New Year is a time for new beginnings where just a simple change of calendars has a miracle of bringing joy in the lives of billions of people. People embrace the New Year and bid goodbye to the previous year. We as humans anticipate great and good things for us in the New Year and always plan on making the best of the coming year. Whether the previous year has given us some scars or some of the most precious moments of our lives; we tend to welcome the New Year with the expectations that the life ahead will be free from all worries and will double and quadruple the joy in our lives.
Needless to say that in this huge and vast world there are things which are considered crazy and weird for many while they are thought as sane by many others. There is a difference when it comes to how people dress in various parts of the world; how they talk differently and also the different things they eat and the list can be quite long. There are a lot of differences in the day to day lives of the people when we compare people from different places. So it is but obvious that their customs must also be different and even if they are same; it is not necessary that they celebrate it in the same way. And since it is the time of New Year; let us just focus on various things that people do in different parts of the world to celebrate and welcome their New Year:
Since we know that it is a vast world and we all know that not every where people celebrate new year’s arrival in the same way; so here we bring to you 10 weird New Year traditions all over world:
30. Coin Tossing (Romania)
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We are all familiar with the concept of wishing wells and so far we have never considered those stories to be true or at least these were never taken seriously by people known to us. But here in Romania there is a tradition of throwing the spare coins in the river in order to have good luck in the New Year. Apart from throwing coins in the river; there are centuries old traditions and customs in Romania that are followed since centuries. Children also sing traditional carols like “Pluguşorul” and “Sorcova” which are the carols wishing good luck, success and happiness to everyone.
29. Throwing Water Buckets (Puerto Rico)
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At one time or other we all have heard something about non cooperating and troubling neighbors who throw the water away from their buildings that causes inconvenience to others. Now consider this as a massive scenario where everyone is throwing water in buckets everywhere on the roads from their buildings. Well this is the case in Puerto Rico where people throw buckets filled with water out of their windows which means you have to be a bit more careful than other days while using roads there on New Year. The reason people follow this custom every New Year is because they believe that it drives the evil spirits away.
28. Pancakes’ Time (France)
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France is famous for many reasons and for people like us staying in faraway lands from this beautiful country; the only thing most of us might have heard of is Eiffel Tower. But of course there is more to this country and that includes its delicious cuisines including sweets and all. But French are quite particular about one thing on their New Year and that being the use of Pancakes. New Year in France has one thing in common and that is consuming a stack of pancakes as the traditional meal.
Apart from this there is also a flat pastry cake which is made of two sheets of puff pastry. This is called la galette des rois and it is filled with frangipane (almond paste). Between the sheets in the cake there is also a small china doll which is known as fève and as according to the New Year traditions; whoever finds it gets a chance of becoming king or queen and wearing a gold crown made of paper. Also he/she gets to chose his/her partner.
27. Suitcases Suit New Year (Colombia)
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If you love to travel around the world or at least if you wish to do so along with the fact that you are not a skeptic person; you might want to pay attention to this one. There is a tradition in Colombia for New Year that includes taking out the empty suitcase or trolley bag and walking with it in the block. This is supposed to bring a year that is filled with travelling experiences. New Year traditions in Colombia also include wearing new clothes and listening to the popular music while enjoying fireworks. People there also enjoy eating grapes with every stroke of clock until the clock strikes midnight.
26. Disposal of Furniture (South Africa)
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South Africa is a place that doesn’t attract that much of tourism and it is the kind of the country that doesn’t always stay in news. But one thing that can make news in South Africa is their New Year Tradition. In various parts of South Africa; it is customary to throw away the used and the old furniture out of their windows on New Year. Piece of Advice: if you don’t like it you can always sell it why bother the toll of throwing it away.
25. Fire Balls (Scotland)
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Well this one is definitely a tradition that can be used as a stunt in the shows like Fear Factor. This tradition is better known as Hogmanay and it has a bit of a Scottish flair with it. In this tradition which takes place on 31st of December; men parade out in the streets holding the hot and blazing balls of fire. There they keep swinging these balls over their heads which is actually considered as a means of bringing purification and sunshine to the people doing so.
24. Melted Metal Predictions (Finland)
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In Finland; there is a tradition of throwing the melted metal in the cold waters. This Finnish tradition is called Molybdomancy where tin or lead is melted in the small pans on the stove and once it melts then it is thrown in the cold water bucket. And once the blob is made as a result of this; the blob is analyzed. The analysis includes interpreting the shadows that it casts with the sunlight. Though the tradition itself is quite old; it is never taken too seriously by people too and is done with the only intention of keep doing things that need to be done.
23. Lights and Cabinets (Philippines)
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Philippines has numerous New Year traditions that are weird to a large extent and just when you thought that you have read almost everything related to that; there comes more to surprise you. In Philippines; there is a New Year tradition of turning on all of the lights of the house and this is done with the intention of warding off the evil spirits. Another tradition include opening up all the cabinets, windows and doors of the house and afterwards running in order to shut them as soon as it hits midnight.
