2017 is on its way and we all are eagerly waiting for it. We go through all kinds of experiences, both high and low, throughout the year. But what matters is that life goes on. This is precisely what New Year makes you realise. There is always a new beginning.
To celebrate this yet another inception, we all have our different ways. Some party, some travel, some watch end of the year award functions on television with their families (yeah, that’s me), and some like to be tucked in the quilt with a good book (that’s again, me), as the clock strikes 12.
But people somewhere in other parts of the world like to think out-of-the-box and ring in the New Year. Here we give you a sneak peek into some ‘quirky customs and traditions’ from around the world.
Picked out from a multitude of foreign customs, here are the 6 most amazing New Year customs around the world that you can give a try to!
Do let us know which is your favourite custom? Wishing you a very Happy New Year.
1. South America
I found this one the easiest and the most hilarious one! In some South American countries, people wear coloured underwear to gain success and fortune for the next year. The colours are, of course, very specific, and they symbolise what the person wishes to achieve.
Red underwear is worn by people who seek love in the coming year. Yellow signifies gold, basically wealth. White underwear makes sure you’ll find peace in the following year. I’m sure most of you will be willing to try this one out.
Trying out this will surely start a laughter riot, and good memories for your family and friends.
Want to blend fun with prophesies? The Germans have just the thing for you. Lead is considered auspicious in Germany. On New Year’s Eve, people pour molten lead into cold water. Whatever shape the cooled down lead takes predicts your fortune for the following year. Voodoo much?
These are the predictions made by the following shapes –
A heart – Love and marriage will find their path in your life.
Round shapes – You’ll be blessed with good luck.
Anchor shapes – One needs help in his/her life.
Cross – Unfortunately, it indicates someone’s sad demise.
The Spanish have a yet another interesting way of making sure that the new dates in their calendars bring new and better fortune in their lives. People attempt to stuff 12 grapes in their mouths at midnight. If they succeed in doing so, they achieve good luck for the next year. 12 grapes stand for 12 months of the coming year filled with happiness.
Watching your kids try to stuff their little mouths with grapes will be the cutest sight ever!
People of Belgium welcome New Year with warmth and festive mood. They throw parties at their houses where family and friends exchange gifts, greetings and wish each other good fortune for the next year. Kids save money for decorations and present the elders with New Year greeting cards.
Togetherness, love and warmth is what makes a family, a family. To be with your loved ones and receive the happiness of the following year, this Belgian custom grants you all of it.
A guest is welcomed into a house through the door, so is the next year when we talk of the Chinese. Red symbolises love, happiness and fortune. In China, people paint the front door with red paint to welcome the next year on a happy note. Also, they keep all the knives and other sharp objects in the house hidden so that nobody cuts oneself as it is believed that it can cut down the good luck of the whole family for the following year. Though, they freely use knives during the feast.
6. The Netherlands
The Dutch make arrangements for the coming year as well as the cold weather. Bonfires made of the Christmas trees are burnt by people on the streets on New Year’s Eve. Somewhat like a cleansing ceremony, it symbolises being freed from the old and welcoming everything new in life.
This is similar to Lohri festival in Northern India. Another great way to celebrate New Year’s eve with your family and friends, sitting around the bonfire, cuddling and sharing anecdotes. Seems nice, doesn’t it?
Happy minds just need a small excuse to celebrate their zest for life. Such occasions give you that excuse. So, let’s bid farewell to 2016, and welcome 2017 with open hearts and a tinge of experimentation with the above customs.
Happy New Year!
(Compiled by Utkarsha Arvind)