As we get ready to reign in the new year, all over the world people will be preparing to participate in various rituals and traditions to welcome the start of the new year. Many of these traditions form part of various religious beliefs. Moreover, many customs take place on New Year’s Eve as it’s believed to bring good fortune and prosperity in the new year. For those who have given up on making new year’s resolutions, there are a few other customs that you could try out, some bizarre and unconventional and others are as simple as eating a bunch of grapes. Have look at some of the New Year’s Eve traditions from around the world.
In countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia and many more, people believe that good fortune is determined by the colour of your underpants worn on New Year’s Eve. For instance, those looking to find love in the new year wear red underwear, whilst those looking to attract money and wealth wear yellow underpants, the list is endless.
On New Year’s Eve in Japan, it's customary to ring bells 108 times, which is also a common Buddhist tradition and is believed to get rid of all human sins. In addition, the Japanese believe that everyone should be in a joyful mood on New Year’s Eve – sounds easy enough.
In Peru, the new year reigns in with an annual Takanakuy festival whereby people engage in physical fights. The word Takanaukuy means ‘when the blood is boiling’. Therefore, Peruvians and many others face off in a ring for a round of bare-knuckle fighting. The fights are supervised by a policeman and are said to be completely friendly encounters which represent a fresh start for the new year.
Eating 12 Grapes
12 grapes for 12 bell rings. Sound bizarre? Well, a popular tradition in Spain is eating 12 grapes to match the 12 bell rings that are rng on New Year’s Eve. The tradition goes, if you succeed at eating a grape for every ring of the bell, you will have good luck for the new year.
One of the most common traditions around the world is to break plates either to ‘break the bad luck’ or to celebrate a new union. However, in Denmark, the breaking of plates is an annual tradition to celebrate the new year. Citizens all over Denmark save up their unused plates all year long and gather at their doorsteps with friends and family to smash the plates and welcome the new year.
Who knew round would be the most popular shape? Strange enough, in the Philippines it certainly is and for a good reason. People use all things round to represent the shape of coins on the days leading up to the new year. This includes round foods, clothes, etc. It is believed that it will potentially bring those who practice this tradition, good fortune, wealth and prosperity in the New Year.
There are dozens of beliefs and rituals believed to banish bad luck and ill fortune but in Ecuador, they believe in one tradition only and that is the burning of a scarecrow. On New Year’s Eve, hundreds and thousands of Ecuadorians set fire to scarecrows at midnight along with burning pictures and anything that represents the past year. So, if you’ve been struggling to shake your bad luck off, why not try to burn it?
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HAPPY NEW YEAR!