Out with the old, in with the new

15467456315_d81218681e_zThe New Year is always welcomed with huge enthusiasm as it means a new beginning; a chance to forget about last year’s worries, mistakes and conflicts.

While many celebrate the New Year with fireworks, champagne and dancing, others have more unusual ways of marking the New Year and to guarantee fortune.

Here’s a list of some of the interesting ways New Year’s is celebrated across the globe:

Jump into the new year

When midnight strikes in Denmark, people climb up on the nearest chair and jump off into the air. Jumping off a chair is believed to banish bad spirits from haunting you into the year ahead. Just make sure you don’t kick off the New Year with a broken bone.

Dresscode: white

In Brazil, people wear white on New Year’s eve; white is thought to bring you peace and renewal. However, Brazilians add their own twist to their white attire with coloured accessories or undergarments. Every colour has a different meaning, for example red brings you love and yellow symbolises great wealth.

4325617468_9fb51c3418_zMoreover, every year in Rio de Janeiro more than two million people gather on the famous Copacabana beach to honour Yemanja, Goddess of the Sea, by throwing flowers into the sea. Other offerings such as rice or perfume are put into small paper boats which are tossed into the water.

Start the year right

Everyone wants to start off the new year right, but in Argentina you’ll do this literally. When you’re counting down, saying goodbye to the final seconds of the year, make sure you make a step with your right foot at exactly 12:00 am. It is believed this will bring you luck.

Take the plunge

8332885221_79d6e17179_zIn countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, many people ring in the New Year by braving icy waters and take a plunge on January 1st.

In Canada, this New Year’s Day tradition is called ‘Polar Bear Swim’ and started back in 1920. Since 1960 thousands of people dive into the icy cold North Sea water in the Netherlands or in lakes elsewhere in the country. While some merely do it for the fun of it, others try to raise money for charity.

Burn a wish

When the clock chimes, Russians write down a wish on a small piece of paper, burn it and put the ashes in a champagne glass. They need to drink this right before midnight for the wish to come true.

A spoonful of lentils

While in Spain people put a grape in their mouth each time the clock chimes by midnight, in Chile they eat a spoonful of lentils when midnight strikes to ensure a year filled with financial prosperity.

Does your country have an interesting New Year’s Eve tradition?

Images: [Flickr, Fotos GOVBA, Roel Wijnants]

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