These unique and weirdly fascinating New Year’s Eve traditions will blow your mind away!
Counting down the last seconds of a year, watching the skies fill up with fireworks, or kissing the love of your life right when the clock strikes 12 — New Year’s Eve traditions are simple, right? Not really. Try these lesser-known and unique NYE customs from around the world to bring in the new year this time. After all, we could all use some good fortune in 2022.
Smashing plates in Denmark
Spent Christmas the Danish way by planning a hygge holiday? Now, smash a plate to pieces to celebrate NYE like they do in Denmark. No kidding! The age-old tradition is all about breaking plates and creating a giant pile of shattered crockery on the floor to invite good luck. Danes also jump off chairs to leap into the new year, quite literally.
Eating soba noodles in Japan
At midnight on New Year’s Ever, Japanese families prepare and eat buckwheat soba noodles (aka toshikoshi soba) together. The word toshikoshi means ‘year-crossing noodles’, and the 17th-century tradition symbolises the act of letting go of the last year’s hardships, while looking forward to strength and resiliency in the new year.
Performing bear dance ritual in Romania
In Romania, people dress up in original bear skin inherited by their ancestors, and perform the traditional grizzly bear dance ritual. The folk dance is intended to ward off evil spirits and is performed between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Burning scarecrows in Ecuador
Say adios to 2021 like Ecuadorians by incinerating huge effigies or viejos. Families and friends gather together to construct giant scarecrows out of old clothes and paper, add a painted mask atop, and then, put the whole thing on fire when the clock strikes 12! The tradition denotes putting the last year to bed.
Walking around with an empty suitcase in Colombia
Ecuadorian’s next-door neighbours in Colombia do it a bit differently. Walking around the block with an empty suitcase here promises, as it is believes, future travels in the new year. BRB, we’re going to go blow the dust off our suitcases to end the long dry spell on our travels, right away!
Throwing out old furniture in South Africa
Watch your head while walking down the road if you are somewhere in South Africa on New Year’s Eve. We mean it. Here, the tradition is to throw old furniture and appliances onto the streets from great heights at midnight! The custom denotes leaving the bad past behind as the curtain falls on the year.
Gobbling 12 grapes in Spain
Once an excuse for grape farmers to make use of their excess produce a century ago, has now grown into a full-fledged Spanish tradition today. The custom is to gobble down 12 lucky grapes or las doce uvas de la suerte, each offering good luck for every month of the coming year. In other parts across Europe, the same tradition goes for eating any 12 round fruits.