For most of us, New Years is a time we spend with family and friends whether at home or out partying but we don’t really have traditions we associate with this time. Around the world people have interesting traditions that they do on New Years for different reasons, some for prosperity and others for relationships. Here are a few of them.
1. Burning effigies in Ecuador
In this part of Latin America it is tradition to burn scarecrows at midnight. This is meant to symbolize hope of leaving behind the problems of the last year and looking forward to a brighter future. Some people buy the effigies from stores and others enjoy making them themselves. The home-made version is a mask wearing dummy wearing old clothes and filled with saw dust and newspaper.
2. Lucky sweets in Bolivia
In Bolivia it is common to bake three coins into pastries. Whoever finds the coin will the one to get good luck for the new year, sounds like a sweet deal.
3. Dropping plates in Denmark
In this tradition people gather their chipped and unwanted dishes and smash them on the doors of friends and family to show their loyalty to one another. Popular people will find the most smashed crockery on their doorstep.
4. 12 Grapes in Spain
On New Years people in Spain try to place twelve grapes in their mouth and if they succeed they will have good luck. In another version of this tradition people are supposed to eat a grape for each chime of the clock at midnight. The origins of this tradition are unusual, it is said to have started as a way to get rid of a surplus of grapes.
5. Reading metal for the future in Finland
For this tradition people pour molten tin into a bucket full of water and try to give it meaning. Different shapes have different meanings and they vary greatly. For example, a heart-like shape denotes future romance, an anchor means hard times are ahead and etc.