Unusual traditions on the New Year’s Celebration

OV Digital Desk
5 Min Read
New Year

Broken Plates ||Source: https://www.countryliving.com/

New Year is celebrated on 1 January around the world with festivities galore. It is marked as the beginning of the new year in accordance with the modern Gregorian calendar. Consideration of January 1 to be the beginning of the new year began back in 45 B.C. Julius Caesar in consultation with eminent mathematician and astronomer of that time Sosigenus introduced a new solar-based calendar-changing it from the lunar-based calendar.

In today’s context, the New Year is first celebrated on the small Pacific Island nations of Tonga, Samoa, and Kiribati. New Zealand follows next in celebrating the New Year, followed by Australia, Japan, and South Korea, while the last place to celebrate New Year is Bakers Island and American Samoa which lies in the central Pacific Ocean.

In the majority of places, celebration initiates with fireworks as the needle of the clock strikes twelve at the night, feasting, celebration, and exchange of wishes. Though the theme of celebration, hope, avoiding evil spirits remains the same, the method of expression is often different across the globe. Let’s have a look at few traditions:

108 Bell Gong

In Japan, New Year’s Eve is used to prepare for the welcome of New Year’s god. People clean their homes and prepare to welcome the god before New Year’s Eve. Buddhist temples ring their bells 108 times at midnight; the rings stand for the 108 elements of mental states that lead people to take unwholesome actions.

Coloured Underwear

In South American countries such as Mexico, Bolivia, and Brazil, people believe that the colour of your underwear can determine what the New Year will bring. “Those who want to find love wear red underpants for New Year, whilst those hoping for wealth should opt for yellow. If you are just looking for peace, white pants should do the trick.

Broken Plates

In some part of the world, breaking plates are considered auspicious. It is also perceived and themed with celebration. In Denmark, on New Year’s Eve, the people throw unused plates that have been saved up throughout the year at the front doors of family and friends for good luck. The more plates you find outside your house, the more luck you will have in the New Year.

Round things

The Filipinos hope to bring prosperity and wealth to the coming year by surrounding themselves with round things on New Year’s Eve. From coins to grapes, each item represents wealth and success. This practice is believed to bring good fortune. Some also scatter coins around their house – at every nook and corner, inside drawers, on tables and anywhere they believe will bring them more luck and money.

Open doors, windows and turn on all the lights

Apart from food and coins that symbolise prosperity, Filipinos uses to open all doors, windows, drawers and cabinets to bring in good fortune and let the positive vibes in.

Throwing furniture out of the window

On New Year’s Eve in some parts of Italy, it is traditional to throw old furniture out of balconies to symbolize a fresh start for the year ahead. Although to prevent injuries, most locals just stick to small and soft objects.

Eating 12 grapes

In Spain, everyone is handed 12 grapes just before midnight that they must complete eating in 12 seconds. Each grape is equivalent to one month, so if you succeed in eating all 12 grapes within 12 seconds, you can jolly well look forward to an incredibly happy year ahead.

Throwing water out of the window

At midnight, Puerto Ricans welcome the New Year by throwing buckets of water out of their windows. They believe this act drives away evil spirits and clears out the old year to make way for the new.

Scarecrow burning

To banish any ill-fortune or dreadful things that have happened over the last 12 months, Ecuadorians set fire to scarecrows filled with paper at midnight on New Year’s Eve. They also burn photographs of things that represent the past year.

Carry around an empty suitcase

It’s a custom most prevalent in parts of South America and Mexico: some choose to carry an empty suitcase around the block in the hope of a year full of new adventures and pursuits.

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