You’re all set for New Year’s Eve: noisemakers, your favorite sequined apparel – and really? those glasses bent into the numbers 2-0-1-2? Maybe it’s time to consider your options for celebrate with a global fashion . There’s more than one use for champagne (foot rubs, am I right?), and there’s a million ways to welcome in the new year. You heard that, a NEW year. So why celebrate in any old-fashioned way?
Here are some New Year’s Eve traditions from around the world. Because I know you’re tired of that whole horn-blowing, nose-knocking business by now.
In Denmark, jump around gets a literal and spiritual meaning. If you find yourself in this country on New Year’s Day, don’t be appalled by the broken dishes outside people’s doors. That only means they have lots of friends. One of the best new year’s traditions can be found in Denmark, where people jump off chairs at midnight, and run around town breaking old dishes on the front doors of their friends’ homes. The dishes are intented to banish all bad spirits in the coming year.
In Spain, partiers pop twelve grapes at midnight, and try to swallow them all before the clocks turns to 12:01. Why bother with champagne when you can go straight to the source?
If you’re a single woman in Belarus, New Year’s is not just an excuse to party; it’s the time to fight for a husband. New Year’s celebrations here often include a series of games to determine which lucky lady will be the first to wed in the new year. One example of this intense competition? A game involving a rooster and piles of corn. If anyone can tell me what the guys are doing during all of this fun, I’d love to know. It can’t be nearly anything as fun as what these gals are up to…
Thankfully, in Ireland, the single lasses get to rest a little more easily. Irish folklore claims that a sprig of mistletoe placed under a single woman’s pillow on New Year’s Eve will produce a husband in the new year.
In Ecuador, it’s not a fiesta until something gets burned. Usually, it’s the bad memories crammed into old pictures, jewelry, an empty bottle of rum. Other times, a family will torch a whole scarecrow to symbolize an end to a year’s worth of bad spirits. The burning is thought to prevent unwanted memories from carrying forward into the new year.
The Philippines rounds out the year’s end by eating, wearing, and giving all things circular: grapes, polka dots, coins. The shape represents prosperity and good luck for a fresh start.
In Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, and various South American countries, the New Year is welcomed with brightly colored skivvies. Certain colors are imagined to bring about various good fortunes for the visual-conscious wearer. Want a passionate love life? Red cheekies to the rescue! Money, wealth, and prosperity? Then yellow bloomers are your best bet. Just a clean bill of health? Go green under your sequins this year. It might take a stretch of imagination, some extra wishful thinking, but why shouldn’t your unmentionables represent your barest hopes?
Go crazy, party kids.