The end of the calendar calls for joyous celebration around the world, but with every region there exists a special mode of celebrating the New Year.
New Year is a time of new beginnings, resolutions and letting go of anything detrimental holding you back. It might be just a change in the calendar for some (this writer included), but it is a metaphor bearing optimism for several people all over the world. And they make no bones to hide their joy. But some cultures in particular go beyond to celebrate it in a manner most unique, and sometimes strange.
Here’s The Sherps’ list of 7 interesting New Year traditions you may have never heard of.
One dish a month at Belarus
The New Year tradition of Belarus is an event we agree with, wholeheartedly, and cannot wait to adopt in our lives. While most families conclude the calendar with great meals, the citizens of Belarus go a step ahead with their delectability. On New Year’s Eve a typical Belarus dinner would consist of twelve scrumptious dishes, each representing a month of the year. This is to ensure that the upcoming year would be just as deliciously lavish. Pork, beef and meatballs feature aplenty.
Jump the highest at Phillipines
While most party-goers and revellers like to do the proverbial jump when the clock strikes 12 on New Year’s Eve, in the country of Phillipines, this characteristic New Year hoorah comes with metaphors of subsequent body growth. Sounds weird?
In Phillipines, children often gather around together and bend their knees in anticipation of the New Year, and as soon as the clock strikes 12, they take a big leap in the air. It is believed that the higher a child jumps, the taller it will grow next year. Here’s to positive reinforcement!
Jump off a chair as January begins in Denmark
Step into the future, as sci-fi movies will have you believe and as Denmark preaches in reality. You might be surprised to find the native of Denmark climbing onto a chair a few minutes before midnight, but once the New Year strikes, you will know why. As the clock strikes Twelve, the Danes jump of their chairs, thereby signifying the jump into the new calendar. The Danes are also the happiest people in the world, so we might as well, agree.
January the 1st – Day of Buttered Bread in Ireland
During times of celebrations, friends, family and neighbours often gift each other food. While the Irish do enjoy eating a scrumptious serving of cake during New Year’s Eve, on the 1st day of the year, they leave buttered bread outside the doorstep of their neighbours. This is believed to rid them of starvation in the year to come.
Chile celebrates New Year with its dead
Of all the things one would like to celebrate the New Year with (alcohol, food, what have you), the dead may not feature in the list. But in Chile, people graciously head to the cemeteries for the annual New Year Mass, so their dead can partake in the prayers too. They set up chairs next to the gravesides of their deceased members, so the idea of ‘forever’ is reinstated.
Eat a grape for every chime at Mexico and Spain
The twelve chimes that signal it midnight are infamously popular, not just for their deafening sound but for the anticipation and celebration they cause in people during the New Year. The Mexicans, though, celebrate each chime by popping a grape in their mouths. A practise also followed with much enthusiasm in Spain, each grape is meant to signify a wish that is bound to be fulfilled in the coming year.
Write a wish, burn it and drink it in Russia
That Russians are quite badass in their own way is well known (Well, Hello Putin!), but their New Year tradition is quite bold, if we can say so ourselves. Revellers in Russia like to write down their wish on a piece of paper; a wish they’d like to realise in the next year. The paper, with the wish, is their burned, and its ashes are adding to their glass of champagne, which they gulp down once the clock strikes twelve.
So, which of these practices are you most excited to adopt in the coming year? Do let us know in the comments below!