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How New Year is celebrated around the world: 10 crazy traditions

Alina MilsentNews
New Year's traditions

The new year of 2024 is on the horizon, and the pre-holiday period is full of hopes and expectations for victory and a peaceful future. This will be the second time Ukrainians will celebrate the holiday in the midst of a full-scale war, so a simple family evening with their loved ones will be a real dream for most.

At the same time, traditional large-scale celebrations with fireworks and mass festivities will take place around the world. The Best Life publication told us about ten of the most interesting traditions of celebrating the New Year.

Spain: grapes for good luck

Spaniards eat exactly 12 grapes at midnight to honor a tradition that began in the late 19th century. Back in the 1800s, winegrowers in the Alicante area came up with this practice to sell more grapes at the end of the year, but the sweet tradition quickly caught on. You should also eat one grape for every 12 strikes of the clock: this is believed to ward off bad luck and bring a year of good fortune and prosperity.

Scotland: the night guest

In Scotland, the first day of the new year is so important that it even has an official name: Hogmanay. According to the beliefs, the first person to cross the threshold of the house after midnight on New Year's Eve should be a dark-haired man: it will bring good luck in the next year. Traditionally, men come with gifts and sweets. But why dark-haired men? The story explains everything: when Scotland was conquered by the Vikings, they somehow did not really want to see blonde uninvited guests with huge axes on their doorstep. Since then, it is the dark-haired man who symbolizes wealth and success.

Brazil: white flowers in the ocean

If you find yourself in Brazil on New Year's Eve, don't be surprised to see the oceans dotted with white flowers and candles. On New Year's Eve, locals make offerings to Yemọja, the main deity of water, to receive her blessings for the coming year. Brazilians also have a tradition of dressing in white and diving into the ocean after midnight.

Italy: a tradition for those who want to get pregnant

Italians have a New Year's tradition of wearing red underwear on December 31. In Italian culture, the color red is associated with fertility, so women wear red underwear, hoping that it will help them get pregnant next year.

Greece: onions vs pomegranates

The Greeks believe that onions are a symbol of rebirth, so they hang them on the door to make the new year generous and prosperous.

In ancient Greek mythology, pomegranate symbolizes fertility, life, and prosperity, so in modern Greece, this fruit has become associated with good luck. Immediately after midnight, the Greeks have a custom of smashing pomegranates against the door of their homes. It is said that the number of pomegranate seeds that fall out directly depends on the amount of future luck.

Chile: a night at the cemetery

In Chile, New Year's Eve Mass is held not in churches but in cemeteries. People sit next to their deceased family members and "involve" them in the celebration of the New Year.

Germany: New Year's fortunetelling

In Germany, New Year's celebrations are centered around a rather unique event known as Bleigießen. Using the flame of a candle, you should melt a small piece of lead or tin and pour it into a container of cold water. The resulting shape is said to reveal a person's fate for the next year.

Czech Republic: apple traditions

Czechs "predict" their fate on New Year's Eve with the help of an apple. The fruit is cut in half, and it is said that the shape of the apple core determines the fate of everyone around it. If the core of the apple looks like a star, then everyone will soon meet again in happiness and health, and if it looks like a cross, you should expect illness and failure

Colombia: three potatoes under the bed

On the last night of the year, Colombians put three potatoes under the bed: peeled, unpeeled, and half-peeled. At midnight, they crawl under the bed and randomly grab the first potato they touch. A peeled potato means that you will face financial problems next year, an unpeeled one predicts a year of prosperity, and a half-peeled vegetable means just a good and stable year.

Canada: New Year's fishing

Canadians celebrate New Year's Eve by participating in popular fishing events. Large groups of friends and relatives get together, rent a house in the woods and go winter fishing. Then they enjoy cooking fish dishes together.

Earlier, OBOZ.UA told you about the Christmas traditions of different regions of Ukraine.

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