New Year’s traditions around the world
The New Year’s celebration is a common denominator in all the countries of the world, as well as the excitement of closing cycles and starting new ones. However, there are very curious traditions that vary from place to place and that are practiced to supposedly bring good luck in the year to come. Here you have some of them!
One of the most popular rituals in Japan is to admire the first sunrise of the year, better known as “Hatsuhinode”. Thousands of people travel to beaches or mountains to do this activity because these scenarios provide a better view of the sunrise. At the same time, Japanese people also pray to ask for prosperity.
The New Year is celebrated by jumping from a chair or any elevated area. The Danes believe that the action of jumping represents the entrance to a new year with good luck.
Bleigießen or molybdomancy is one of the most traditional activities in this country for the holidays. It means literally “lead spill “and it serves to know what the next year will bring you.
The ritual begins by burning small lead figures in the fire of a candle and in a spoon. After this, the molten lead is poured into water and the different shapes that result —which can be associated with any object— reveal what will happen or what to expect for the next year.
A very peculiar way to ring in the New Year in Holland is by taking a dip in ice-cold water in the sea. The tradition was born in 1965 thanks to a swimming club that decided to jump into the sea on this date. It became so popular that today thousands of Dutch people practice it. The massive swim off Scheveningen Beach is one of the best known, in which more than 10,000 people dive each year.
The pomegranate is a fruit that symbolizes abundance and good luck. For the Greeks, this meaning has been for centuries a good omen in the New Year.
This is why they usually do two important rituals: The first is to decorate the houses with pomegranates. The second is to leave the house before midnight to represent the departure of a year and, upon entering again, the grenade crashes against the door; the number of seeds that are spilled is the amount of good luck that you will have on the next year.
“La quema del monigote” (Burning puppets) is the best-known ritual in this country and is actually “cathartic” since it helps to close cycles.
Ecuadorians decide to leave the old year behind by burning a doll made of cardboard and cloth, dedicating both negative and positive words to it, according to the person’s perception of what their year was.
It is a deeply rooted tradition that has also transcended borders. Would you try it?
In the United States, counting down on the New Year and kissing at the end is probably one of the best-known traditions in the world that is a symbol of good luck in love.
It is rumored that the origin of this practice dates back to the Saturnalia festival in Roman times. Others associate it with what happened in the middle of the 19th century when in Germany they said goodbye to the year with songs, drinks, hugs, and kisses; and there is a third theory that says that in Europe they attended New Year’s balls with masks and kissed whoever was next to them at midnight.
In our country, some customs are also shared by other Latin American countries, such as eating 12 grapes when the countdown to the new year ends. These represent the 12 months of the year, so you can make a different wish with each grape.
Another custom is to take the suitcases to the street as a symbol of abundance in a matter of travel. And finally, we cannot ignore the use of red or yellow underwear depending on what you want to obtain: Red underwear represents love, and yellow represents money. There are even stores that sell underwear in both colors… Why settle for one when you can have both?
Tell us in the comments if you know more New Year’s traditions and which ones you practice at home with your family!
Happy New Year!