Everybody is starting to say goodbye to 2016 and a big hello to 2017. It’s been a hard year for a lot of countries and getting rid of all those negative vibes are in order. It’s the one celebration where every country in the whole world celebrates it at the same time. It’s the time where the third rock from the sun is filled with festivities, cheers, and fireworks.
However, each country has its own traditions and rituals during December 31st of each year. Some are considered the norm like throwing a party and making fireworks while others may be viewed as quite bizarre like burning dolls symbolized as politicians. But in any case, everyone is celebrating and welcoming the New Year fresh.
Family gatherings are a must, decorating the house with a Christmas tree, buying new clothes, making a big dinner and taking lots of photos and uploading them to Facebook.
There are two main traditions celebrated each year in Denmark. One is to stand on a chair and as the clock strikes twelve they jump off it, it’s interpreted that it would bring them good luck. The other is when they spend the whole year collecting dishes, and on December 31st, they throw them against their houses. It’s seen that the most broken dishes the more friends one will have during the New Year. The more the merrier huh?
To get rid of all the negativity that occurred during the year, Ecuadorians enjoy the new year by burning dummies representing politicians or people they don’t like in general. Another is to hide money all around their houses as a mean that represents prosperity.
Melting lead in a spoon, throwing it in cold water and waiting to see what it shapes is how the Germans celebrate the New Year. They believe that whichever shape it makes, it’ll predict how the New Year would be. Whether it’s filled with love and prosperity or not.
It’s believed that round objects bring prosperity and good fortune. So you wouldn’t be surprised street vendors set up fruit in circles all around the country. Traditionally, they also eat twelve round fruits when the clock strikes midnight. As the custom goes, you may find many Filipinos wearing polka dot patterned clothing during this time of year.
One particular famous tradition from the Dutch is ‘the New Year’s Dive’, which is when thousands of people attempt to swim in the freezing waters of the North Sea. Another ritual is ‘Carbide Shooting’, which is basically blowing up milk cans. It’s very dangerous, but’s it’s how they celebrate the New Year.
It’s not a surprise if you find old furniture like chairs, tables or TVs on the streets on January 1st. It’s customary in Johannesburg to throw out old furniture and appliances as a symbol of ‘out with old and in the new’.
As the clock strikes midnight, it ticks 12 times, and it’s customary to eat 12 grapes with each tick. The number twelve symbolized each month of the year. It’s believed to bring good luck and fortune throughout the year.
A gathering of friends and family over for a festive dinner is traditional. As well as enjoying some firework shows at the Big Ben. A custom that may be viewed a bit odd and out of place is ‘First Footing’. Which in order to be done, a tall and handsome man has to be the first person to enter the house after the clock strikes twelve. He has to carry bread, a bottle of whiskey, salt, and coal. He needs to serve the family the bread and drink, warm the house up and wish the family good health and fortune for the New Year. He must as well leave through the back door. This odd ritual is considered to bring good luck to the household.