22. First Foot for New Year (Scotland)
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In Scotland; there is a tradition that as soon as the bell rings; it also marks the start of first footing. First footing is actually the tradition where a person is the first one to enter the threshold the houses of their friends and families. Main thing about it is that it is never done empty handed as it is believed that the first foot must always bring with him some gift that may include a coin, whisky, coal, salt or bread. All these things represent prosperity, good cheer, warmth, flavor and food respectively.
21. Kissing Your Love (America)
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Love life is one of the main worries of the youngsters and this New Year Tradition is mainly dedicated for them. It is believed that if with the arrival of New Year at midnight, you kiss your loved one (boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife); the coming year is supposed to bring a smooth love life for you. Even if one is not engaged or seeing someone at the time; people often try to kiss someone at midnight in order to have a beautiful year ahead that is filled with love and life. We can see this tradition in many sitcoms like Friends, HIMYM and there is also a movie based on the very same ritual named as “In Search of a Midnight Kiss”.
20 Twelve Grapes (Spain)
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It is one thing to show love to a particular type of fruit (especially if the fruit is used to make wine!); but making it a part of the New Year ritual is different thing. So here in Spain people tend to stuff their mouth with 12 grapes at the same time; and if they can be successful in doing so, it certainly means that the good luck awaits them in the New Year. If local stories are to be believed; this was started in the last decade of 18th century when local vine growers started this custom in order to celebrate and boost the sales of the grapes which faced the excellent harvest that year.
19. 108 Rings (Japan)
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It would be surprising to know that New Year is a bigger deal in Japan than in other countries since it is the time that citizens take from their hectic life in order to relax with the friends and the families. At every single city and place in Japan; on New Year’s eve you will hear the sound of bells ringing in Buddhist Temples for 108 times. People believe that it makes them get rid of their sins and worldly desires. 107 bells are rung on the midnight of the 31st December and the one is rung past midnight. Not only this; but they also eat Buckwheat Noodles on New Year’s Eve which is called Toshikoshi Soba in Japanese.
18. Takanakuy Festival (Peru)
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Now when Japanese are busy ringing the bells on New Year’s Eve; People in Chumbivilcas Province in Peru welcome New Year by fighting. This fist fight is actually their way of settling their differences so that they can step in to the New Year on good notes. Like every other fight there are rules and judges to this fight too and opponents either hug or shake hands at the beginning and the end of the fights. Suddenly the bull fighting doesn’t seem the craziest thing in Spain, Right?
17. Dropping Ice Creams (Switzerland)
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It is one of the most beautiful places on earth and it would be horrible if they didn’t have a unique way of their own when it comes to New Year celebrations. And for that, people in Switzerland follow a custom in which they are supposed to drop Ice creams on the floors while they are celebrating the New Year. Not that much weird but yeah; it may be a bit hard for foodies to do so.
16. Dressing White and Jumping Seven Waves (Brazil)
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Brazil is a place for party and we all agree with that without any argument; but it may surprise you that people in Brazil tend to wear white if they celebrate their New Year’s Eve on beaches. The common belief to do is that it is said to be scaring the bad spirits away. Not only this but on the day of New Year people jump over seven waves with the belief that it will be bringing them good luck for the coming year.
15. Happy New Year Cow! (Belgium)
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Loving your livestock is a good trait for a farmer but loving them so much that you go and wish them a Happy New Year is a bit weird. In Belgium; farmers go and wish their cows Happy New Year. Apart from that; they celebrate their New Year in a normal way with their beloved one eating and drinking and enjoying fireworks. But if the cow doesn’t wishes you back; you must not mind that
14. Jump into the New Year (Denmark)
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Often it is considered risky to jump into something we don’t know about; well, that ought to make it risky since we don’t know anything about the future year. In Denmark; people actually climb on top of the chairs and as a symbol of stepping in to the New Year; they jump from their chairs while saying Happy New Year. And it is not completely senseless since it is supposed to bring good luck for you in the future.
13. Wearing Colorful Underwear (Bolivia, Brazil and Mexico)
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If we have to list down all the common things between Bolivia, Mexico and Brazil; I am sure we will get one strange and quite weird custom they all follow on the New Year. The residents of these 3 countries wear colorful underpants on New Year since they believe it will catch good luck for them. For example; to attract and achieve success in love life; one must wear red colored underwear while yellow underwear is used for achieving wealth and money.
12. Occasion New Year Party, Place: Cemetery (Chile)
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Well if you get a card with details like this; just understand that it has come from Chile. This one is not so old a custom since it finds its roots in 1995. People believe that their loved ones who have passed away wait for them while resting in cemetery and they must begin the New Year with them. So the gates of the Cemetery are opened by the Mayor of the Town at sharp 11 PM and people celebrate there with blinking lights and very soft classical music.
