How 5 Countries Around The World Celebrate The New Year
Here at home, we tend to count down to the New Year while watching the ball drop in Times Square and drinking bubbly with our friends and family. And fireworks — we can’t forget the fireworks. But if you want to borrow some traditions from around the world, they’ll level up your New Year’s Eve party this year.
1. Denmark: Smashing Plates
Danish folks smash plates at the turn of the New Year, with the shards representing good luck. Often, you’d smash a plate on your friend’s doorstep, but don’t worry — you don’t have to buy a brand-new plate for this tradition. An old chipped one will do.
2. Brazil: Throwing Flowers Into The Sea
In Brazil, many throw white flowers into the sea as an offering to Afro-Brazilian Goddess of the Sea. Now, some of the mysticism has turned into all-out partying on the beach, but it still is said to bring luck in the New Year.
3. Spain: Eating Grapes
At midnight, you can expect Spanish parties to be well-stocked with grapes, as guests will eat 12 grapes to symbolize the coming 12 months of the year.
4. Romania: Dressing Up As Bears
Originally a pagan tradition, now a beloved New Year’s moment, Romanians don bear costumes and do “the dance of the bear” to ward off evil spirits for the next 365 days.
5. Japan: Ringing Bells
Midnight in Japan means 108 rings of a bell. This tradition represents the 108 Buddhist worldly desires or sins.
At home in the United States, lacking someone to kiss at midnight and looking for romance in the coming year? Borrow from Italian or Argentinian tradition and put on some red or pink underwear. The respective colors are said to bring you love in the New Year.
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