With the end of the year approaching, we all want to see if off in a nice way and welcome the new year into our lives, hoping that it will be a good one. To make sure that this happens, there is a number of customs around the world that are based on beliefs and superstitions, making people do certain things or in a certain way, all in hope that it will bring happiness, joy, wealth and health in the new year and that it would turn out to be great. Whether you believe for them to work or not, but adding to the new year – new beginnings magic, here are some of the most unusual New Year traditions.
1. 12 grapes in Spain
It is believed in Spain that you will have a good and prosperous year if you eat twelve grapes at midnight – one with every strike of the bell. To make the count, everyone usually tunes in to a coverage in Madrid so people are eating their grapes together. It seems that the traditions comes from some good marketing techniques back in the 1909 when there was a really good harvest of grapes in Alicante so the farmers were trying to figure out how to sell them. Fun tradition in any case, that has beed brought to different cultures ever since – and very nice to have with the bubbles at midnight.
2. Throwing out furniture, Naples
There are plenty of not so ordinary New Year’s Eve traditions in Italy but one of the most peculiar ones is definitely in Naples. If you find yourself in there for the New Year, watch out where you’re going as you may have a piece of furniture falling down on you. One of the traditions of celebrating the new Year in Naples is throwing out old furniture through the window which should symbolise getting rid of old things and having a fresh start.
3. Round things, Philippines
There is a belief in many cultures that money and material wealth bring happiness and that this wealth then also transposes to other areas in life like health and general wellbeing. This is surely one of the things that marks the New Year celebration in the Philippines where people try to use as many round things as possible to represent the coins and make the new year wealthy and prosper. Anything that’s round will do, from round clothes and round food to any round accessories you may find – as long as it’s round, it will add to the good fortune.
4. Takanakuy fighting festival, Peru
Though usually taking place at Christmas on 25th December, this Peruvian tradition is all about settling the debts of the year and entering the new one with the clean slate. Literally, the name of the festival means ‘when the blood is boiling’ and it is quite as harsh as it sounds. People gather around and beat each other in a fist fight to settle all the grudges and get rid of the bad blood between them. To make sure things don’t get out of hand, there is a local policeman overseeing the fight and after the festival, everyone drinks together to numb the pain. Some real New Year Fight club going on here!
5. Underwear in colours, South America
While in many countries there is a tradition to wear red underwear on a New Year’s Eve to bring love in the next one, in some South American countries Brazil, Bolivia and Mexico, you can also choose some different areas of life to enhance with the colour of your underwear. Besides the traditional red for love, you can wear yellow for the luck and wealth, blue for health and if you’d like happiness, peace and joy for New Year, the white underwear should do. Don’t know about you, but seems that multicoloured underwear may best do the trick!