11. Dinner for One (Germany)
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Imagine if each and every passing year you have to watch the same show or program on TV and that too on the New Year. That is something that Germans do; they actually watch the British show “Dinner for One” every year and enjoy it and it has been decades since they are doing so. And if you think that they done enjoy it; you are as wrong as you ever can be since they love this tradition. All the shows with their high TRPs and all must be jealous after they come to know about such an impact of a show on the lives of so many people in a country; right?
10. Sweet Coins (Bolivia)
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The best way to eat a delicious cake is close your eye and savor the taste of the cake in your mouth as long as you can. But let us be cautious while eating cake in Bolivia on New Year. Reason for that being that the cakes in Bolivia are baked with a coin in them at the time around New Year and it is believed that whoever gets the share with the coin in it will have a good and prosperous New Year for sure. Well we don’t know if it will bring good luck or not but yeah pain in your teeth and extra fat on your tummy is sure if you are too careless :).
9. Throwing Water and Smearing Talc (Thailand)
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We all enjoyed the ice bucket challenge and in case you want a melted reminder of that; we recommend you pack your bags and take a ticket to Thailand. In Thailand; New Year traditions include throwing buckets of water on each other. This is a family thing and people enjoy it with their near and dear ones. Also, people use a grey colored talc to smear on each other as a part of their New Year Tradition.
8. Lets Bang the Pans (Australia)
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Australians are known for their relaxed lifestyles and what better way to show that than welcoming New Year with a mood like that too. People in Australia go in the streets at midnight and also take their pans and pots along with them. Once they are out on the street they start banging their pans and pots loudly as a part of their New Year celebrations. While some say that people do so to ward off evil; others believe that it is their own musical way of welcoming the New Year. Whatever the reason might be it sure sounds fun.
7. Sweep the House and eat lentils (Chile)
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Like celebrating New Year at the cemetery wasn’t weird enough; people in Chile also tend to clean their houses inside out on the occasion of the New Year. This practice of theirs is believed to get rid from bad energy and welcoming the positivity in the house. Also they have a practice of eating a spoonful of lentils as they believe that it will bring the New Year filled with work and money.
6. Egg-y forecast (El Salvador)
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In El Salvador; people have a tradition of breaking the egg in the glass on the New Year. After breaking the egg in it; they place it on the window sill and let it be there for whole night. Then after they wake up in the morning they go and observe the figure that it has made i.e. as of houses and trips and thus they assume what their year would like be. Not only this; citizens here also buy new outfits as they want to welcome the New Year wearing something new.
5. Hit them with Bread (Ireland)
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This point will help you if you ever have to write down 10 ways that ‘Bread’ can be useful; at least in reminding you of one use. In Ireland; people hit the walls with bread and the reason behind this practice is that they want to get rid of evil spirits by doing so. And after and while not doing the whole hitting with the bread thing; they also celebrate their New Year in pubs and clubs and with their families drinking their booze for the occasion.
4. Everything Round (Philippines)
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Being money oriented is viewed differently by different people but in Philippines it is all about the money. People there are so much passionate and oriented about money that on New Year they eat everything that is round in shape. It just doesn’t stop there; they also wear dresses that have polka dots in them as they think that it brings them wealth and also represent coins.
3. Mistletoe leaves under pillows (Ireland)
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Single women in Ireland anticipate and wait for New Year more than anyone else on New Year. It is because women on New Year keep the leaves of the Mistletoe under their pillows in hope to meet their future husband. Other than making people (Single Women) meet the love of their lives; it is also considered getting people rid of their bad luck by doing so.
2. Throwing Plates (Denmark)
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What can be weirder than throwing dishes at the doors of your friends and neighbors and that too at the time of New Year? That’s something that people in Denmark do on New Year. They wait with their old dishes and crockery and throw them at the doors of their neighbors on New Year. Not only this but the family with the huge pile of broken dishes is also considered lucky since it is considered to be having more number of loyal friends.
1. Burning Scarecrow Effigy (Ecuador)
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Scarecrows are creepy and not only birds but we also hate them at some level; but this hatred is not so much to burn them. But the case is different with people of Ecuador; they burn the scarecrow dummy after gathering out with all their families, friends and neighbors. This Dummy is stuffed with newspapers and wood pieces. People believe that by doing so they are destroying every single evil thing that took place in the past year. This tradition is also important since they believe that burning scarecrow scares the bad luck too and bring the people luck and happiness in the New Year.
So these were some of the craziest ways the people celebrate their New Year in various parts of the world. And of course we know that it is not possible to keep these weird customs limited to one list only;So these were some of the weird New Year traditions around the world. Now people at every place have their own definition and perspective about things and New Year is no different and no matter how everyone would be celebrating the New Year; we at Listotop want to wish you a very Happy New Year in advance.