Gregorian calendar has attained validity across the globe and according to this calendar; almost all the countries of the world celebrate New Year at an interval of 364/365 days on 1st of January every year. There are different beliefs and methods with regard to celebration of New Year in different countries. In this article, we will learn about the interesting traditions and events associated with the celebrations on New Year’s eve in some of the selected countries of the world.
1. Russia: In Russia, people write their wishes on a paper on the New Year’s Eve and burn it. After this, the ashes of the burnt paper are mixed with Champagne and are drunk by the wisher. In Russia, there is belief that their wish in this form will motivate them to achieve their goals in the coming year.
2. Chile: Here, on New Year’s Eve, people eat a spoon full of lentils and keep a coin at the sole of their shoes. The belief behind this is that they will receive money at every step in the New Year. It is believed that they will receive wealth during the next twelve months of the year. Some brave people spend their New Year’s Eve in the grave yards of their beloved.
3. Denmark: Here, people follow a strange method of expressing love for their neighbors. They break glasses and plates on the doors in their neighborhood. Some people even stand on chairs and jump exactly at 12 ‘o’ clock on New Year’s night.
4. Ecuador: Here, people burn the effigies of the politicians and also of the people whom they do not like. The logic behind this ritual is to get rid of the negative energies of the previous year. Similar kind of programmes are organized in Paraguay, Columbia and Panama. Those who do not burn the effigies of politicians, they hide the money in the compound of their houses so that they can attain wealth in the coming year.
5. Philippines: Here, people wear clothes with dots and keep coins in their pockets. In Philippines, it is considered that round shaped objects symbolize prosperity. They also eat round shaped objects such as pineapple, Orange, Guava etc. on the New Year’s Eve.
6. Germany: On New Year’s Eve, Germans melt the pieces of Lead and throw it into water. When it takes a shape on cooling, they interpret the future by the shapes thus attained. In this way, they interpret the events of the coming year.
7. Greece: Greek people sing carols on the New Year’s Eve. Children receive money from their elders and neighbours after singing New Year Carols. When the countdown for the New Year begins they switch off all lights so that the New Year can be started on a fresh note. In parts of Greece, there is a tradition of eating Vasilopita (a kind of cake). They hide coins in the cake. New Year is considered lucky for whosoever gets the coin in his piece of cake.
8. South Africa: On New Year’s Eve in South Africa, people throw out the old furniture, clothes and old gadgets like TV, Radio etc. from their houses. Here, people prefer to begin the New Year with New things.
9. Spain: In Spain and other Spanish speaking countries, there is a tradition of eating twelve grapes on the night of New Year. Here, people like to eat one grape with each bell at the midnight which signifies good luck for the coming twelve months.
10. Cuba: In Cuba, it is believed that if one is bitten by a travel bug, he should take the full round of his house at midnight with a suitcase in hand on the New Year’s Eve. They believe that one gets ample opportunities to travel after performing this ritual. Some people clean their houses at night and throw water outside their windows.
11. Brazil: Brazilians wear all white clothes on New Year’s Eve to get rid of evil spirits. Some people in Brazil, follow the practice of diving in the seven waves of sea during the first week of the New Year and also throw flowers in the sea.
In India also, New Year is celebrated with a big bang. Here, youngsters organize parties in which everything from cake to liquor is served throughout. In India, some people take pledges in the form of New Year resolutions like to quit smoke/drink, to take care of their health or to abstain from immoral activities.