We all have our traditions on New Year’s, during the day, during dinner, at midnight or any other moment. Celebrating New Year’s is first of all very different from what I’m used to in Sweden. Here in Spain people usually celebrate the evening with their parents and after midnight they go out partying while the parents stay in. In Sweden I haven’t spent a New Year with my parents since I was 15. On New Year’s you get together with your friends, you eat a fancy dinner, drink champagne, and sometimes you go out after midnight.
And then we have the little things that makes a big difference…
They are very superstitious in Spain and they do many things over the whole day. First of all, you have to wear red underwear because it’s meant to bring you luck during the new year. Secondly, at midnight they all watch TV and are eating grapes. There’s a countdown broadcasted from famous squares over the country and when it reaches midnight there are animated grapes on the TV screen. For every dong the bell gives one grape disappear, which means that you have to eat a grape for every bell ring. These two things are used in almost every family, but some families have more traditions…
My friend told me that her brother is very superstitious and they usually write down a wish on a piece of paper, they leave it under a glass of champagne and at midnight they drink the champagne and this will make the wish come true during the year. They also put a golden ring into their champagne because that will bring them luck. Sometimes they stand on their chair and have a toast, but I can’t remember why, probably that will bring you luck too.
In Denmark they stand on their chair at midnight and jump into the new year. They also seem to crash their dinner plates against doors and walls for good luck. In Sweden we don’t have anything superstitious, but our main activity at midnight is to watch all the fireworks. Some families have their own, but the government always has a big show for everyone to watch. And of course, we drink champagne.
In USA I think the midnight kiss is the big thing and they do another thing, similar to Spain, they wear colorful underwear. I’ve heard that in England people are diving into freezing water, but that’s during the day.
In South America Colombia has a weird habit. They walk around with their suitcases during the day in hopes of having a travel filled year. In Peru they have the Takanakuy (quechua for “to hit each other”) festival which means that they meet up and fight to be able to start the new year clean. In Puerto Rico they want to drive away evil spirits by throwing water out of the window, and in Chile they have a cemetery sleepover.
And honestly, there are so many more weird traditions over the world.
Which ones do you have in your country?