The clock strikes midnight on January the 1st. Happy New Year! In most countries, celebrations taking place to usher in a brand-new year couldn’t be more unique.
Here are some bizarre ways different corners of the globe celebrate New Year’s:
Spaniards will eat exactly 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight to honour the tradition that started in the late 19th century. The tradition started in the 1800s by vine growers in the Alicante area. This was a means to sell more grapes towards the end of the year. Today, locals enjoy eating a grape to represent the first 12 bell strikes after midnight in the hope it will bring good fortune and prosperity in the new year.
In Scotland, New Year’s Eve is considered an extremely important day with the official name, Hogmanay. One of the most famous traditions the Scottish observe is first footing. It is believed that a male with dark hair should be the first person to cross through the threshold of your house after midnight to bring you good luck in the coming year.
Traveling to Brazil to celebrate New Year’s? Don’t be surprised when you come across the oceans covered with white flowers. Its common practice in the South American country to go to the shores to make an offering to Yemoja. She is said to control the seas. The flowers are used to elicit her blessings for the new year.
In Russia, it’s considered a Russian holiday tradition for two divers, fondly known as, Father Frost and the Ice Maiden to venture into the world’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Baikal. The divers take a New Year Tree along with them. The temperature is normally well below freezing on New Year’s Eve, but that doesn’t stop travels from all over the world in partaking in the frozen event.
On New Year’s Eve, festive activities in Ecuador are LIT! Literally, they are lit up by bonfires. Effigies are at the center of these bonfires. They represent pop culture icons, politicians, and other figures from the previous year. This burning practice is called, “año Viejo,” or “old year”. Held at the end of every year to cleanse the world and to make room for the good to come.
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