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New Year Traditions Around the World!

February 25, 2019
Ashley Faber

Memphis, Tennessee

A few weeks ago, people all over the globe celebrated New Year’s Eve with their families and friends as 2018 came to a close. Around the world, everyone welcomes the new year in different ways.

Grapes - Spain

Many Spanish and Latin-American people eat 12 grapes - one grape for each month of the year - in time with the 12 chimes of the clock at midnight. This is a tradition which is said to secure them a happy year to come.

Round Things - Philippines

As circles symbolize prosperity in the Philippines, Filipino people integrate them into everything they do on New Years, from wearing polka dots to scattering coins across the house to eating round fruits.

Breaking Plates - Denmark

Danes welcome the new year by smashing plates against their friends’ front doors. It’s a measure of popularity to find a heap of broken china on your doorstep at midnight. According to the tradition, this brings good luck, so the more smashed plates, the more luck you’ll get for the new year.

Colored Underwear - South America

A Latino superstition holds that wearing a pair of red underwear on New Year’s Eve will guarantee you a year filled with love. Likewise, wearing yellow underwear will ensure money and happiness in the future.

Dropping Ice Cream - Switzerland

To celebrate the new year, the Swiss drop a dollop of ice cream on the floor on New Year’s day to bring luck and a rich year. What a waste!

Suitcases - Colombia

In hopes of having a travel-filled new year ahead of them, Colombians carry a suitcase around with them on the 31st of December.

Tin Casting - Finland

The practice of casting tin is quite popular amongst the Finnish and involves melting down tin before pouring it into a bucket of water. Once the tin has solidified again, the shadow it casts is used as the basis of predictions for the year ahead.

Eat as much as possible - Estonia

Traditionally, New Year’s Day involves Estonians eating seven, nine, or twelve meals a day, as they are all considered lucky numbers. The more they eat, the more plentiful food will be in the new year.

Ball Drop - New York City

Perhaps the most well-known tradition, thousands have gathered in Times Square in NYC to watch the crystal ball drop since 1907. It begins its descent from a pole at 11:59 pm to reach the bottom right at the start of the new year.

How will you celebrate New Year’s? Maybe try one of these fun traditions, and see what 2019 has in store for you!

Ashley Faber is a BBG from Cotton States Region who plays the violin and is on her high school quiz bowl team. She enjoys kickboxing and listening to music.

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