The best thing about planet Earth is its extraordinary diversity. With the end of 2016 approaching, a year that many want to pretty much forget, 2017 brings us the opportunity to welcome a new season, and hopefully, a new beginning for many. Discover the most unusual New Years traditions from around the globe and just see how “out there” your NYE celebrations are by comparison!
Lentils, traditional food in many countries and the main hallmark of renowned grandmothers’ cooking, is the star dish on Italian tables for New Year’s Eve. Why? Because they represent wealth: the more you can eat, the more money you will accumulate throughout the year. The Romans began the rite by giving them to each other so that they would mutate into gold coins.
Japan: 108 Bells
If something is popular in Japan it’s usually all about mysticism and spirituality. Therefore, on the last night of the year, all Buddhist temples ring their bells up to 108 times, one for every sin that lives latent in every human being. With every ring, the possibility of falling into sinful temptation vanishes and life is almost renewed for you. Also, in Japan they eat long toshikoshi-soba noodles, to symbolise the long fortune that you wish for for your family.
Spain: Grapes, Red Lingerie & Gold
The surplus of grapes in 1909 meant that the Spanish chose to use up the excess fruit during the last day of the year, with the 12 bells that lead up to the turning of the New Year. 12 grapes, 12 months and 12 at night.
If you are looking for a year full of love and passion, the red lingerie can’t be missed during the night, especially at the time of the grapes. Couples also usually put their wedding rings in the champagne glass when they toast the new year.
Cape Town: Carnival
On 2nd January each year, Tweede Nuwe-Jaar (Second New Year) fills the streets of Cape Town with a festival of colours. The people living there wear bright clothes with great enthusiasm. In the middle of the show, typical food, traditional music and dancing fill the city with joy.
India: Festival of Lights
For five days between October and November, India is filled with lights thanks to its famous Diwali, its Festival of Light to welcome the Indian year. Through beautiful oil lamps, the country is lit up to symbolise the triumph of good over evil. It is a way of thanking the world for everything that goes well, ensuring that the bad thoughts disappear and that hope continues. Fireworks and firecrackers also accompany this glorious festival of lights.
After dinner, the Danes break the dishes in a very comfortable and jovial way. Although it is more a tradition of the past, some do it against the door of their loved ones because it is a sign of love rather than anger (some may kill two birds with one stone).
When the new crescent moon lights up the sky, the year begins for the Egyptians. In Cairo, before the lunar moment, its inhabitants go to the Alabaster Mosque. Later on, the Cairota celebrate with their families this annual event and wearing special flashy dresses, both men and women.
Here you have the most outlandish customs in the world, arranged in a list that will make you appear more normal or more crazy, depending on how you do things. If you want to know more about world traditions, don’t miss the 11 wedding traditions in the world that will leave you speechless.