Unique New Year’s Traditions

With 2015 at our doorsteps, let us look at some unique New Year’s traditions which are observed around the world. You can even consider doing some of them when January 1st arrives!

1. Bolivia

Coins are baked into sweets and whoever manages to find it will be blessed with good luck for the coming year. This is the perfect excuse to bake up some desserts and share them with your friends!

Who's the lucky one?

Who’s the lucky one?

Photo Credit: http://www.friendsmania.net/forum/pakistan-photos-pictures-gallery-hot-wallpapers/311199.htm

2. Brazil

Welcome the New Year through your dressing! Brazilians dress in white on this day to usher in good luck and peace for the New Year. In other South American countries, different colours of underwear are worn to represent different wishes. For example, you should wear red if you are seeking love, and yellow if you want wealth.

Which colour should I choose?

Which colour should I choose?

Photo Credit: http://www.melthezombieguy.net/2013/12/12-wackiest-new-year-traditions-around.html

3. Britain

First-footing is a tradition observed in countries such as Britain and Scotland. In this tradition, the first person to step into the house after midnight is believed to bring good fortune. It is often desirable for the first-footer to be a tall, dark and handsome man. He should also bear symbolic gifts such as whiskey (good cheer) and shortbread (food).

Where's my tall, dark and handsome man?

Where’s my tall, dark and handsome man?

Photo Credit: http://www.rockying.com/a/236

4. Denmark

Are you thinking of a way to tell your friend that you value them? Why not try this Danish tradition of smashing your plates at your friend’s door? A pile of broken plates signifies friendship.

Photo Credit: http://blog.settleindenmark.com/strange-new-year-traditions-of-denmark/

5. Ecuador

During the New Year, Ecuadorians will set fire to effigies, symbolizing the burning of bad things and misfortune of the previous year. Strangely enough, they also burn photographs from the previous year!

And we gonna let it burn burn burn burn

And we gonna let it burn burn burn burn

Photo Credit: http://blogs.fanbox.com/25StrangestNewYearsTraditionsFromAroundT

6. Philippines

Surround yourself with round things during the coming New Year! In Philippines, round things represent coins and this signifies wealth and prosperity for the whole year.

Round and round

Photo Credit: http://parentables.howstuffworks.com/nesting/5-new-years-traditions-around-world.html

7. Puerto Rico

Some folks in Puerto Rico fling pails of water out of their window at midnight in order to “chase evil spirits” out of their house. Nowadays, this action might get you into even more trouble!

Puerto Rico

 Photo Credit: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323320404578212932187526220#13

8. South America

Is travel at the top of your wish list for 2015? Then you can consider trying out this tradition of running around the block with your suitcase to ensure numerous safe travels!

Young man walking along street with old suitcase, retro tinted

 Photo Credit: http://culture.oasiscollections.com/10-quirky-new-years-eve-traditions

9. Spain

As the clock strikes midnight, stuff your mouth with 12 grapes as the bells chime (one for each chime of the clock). It is believed that this will give you a lucky and prosperous year ahead. Though 12 grapes may seem easy, it is actually quite a “mouthful”!


 Photo Credit: http://www.foodlushblog.com/2012/12/foodstowelcomethenewyear.html

10. Switzerland

Another way to gain good luck would be to drop your ice cream onto the floor. This symbolizes overflowing abundance, having too much that it “overflows”. A scoop of ice cream for a year of abundance. The choice is up to you!

Oops ... My ice cream just "fell"!

Oops … My ice cream just “fell”!

Photo Credit: http://www.thecitycollection.org/blog/10-quirkiest-traditions-to-kick-start-new-year-in-london/

What are the New Year’s traditions that you observe? Let us know by emailing travitas@sa.smu.edu.sg 🙂


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