As we approach New Year’s Eve, planning our parties and Auld Lang Synes to bring in 2018, we thought we’d take a look at some of the New Year traditions and celebrations from across the world. No business angle today, just a lighthearted piece wishing all our clients a Happy New Year.
Celebrating the dawn of a new year is something most cultures look forward to but not always how we’d expect. Some people throw bread, burn scarecrows while others fist fight for good luck. Take a look at these New Year traditions from around the world. Some might really surprise you!
New Year Traditions From Around The World
England: For good fortune in the new year, Brits believe the first guest to enter the front door should be a young, dark-haired male bearing gifts such as bread (to be full), salt (to be wealthy) and coal (to stay warm).
Spain: As the clock counts down to midnight, Spaniards are faced with eating 12 grapes; one for every ring of the bell. If you succeed you’ll have good luck for the year ahead.
Romania: The first of two traditions include farmers trying to understand their animals. If successful, they believe it brings good fortune for the New Year. The second tradition is dressing up as bears to chase away evil spirits. According to Romanian stories, bears are special and able to protect and heal.
In Germany lead is considered to be auspicious. They pour molten lead into cold water and then read the shape that is formed to predict the future. Heart shapes symbolise marriage, flower shape could mean a secret admirer, round shapes denote good luck where a cross signifies someone’s demise. A similar tradition is also celebrated in Finland.
China: The Chinese have a unique way of celebrating New Year. They paint the front door of their house red which symbolises happiness and good fortune. They also hide all the knives for the day so no-one can cut themselves as that could bring bad luck to the entire family.
In Japan and South Korea they ring all their bells 108 times. This tradition is aligned with the Buddhist belief that it brings cleanness. It’s also considered good to be smiling going into the New Year as it also means good luck.
United States of America: Quite possibly one of the most publicised New Year’s Eve events is the ‘ball drop’ in Time Square (New York). In a tradition since 1907, a special ball is dropped at 11:59pm EST amidst the cheers of millions. Another tradition is NFL (National Football League) games on New Year’s Eve. American Football events are broadcasted across the country where many Americans prefer to relax at home and enjoy the games with friends and family.
Peru: The annual Peruvian festival, Takanakuy, literally means ‘when the blood is boiling’. Competitors face off in a ring for a round of bare-knuckle fighting overseen by local policemen. It may seem brutal but apparently, all of the fights are friendly and represent a fresh start for the New Year.
In other South American countries such as Mexico, Bolivia and Brazil, your fortunes for the year ahead are decided by your underwear. Those who want to find love wear red for New Year whilst those looking for wealth and luck, wear yellow. If you’re after some peace in New Year, white underpants should do the trick.
For a few more strange and interesting New Year traditions, watch the video below.
New Year traditions are fascinating especially when you consider those unfamiliar to your own culture. No matter how or when you celebrate your New Year’s Eve, everyone here at Space Centre Self Storage would like to wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year!