As we welcome the New Year, many of us have our own traditions and ways of celebrating it. From firecrackers to holiday parties and belting out Auld Lang Syne, the things we do during the first day of the year is often a reflection of our desire to have a great year ahead.
But one country is different from another. And while the Times Square ball drop may have been a part of our yearly tradition, others have their own special ways and customs to usher the coming year. Let us take a look at the unique ways other places celebrate the New Year.
1. In the city of Johannesburg, South Africa, furniture is thrown out the window once the clock strikes midnight to rid the house off bad luck. However, police have recently launched a crack down on those who would chuck stuff out of their windows as a prior incident killed a man who got hit by a thrown refrigerator.
2. In Spain, people traditionally eat 12 pieces of white grapes, which symbolizes the 12 months of the year, for good fortune. Some times, contests are held to see who can eat all grapes the fastest all at the same time.
3. For the Irish, the first day of the year is also celebrated as the Gaelic Day of Buttered Bread. Loaves are banged on walls to shoo the bad spirits out and summon the good spirits in.
4. In Latin America, many countries support the idea that wearing red underwear during New Year’s Eve would bring luck in love. On the other hand, Colombians wear yellow to invite peace and harmony.
5. Russians, meanwhile, write their wishes or desires for the coming year on a piece of paper. After which, the paper is burned and the ashes are mixed with their drinks, usually champagne, and consumed before the clock strikes midnight.
6. In Peru, financial fortune is decided by the country’s custom of hiding three potatoes underneath their sofas prior midnight. One potato is unpeeled, another half-peeled and the third is peeled. When midnight comes, one picks a potato in random, with out looking. The chosen crop symbolizes finances for the new year with the unpeeled potato meaning fruitfulness and the peeled with no money. The half-peeled potato signifies a regular year for the individual.
7. Brazilians on the other hand, traditionally wear white and offer white flowers and gifts to the Afro-Brazilian queen of the sea, Yemanja. The presents are thrown to the Rio de Janeiro and are said to bring strength and energy to the individual in the coming year.