New Years traditions from around the world
Tired of the old countdown and fireworks way of ringing in the new year? This is how New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are celebrated by different cultures around the world:
The Japanese have the correct ideas when it comes to New Year celebrations. Bonenkai are “forget the year parties” that take place throughout December. They happen among friends and co-workers and usually involve quite a bit of drinking. 2016 is a year worth forgetting.
Come January, the Japanese can be found celebrating until the fourth. Celebrations include lots of food.
While we are dancing to the first few seconds of the song of the year, in Spain most people are rushing their way through 12 white grapes and hoping they don’t choke. Blurring the line between tradition and superstition, the 12 grapes are eaten in hopes for 12 prosperous months ahead in the New Year. The trick is to eat all 12 grapes within the 12 bells after midnight – a chime is heard every three seconds.
The Greek have several New Year’s traditions that they observe. But the most popular by far has to be hanging an onion above a door. Large onions are selected and uprooted for this tradition and because they will continue to grow and their many layers, the hung onions symbolise rebirth. The onions are taken down the next day.
The Ecuadorian people are serious about bidding good riddance to the past. Each family builds a dummy or scarecrow that is dressed in old clothes and a mask and symbolises the past year. At midnight, each dummy is set alight. The burning of the dummies signifies burning all the bad things in the past year.
Be careful walking around Denmark on New Year’s Day. On New Year’s Eve, the Danish smash dishes, plates and glass crockery against the doors of their friends’ houses as a sign of affection and everlasting friendship. Which means glass all around on New Year’s Day.