Now that Christmas is over and done with, the world is looking forward to the New Year. And New Year‘s eve is a global event with different countries saying goodbye to an “old” year in quirky traditions that I’ve observed when I was still sailing.
While New Year‘s eve tradition here in the Philippines is about the “obsession” of round things to invite prosperity and wealth for the coming year, let’s check out at some of the most fascinating practices of other cultures in welcoming the new year. Follow me with the top 10 weirdest New Year’s eve traditions of other countries, then make a wish for a happy and healthy 2022.
Plink, plonk, plank and a smash of broken plates in DENMARK
If someday you’ll be in Denmark on a New Year‘s eve morning and wakes up to see a pile of splintered broken pieces of plates outside, don’t be shocked. Unused plates during the year are saved up and they are thrown at the main door of friends and neighbors on December 31, a top weirdest New year’s eve tradition of the Danes to bring good fortunes and luck in the coming year.
It should be colored knickers in BRAZIL
A top weirdest New Year’s eve tradition that they do in Brazil which will decide your fate for the coming year depends on the color of your knickers (or undies). If you’re looking for love, you have to wear a red underwear while waiting for the New Year’s countdown and if you want to enhance your wealth and finances, make sure that you’re wearing a yellow knickers. White stands for peace and a green one brings well-being so you better choose the color of your underwear carefully when you are in Brazil during the New Year.
Lead pouring, GERMANY
Of course, everybody’s interested of what’s in store for the coming year and in Germany, it’s melting a small piece of lead on a spoon over a candle then pour the liquid into a cold water to know what the new year brings. A top weirdest New Year’s eve tradition, this lead pouring is suppose to disclose what will be your “fortune” in the coming year. If the liquid forms into a round shape, rejoice, because good luck will surely roll in your way; a cross means a bad luck while a star will give you happiness and the shape of a crown symbolizes wealth.
First-footing and a “wee dram” of a whiskey in SCOTLAND
Qualtagh or¨¨ ¨¨”first-foot¨¨”is a top weirdest New Year’s eve tradition in Scotland that involves the first person to cross the threshold of your home or come at your main door after midnight of December 31. A tall, dark-haired hunk bearing gifts of coins, a bread and a bottle of whiskey is believed to bring good luck to the owners of the house. Blond strangers knocking at the door just after midnight of the new year means trouble and considered to be unlucky.
Tossing old pieces of furniture out in Naples, ITALY
Getting rid of old appliances and pieces of furniture is a top weirdest New year’s eve tradition in Naples, Italy that symbolizes a new beginning in the coming year. From fridges, to sofas, and toasters, it should literally be “out with the old” ritual here in this side of the world. And you have to mind your head of falling objects if you travel to Naples during the New Year.
Fireworks and a kiss in Venice, ITALY
Venice is a romantic city in Italy, no doubt about that but a good smooch is a top weirdest New Year’s eve tradition here. While it may not be a good idea at this time, but in pre-pandemic times thousands would gather at Piazza San Marco to watch for fireworks then a “kiss in Venice” with your partner to usher in happiness for the coming year.
Paper throwing, ARGENTINA
A top weirdest New Year’s eve tradition, Argentines shred old documents and papers then throw them out of the window. Based on their customs, they need to shred old files into pieces before the old year is over to symbolize “rebirth”, to leave every unpleasant things that happened in the past and start anew in the coming year.
Lucky onions in GREECE
Come New Year’s eve, a top weirdest tradition they do in Greece is to hang onions on the main door of their houses. This tradition however has nothing to do in warding off Count Dracula but it is a symbol of “renewal” for the coming year, this is the Greek culture associated with development. The next day, which is the first day of the new year, parents wake their kids by “banging” or tapping the onions on their heads.
Rock-a-bye single ladies with a mistletoe, IRELAND
A top New year’s eve tradition in Ireland is going to sleep with a mistletoe tucked under the pillow for the single ladies. It is believed that this plant, which is associated with fertility will aid singles find their future partners in their dreams.
Consuming lots of oliebollen, THE NETHERLANDS
Now this is not just a top weirdest New year’s eve tradition but a yummy treat in The Netherlands. The Dutch eat a lot of the doughnut-like balls (oliebollen, oily cakes) just as the clock strikes midnight of December 31 to protect them from the goddess Perchta. This tradition goes back when old Germanic tribes would consume a lot of oliebollen during New Year‘s eve to ward off the goddess from piercing their tummies if they have not taken part in any Christmas party.
The celebration of New Year’s eve is indeed a big deal all over the world. Spending this day in another place and experiencing the weirdest traditions to kick off the new year is a great way to discover and learn other cultures. These unusual contrasts in the way other countries celebrate the coming year is what makes traveling very special. Cheers to a Happy New Year 2022!!!