Tuesday, December 27, 2022 / by Sonya Reiselt
Celebrating the New Year is a long-held tradition in the U.S. and is ushered in in many ways across our country. Fireworks, parties, home gatherings with family and friends, galas, and more. But in other countries around the world, some traditions are a little more intriguing. Let’s take a closer look.
Brazil- Throwing white flowers into the ocean
In an effort to illicit blessings from Yemoja, the major water deity who is believed to control the seas, Brazilians flock to the shores on New Year’s Eve to throw white flowers and place candles in the water.
Chile- Sitting in Cemeteries
It is commonplace in Chile to attend New Year’s Eve mass in cemeteries and not at church. This is so people can relax and spend time with their loved ones and include them in New Year’s Eve festivities.
Denmark- Smashing Dishes
Would you like more luck in the upcoming year? Well, if you’re in Denmark then you’re going to be smashing dishes. It is a Danish tradition to throw China at your neighbors' and friends front doors on New Year’s Eve. It is believed that you are leaving any ill will or aggression behind you before entering the new year. The bigger the pile outside your own front door, the more luck you’ll have in the new year.
Ecuador- Burning Scarecrows
Here is a HOT tradition…quite literally! In Ecuador, they have bonfires with an effigy at the center- most representing politicians, pop icons, and other figures from the year that is ending. These ‘burnings’ are meant to cleanse the world from all the bad from the past 12 months and make room for all the good that is set to come.
Germany- Pour some Lead
As tradition would have it in Germany, each person melts a small piece of lead or tin over an open-flame candle and pours it into a container of cold water. It is said that the shape it forms reveals the person’s fate for the upcoming year. This unique activity is known as Bleigießen.
Greece- Smashing a Pomegranate
A pomegranate in Greece is a symbol of fertility, life, and abundance, so modern-day Greeks associate it with good fortune. Therefore, every New Year’s Eve it is tradition for Greeks to smash a pomegranate against their front door. The number of pomegranate seeds that end up scattered is directly related to the amount of good luck to follow in the new year.
Ireland- Sleeping on Mistletoe
That might get a little picky, but in Ireland, sleeping with Mistletoe under their pillows for the single gals is supposed to help them find their future husbands.
Italy- Wearing Red Underwear
In Italian culture, red is associated with fertility. On New Year’s Eve, many Italians wear red underwear hoping it will help them conceive in the new year.
Scotland- First Footing
New Year’s Eve is extremely important in Scotland, in fact, it is called Hogmanay. While many Scottish traditions are observed on this day, one stands out among the rest. It’s called First Footing. What is it? Simply put it is the first person who crosses the threshold of your house after midnight. But there is a catch. That person should be a dark-haired male if you want good luck in the upcoming year! Better yet if this dark-haired male comes bearing gifts of coal, salt, shortbread & whiskey! These ensure better fortune.
Spain- Eating Grapes
In Spain, locals will eat 12 grapes, 1 each after the first 12 bell strikes after midnight. This is to bring about good fortune and prosperity in the new year. This tradition started back in the 1800s with the Alicante area vine growers as a means of selling more grapes.
The Netherlands- Eating lots of Oliebollen
This one is a wee bit strange, to say the least, but this Dutch tradition goes back to the Germanic Goddess of Perchta, also known as the Belly Slitter. It was believed that if they filled their bellies with these pieces of deep-fried dough, the fat from the donuts would cause her sword to slide off of them and she wouldn’t be able to slit their bellies. Why would she do this in the first place? It was a so-called punishment for people who hadn’t sufficiently partaken in the Yuletide cheer. Today, Dutch vendors all over sell this yummy deep-fried donut-like ball for all to enjoy.
Turkey- Sprinkling Salt
It’s not just a seasoning, in Turkey and other countries around the world, it is believed that if you sprinkle salt on your doorstep as the clock strikes midnight, you’ll promote peace and prosperity throughout the new year.
However you choose to usher in the New Year, we wish you a safe and happy time celebrating!
Remember, this is a brand-new beginning, a chance to create your own story from page 1. Create the best one you can!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! WELCOME, 2023!!
Referene: Best Life Online- Global New Years Eve Traditions.