10 Bizarre New Year’s Eve Traditions

By December 28, 2016 Holidays

If you think Times Square on New Year’s Eve is exciting, imagine swinging a ball of fire around your head. Check out these odd New Year traditions to see how people around the world celebrate.

The old year is winding down and the new one is approaching. We think it’s the perfect time for a touch of levity before all of us head back to work in January. So below are ten “unique” ways of welcoming the New Year as listed by the New York Daily News.

  1. Great Balls of Fire – In Scotland, revelers parade through the streets swinging blazing balls of fire around their heads in a custom with roots traced back to the Vikings (Braveheart would be proud)
  2. Undercover Color – In areas of Spain and Latin America, including Mexico, brightly colored underwear is worn under the New Year party outfits in an attempt to bring either love (red underwear) or money (yellow underwear) in the next 12 months.
  3. Calling Dr. Doolittle – In Romania, farmers try to hear their animal talk in a ritual which signifies good luck for the coming year (or it may signify the urgent need for some counseling).
  4. Grin and Bear It – Again, in Romania, revelers wear bear costumes and furs and dance at different houses to keep evil at bay (What’s with all the animal imagery in Romania???).
  5. Going Nowhere Fast – In Columbia and Mexico, people walk around the block with an empty suitcase to signify a coming year of travel (and incredibly cheap travel as well).
  6. You’re Toast – If you’re in Russia on New Year’s Eve, that midnight toast may contain more than champagne. Russians write their wishes for the New Year down, burn the paper, and sprinkle the ashes in the champagne.
  7. Playing Possum, Literally – New York City may think they have the celebration covered with their Times Square ball drop. But that pales in comparison to Brasstown, NC which has the “possum-drop.” A transparent cage containing a live possum is lowered over a noisy crowd as it cheers in the New Year. Not surprisingly, Brasstown is considered the possum capital of the world (and maybe the roadkill capital as well). If you think we’re kidding, here’s a link to this year’s possum drop!
  8. Sour Grapes – In Spain, people stuff 12 grapes in their mouth, one for every chime of the clock at the New Year’s Eve countdown (I have no idea what this signifies, but watch out for the pits).
  9. Out with the Old – In Johannesburg, South Africa, people take this remark literally, throwing old furniture out the window as a way to start the New Year fresh (and force instant remodeling).
  10. Even More Out with the Old – How would you like to spend New Year’s Eve by your relative’s graveside? Me neither. But in central Chile, revelers by the thousands go to the cemetery and sit by family gravesides surrounded by candles while classical music plays.

We here at NationaLease wish all of you and yours a very happy and very safe New Year and a very prosperous 2017.

What are the notable New Year traditions you, your family, or your friends practice? Let us know and maybe you’ll make next year’s list.

Bridget Bradshaw

About Bridget Bradshaw

Bridget Bradshaw is the Marketing Manager for NationaLease and oversees the marketing of NationaLease meetings and events, the NationaLease NEWS, Webinars, and various other projects.

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