It would not be a stretch to say that people the world over are eagerly anticipating the year 2022, after spending two years under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many countries may have cancelled large-scale events and parties to usher in the new year, due to the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, but new year customs, often weird ones, remain around the world.
Here are 10 unusual New Year's Eve traditions around the world that you may not have heard off:
The 12 grapes of luck - Spain
In Spain, one New year's tradition is to eat 12 grapes - one for every strike of the clock until midnight, to ensure prosperity. The taste of the grape - sweet or sour - is also believed to predict what the year will bring. The tradition is said to have originated in 1909 when a Spanish region has an exceptionally good grape harvest.
Smashing plates - Denmark
The Danish save unused plates all year round, and on the 31st of December every year, they smash the plates and crockery against the doors of their neighbours and family to bring them good luck for the year ahead. It is believed that the bigger the pile of broken plates, the more friends and good luck one will have in the coming year.
Scarecrow burning – Ecuador
In Ecuador, people build scarecrow-like effigies (called año viejo) of politicians, pop stars, or other notable figures, using old clothes stuffed with newspaper or sawdust, with a mask fitted on top. These effigies are then set on fire when the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve, a tradition that is believed to banish any ill-fortune from the previous year.
Wearing colourful underwear - Latin America
In Latin American countries like Mexico, Bolovia, and Brazil, your fortune for the new year is determined by the colour of your underpants. If you are looking for love, wear red, and yellow if u yearn for wealth. Wearing white is believed to bring peace and harmony.
Mistletoe and bread – Ireland
In Ireland, single women sometimes place mistletoe, a berry associated with fertility in European mythology, under their pillows, before burning it in a fire the next day, with hopes of finding love in the new year. Another tradition in the country involves banging bread against the walls and doors to ward off bad luck and evil spirits.
108 rings – Japan
Buddhist temples all over Japan welcome the Japanese New Year (Oshogatsu) by ringing 108 bells at midnight, to dispel the 108 evil passions that all humans have. Usually, 107 bells are rung before the stroke of midnight, while the 108th bell is run after the new year is born. It is believed that this tradition will cleanse humans of their sins from the previous year.
Round Things – Philippines
The Filipinos surround themselves with all things round (to represent coins and wealth), as they hope for a more prosperous and wealthy year ahead. Besides, they also eat grapes and constantly jangle the coins they keep in their pockets, and wear clothes with polka dots, among others.
Tossing furniture out of the window - Italy
In parts of Italy, such as naple, it is a tradition to throw old, unwanted furniture out of balconies to symbolize a fresh start for the year ahead. To prevent injuries from objects falling from the sky, most locals have resorted to throwing only small, soft objects from their balconies. This custom is also practised in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Tossing paper out of the window - Argentina
The Argentinians have a much less dangerous way of displaying their 'out with the old, in with the new' concept. They throw shredded old documents and papers out of their window to look like confetti. According to custom, all the paper must be shredded before the stroke of midnight, to symbolize leaving the past behind.
Talking to animals - Romania
This may be the oddest tradition in the list, yet. Farmers in the country are said to spend their New Year trying to communicate with their livestock, and if at all they succeed, good luck will come their way.
So there you go, some of the most unusual New Year's traditions around the world. Which one do you think is the oddest, and what do you think the tradition in Malaysia is?
Source: countryliving.com, travel.earth
Photo source: pexels
Fri Dec 31 2021
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