Everybody celebrates the start of a new year. Street parties and fireworks extravaganza are now the famous ways to say hello to the start of another 365 days. It usually is a happy day for everyone, regardless of country or religion. The New Year is an opportunity to say goodbye to the past year and enjoy a fresh beginning, and here are 4 strange traditions all over the world which is done every New Year.
Russia has been under the communist reign for several years and has been deprived of extravagant celebrations. And that is maybe why they have unique New Year traditions like writing a personal wish on a piece of paper, burn it with a candle and mix the ashes with your champagne and drink it when the clock strikes midnight. This is done so because people’s wishes will be made true faster when you internalize (or shall I say, ingest) these dreams.
Most Japanese are Buddhist and they also celebrate New Year but not with loud party music and fireworks but with ringing of the bell, not just once or twice, but 108th times. This first ring is started late on New Year’s Eve in Buddhist temple, and the 108th ring is done exactly when the clock strikes 12. 108 is the number because according to Buddhist religion, this number signifies the human sins and sufferings, and when the bell is rung 108 times it said that you will be cleansed from your sins of the yesteryear.
Lovers, loved ones, friends and even acquaintances, kiss, hug and greet each other at the stroke of midnight. While this is true to most parts of the world, it is quite different in Denmark. Aside from the regular greetings, friends would like it better to see a big heap of broken china in their front steps because the larger the heap means there are also a lot of people liking you. So people grab their old crockery and smash in them on their beloved friends’ front door hoping to get a smashed plate on their front door, as well.
In Ecuador, each house’s backyard is alighted not with fireworks but with burning scarecrows. The scarecrow represents all the bad things and memories of the previous year, ready to be burned and forgotten. So by midnight, each family light their scarecrow to ward off the bad luck and start the New Year with just good luck and positivity.