Following up on our peek at Weird Christmas Traditions around the World, we wondered about New Year’s customs. Sure enough, we found some interesting practices… although metal divination sounds like a legit upgrade from our Arabic coffee grinds.
In Romania, upon the New Year’s arrival, townspeople gather around, play music and dance whilst wearing bear costumes in hopes that it will drive evil spirits away from them in the coming year. I wonder if anyone chooses to be Pooh?
Round and round
Thought to bring about prosperity, residents of the Philippines as ell as Mexico traditionally eat round food, particularly fruit, at the New Year. Why round, you ask? Because coins are round, signifying prosperity and good fortune. Besides, spheres are easier to spot than a paper bill-shaped fruit.
Flash me your undies 😉
Although this might be an inappropriate question anywhere else in the world, it certainly is not in South America. In multiple Latin countries, the color underwear you choose to sport on New Year’s indicates something about the next year. Red underwear, for example, means love, while gold would indicate prosperity, and so on.
You wanna go?!
In Peru’s annual Takanakuy Festival, people will actually fist fight to settle their differences, all for the sake of putting it behind them and starting a clean slate in the coming year.
Every New Year in Switzerland, people will literally drop ice cream onto the floor. Although I’m not entirely sure why, my heart breaks just a little. #StopDairyMurder
In Chile, families bring blankets, flowers and candles to adorn their loved ones’ headstones, spending the night listening to classical music in remembrance of the deceased.
In Ireland, they’ve got bread and they’re not afraid to use it! Come New Year’s, the Irish throw bread at their walls to get rid of evil spirits. Watch out, the wheat is deadly.
In South Africa, they throw out old furniture from their windows to start a clean state for the next year. Oop-watch your head!
In Finland, they pour molten tin into a bucket of water and try to interpret the resulting metal shape in hopes to reveal something about the coming year. Just like Arabs do with their empty coffee cups!
Last but certainly weirdest, in Romania farmers try to communicate with their cow and goat herds and if they succeed, then it surely means good luck for the New Year. “Happy Moo Year!”
WE SAID THIS: Happy New Year from the Empire!