With the New Year round the corner, many of us are gearing up towards ushering in a better and more productive 2019. To start the New Year off on a good foot, here are some quirky traditions practiced by revelers across the globe.
1) To Clean or Not to Clean
In summary? Depends on what you’re cleaning with!
The Chinese celebrating their New Year are careful not to sweep their good luck out their front door on this auspicious day. Cleaning is also avoided during the first two days of the celebration to avoid accidentally removing good luck from their homes.
It is also customary to buy brand new clothing, toiletries, bedsheets – anything to keep you surrounded and immersed in the “new” instead of thinking about the old.
Marking a new year with new bedsheets is the best way to signify new beginnings and also disposing of bad experiences in the previous year.
2) Got any… grapes?
Eating twelve grapes in Spain during the first twelve seconds of the New Year is believed to bring in good luck for the twelve months ahead. So, while we’re hear screaming at our local countdown event, somewhere else in the world, a group of people are solemnly chowing on grapes for twelve full seconds.
And no. Wine doesn’t count.
3) Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeney Polka Dotted Thingy
Our friends in the Philippines dress themselves in polka-dots and turn on all the lights in their homes to bring in fortune and brightness in the New Year. Like the Chinese, they too believe that buying round fruits (such as oranges) are good luck. There’s nothing better than having fun and bumping up your Vitamin consumption, we think!
Oh, and also like the Chinese, they make lots of noises to scare off the evil spirits. Banging pots and pans, setting off fireworks and shooting guns into the air are just part and parcel of having a Really Good Time.
4) Flying Saucers
Okay, don’t try this here – but in Denmark, broken dishes are tossed at their friend’s and neighbours’ home to invite good luck! Those who opt not to exercise their arm-throwing prowess could instead leave the broken pieces at their doorstep.
5) One tall, dark and handsome man please… for good luck
Yes, this is A Thing in Scotland where the locals practice “first footing” on New Year’s Eve. The first step into the house should be by a dark male carrying pieces of coal, shortbread, salt, black bun and whiskey. Makes sense, we reckon, especially when a big, blond male at your doorstep during the Viking era meant trouble!
6) How About Second Breakfast? Third? Twelfth?
We love that there are people in Estonia who eat seven to twelve meals on New Year’s Day for the New Years! One meal to signify a wonderful, satisfying and inspiring month. What can we say?
So how are YOU spending your New Year’s celebration? Do let us know in the comments!
Happy New Year, everyone!