Ringing In the New Year Around the Globe
Popping a cork, making resolutions, and watching the ball drop are all signs of New Year's celebrations in the US, but around the globe, not so much. Breaking plates, burning scarecrows, and eating grapes are just a few of the rituals celebrated to ring in the New Year.
Latin America: A tradition carried over from Spain, people in Latin America start the New Year by eating twelve grapes as fast as they can at the stroke of midnight. Each grape symbolizes one month of the year, and people make twelve wishes as they gobble down the grapes in less than one minute.
Ecuador: Scarecrow-like rag dolls called monigotes are burned at midnight in homage or disdain to make way for the New Year. Some regions also burn photographs to help let go of the past year and make room for the ãno nuevo. The burning tradition exists in Panama too, where effigies of famous people are burned to bring good luck.
Colombia: At the strike of midnight, Colombians dash out the front door and run around the block, carrying an empty suitcase in the hope of having a travel-filled New Year. Taking the first step on the right foot guarantees happy travels.
Chile: In Chile, women wear yellow underwear on New Year’s Eve to attract prosperity and money in the year to come. The tradition has expanded to other Latin American countries, where red underwear is worn to attract love, green underwear as a sign of hope, and in Peru, brightly colored underwear is worn inside out.
Brazil: The number seven has magical properties in Brazil, where people chew seven pomegranate seeds at the stroke of midnight without swallowing, and then save the seeds in their wallet to ensure a pocketful of money. At the beach, Brazilians jump over seven different waves as they make seven wishes on New Year’s Eve.
Estonia: The number seven has significance in Estonia too, where people eat seven times on New Year’s Day to ensure abundance in the New Year.
Denmark: Broken plates and dishes don’t go to waste in Denmark, where they are saved and then affectionately shattered against the front doors of friends and family on December 31. The person with the most shards outside is said to have the most friends.
Germany: An old custom has Germans melting small pieces of lead in a spoon over a candle, and pouring the liquid into a bowl of cold water. The resulting shape predicts the future: heart shapes mean marriage, and a round shape signifies good luck.
Switzerland: Celebrants drop ice cream on the floor to bring good luck, wealth, and peace in the New Year.
Wherever you are and whatever your custom, Amazon Beauty and Rahua wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.
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