in the New Year. Some people simply make an offering of white flowers. Some others make offerings of little things of female vanity like perfume, combs, jewelry, cosmetics etc. Some people beautifully decorate these objects and place them on a small wooden boat and then set the boat afloat.

Columbia – Carrying a Suitcase:

In Columbia people carry with them a suitcase on the New Year’s Day in the hope that they shall have the scope to travel far and wide in the New Year.

Mass Kissing – Venice, Italy:

Venice keeps up to its reputation of being the City of Romance as thousands of people gather over the Basin of St. Mark in Venice on the New Year’s Eve to kiss in the New Year in the Piazza.

More New Year Traditions