From smashing plates on friends’ doors to jumping waves or stocking up on round things, these are the most fun and strange NYE celebrations from around the world
1: Throw the TV out of the window, Italy
Broken telly on the street (Dreamstime)
You better be careful if you’re strolling down the street when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve in Italy, as some Italians take the meaning ‘out with the old’ to a whole new level.
In some cases, the ‘old’ can fall numerous floors as Italians chuck out old tellies, toasters and pans through windows or drop them from balconies. It’s believed that as the old and negative goes out, the good comes in. It’s also a handy traditional way to make more storage space for the coming year.
2: Dining by numbers, Estonia
Food in Estonia (Dreamstime)
Rather than filling the cupboards with groceries, Estonians tend to fill themselves instead by eating seven, nine or 12 dishes on New Year’s Eve.
The numbers are supposed to bring luck, and the more the foodies eat, the merrier. With every meal they consume, a man is said to gain strength in the coming year.
Diners better not finish all the food in the house though, as ancestors and spirits might pay them a visit on December 31. It would be rude to deny them sauerkraut, marzipan or other traditional dishes on the last day of the year.
3: Jump seven waves, Brazil
Guy setting boat in water to honour Yemanja (Dreamstime)
On New Year’s Eve, hordes of Brazilians dressed in white head to the beach. With the stroke of midnight, they jump over one wave for each day of the week to honour Yemanja, the Goddess of the Sea, and make seven wishes.
Some believers set tiny boats with flowers, jewellery or other gifts in the water as the clock hits 12, hoping the waves won’t carry them back to shore. If the offerings float out to sea, it’s said that Yemanja will reward them with 12 months of good luck.
4: Run around in red knickers, Spain
Red knickers (Dreamstime)
Locals in La Font de la Figuera in Valencia don’t have the usual struggle of finding a New Year’s outfit or spending too much on clothes they only wear once.
They’ve kept up a Spanish ritual of buying a new pair of red underwear, which is said to bring luck in the coming year, but have thrown out the stressful tradition of buying everything else. Wearing only knickers and trainers, locals race down the streets whatever the weather, welcoming the new year clad only in their red smalls.
5: Burn effigies, Ecuador
Effigies in Ecuador (Dreamstime)
The locals set fire to effigies that resemble popular figures, such as Presidents from around the world, or family members to get rid of bad things from the previous year. The tradition is said to bring luck and happiness to the coming 12 months.
The tradition can certainly help believers or otherwise start the new year with a few extra quid in the pockets. Before the locals set the dolls on fire, they dress up as the caricatures’ widows and beg for money from the crowds.
6: Grape-eating race, Spain
Woman eating grapes (Dreamstime)
Even though Spain is the third biggest wine-producer in the world, it’s the unaltered grapes, rather than wine, that are on many Spanish people’s tongue at the countdown on New Year’s Eve.
In a last minute attempt to improve their chances of a good year to come, locals participate in a grape race. With each chime of the clock, they eat a grape. The tradition dates back to 1895; ever since, many Spanish folks have ended the year stuffing their face with 12 grapes. If they succeed and eat them all before the ring of the bell ends, they’ll get rid of evil spirits from the previous year.
7: See your fortune in melted tin, Finland
Casts(horseshoes) redo to be melted (Dreamstime)
A cracked mirror isn’t the only broken object that brings bad luck in Finland. New Year’s Eve is a magical night when Finns turn up the heat and try to predict, or shape, their fortune.
They melt a piece of metal, shaped like a miniature horseshoe, on the stove and then toss it into cold water. The metal liquid turns into a hard-tangled lump as it hits the water and the lump is said to expose the coming year’s events.
Whether the coming year will bring health, good luck or sorrow depends on its shadow and shape. If the cast breaks and the traditional symbol of good luck falls to pieces, the year’s luck is expected to do the same.
8: Smash dishes, Denmark
Broken dishes (Dreamstime)
Danes save dishes throughout the year so that fireworks won’t be the only things exploding on December 31.
In Denmark, throwing crockery on neighbours’ and friends’ doors is a wayto ring in the new year. Finding broken cups and plates on the doorstep the day after New Year’s Eve isn’t an unfortunate outcome of a celebration though, but an affectionate (though now useless) gift from loved ones to bring luck to the coming year.
9: Stock up on round things, Philippines
In Philippines, roundness symbolises for prosperity. There’s no short of traditions and superstitions to bring wealth to the coming year, and getting round fruit is a good start.
12 fruits are usually collected, each fruit representing one month. To make sure 2017 will be successful all year round, 12 different fruits should decorate the table. Apart from tucking into melons, oranges, grapes and other round fruit and veg, Filipinos also dress the part. They often wear polka dots and stuff their pockets with coins.
10.New Year Celebrations in Bulgaria
People of Bulgaria are very eminent all around the world for their fun loving nature. At the time of New Year, one can pretty evidently experience that. People with a smile on their faces are all around the town, showing their enthusiastic and exciting participation in New Year celebrations made at different places.
Usually, people move out of their houses along with their friends and families, and plan out their New Year evenings and New Year days on the beaches and beach resorts. New Year’s Eve saw an overcrowded occupancy in almost all bars, restaurants, clubs, and other party places. Some other people organize house parties, with only close friends and family people being invited.
Also, different cultural and sporting events are organized all over Bulgaria which strongly reflects the customs, traditions, and history of the country. Among these, music concerts, live performances, carnivals, and processions are most popular. People dress up in fancy and funny clothes, with equally amusing masks on their faces, participate in these carnivals and processions.
Also, they are grand in their impact, with lots of fun, spirit, and fiesta involved. Adventure sports such as paragliding, car racing, rock claiming, etc.; as well few traditional sports are organized in and around the time of New Year at various places in Bulgaria. Some people dress themselves as Santa Claus on New Year’s Eve, and then distribute gifts and sweets among small children. They are also crowd pullers during the New Year’s time.
As soon as the date of New Year gets closer, people buy themselves new clothes. After the New Year speech of the country’s President, all Bulgarians start preparing for midnight celebrations.
Bursting firecrackers is an important part of New Year celebration making in Bulgaria. Apart from small children and people of young age, big and grand firecrackers shows are organized at social level. As soon as the church bell rings twelve, all the firecrackers are blown away in union to form an implausible scene over the Bulgarian sky. It is followed by exchange of wishes and good luck for the coming year.