New Year's traditions from around the world
Dec 29,2016   Article on  2Nite

Dear 2Niters,



On behalf of all the 2Nite team, we’d like to wish you all a prosperous and happy 2017.

Today’s post is dedicated to different New Year’s traditions from around the world.

Note: this post is about customs around January 1stst; there will be a separate future post on Lunar New Year customs in Asia.


#1 Scotland 



On the 31stst of December, Scottish men walk around the streets of Edinburgh waving great balls of fire.This is referred to as “The Hogmanay Festival”; this is tradition that comes from the time of the Vikings and is meant to represent to bring purification and sunshine.

Our Explanation: It’s quite possible this was done a) to keep the Vikings away b) to warm up the very very very cold streets of Scotland.




#2 South Africa 



In South Africa, some people welcome the New Year by throwing old appliances out of the window, including TV sets and refrigerators!

ATTENTION: Apart from looking ridiculous, walking the streets of Johannesburg with a helmet on on New Year’s Eve probably won’t save you from the impact of a washing machine hitting your head.



#3 Latin America 



In Latin America, wearing red underwear on New Year’s Eve is supposed to bring a person good luck with love…in addition, in Puerto Rico, white underwear is supposed to bring fertility and health, while in Colombia, yellow underwear is meant to bring happiness and peace.

Our explanation: perhaps hundreds of years ago when Latin America was still under Spanish and Portuguese rule, some people in certain regions, decided to celebrate New Year’s Eve with no underwear on, this causing the authorities and the textile industry to make up clever marketing stories to promote the sale and use of underwear. We haven’t verified this theory, but we will research it further.


#4 Peru 



The residents of the small Peruvian village of Takanakuy take anger management to the next level. Taking place on December 25th, community members will fight friends, family members, or other community residents to resolve disputes regarding land, personal issues, etc. The purpose is to resolve all issues before entering the New Year.

We just have one question: if the strongest person in the village has a dispute with everyone else, claiming everyone’s land belongs to him, then what happens?



#5 Denmark 



In Denmark, friends and neigbours smash old  plates and cups and leave them outside your door. The higher the pile, the more friends and more likeable you are…

Warning: don’t go into a store and test which plates are the best to smash.



#6 Switzerland 



In Switzerland, residents celebrate the New Year by letting ice cream drop on the ground. Supposedly, this is meant to bring abundance in the New Year.


Our explanation: many years ago, a mayor of a city in Switzerland decided to host an event for its residents. At the event, free ice cream was given out, but because the ice cream was the cheapest and tasted like iced cabbage painted in white wall paint, all residents threw their ice cream to the ground in disgust and walked away. In order not to lose face, the mayor came up with the idea and explanation that this was done for good luck. Eventually his story prevailed until this became a nationwide custom.