World’s Strangest New Year Traditions
New Year is one of the most celebrated festivals. The celebration customs still existed in the 3rd century BC. The true meaning of the holiday is the concept of new; everything from beginning, new hope, new expectations and goals. New Year is a universally celebrated holiday, but it is celebrated in different ways in different countries, that is why every nation has its holiday-related “oddities.”
In Denmark people keep all their unused dishes and plates until the 31st of December then on that day together with all their friends and family members shatter them against the doors.
On New Year’s Eve in Belarus, single women place piles of corn on the ground in front of them, and then let a cock free. The first woman whose pile of corn the cock approaches will be the next to get married.
In Brazil there is a custom of wearing a completely white outfit which symbolizes peace and renewal. But the most interesting tradition, stemming from the Afro-Brazilian religion, is Candomblé. After the clock strikes midnight, people head to the sea and jump over seven waves. By doing it is believed that Iemanjá, goddess of the sea, will create paths in their lives.
It is dangerous to be outdoors in New Year’s Eve in South African towns. Falling televisions, beds, and phones threaten to crush people walking in the streets. There’s an old tradition here of throwing unwanted household items out of windows.
New Year in Thailand is celebrated between the 13th and 15th of April and is called Songkran. During the celebration people shed water on others and smear beige-colored talc on random people. Shedding water is considered a way of showing respect, and the talc is meant as a blessing for the New Year.
During New Year celebration Romanians take part in a 2,000-year-old tradition where young men, dressed up in a bear costume, dance around to scare off bad spirits.
In Ireland single women look forward for the New Year’s night because it is the night that can bring them the love of their life. They place mistletoe leaves under their pillows hoping to “catch” their future husband. In Ireland it is believed that this custom helps them get rid of bad luck.