All across the planet people celebrate strange and interesting New Year traditions every year.
These range from cramming grapes into your mouth to giving people pieces of coal and believing the color of your underwear dictates your destiny. Which ones of the following have you seen or taken part in?
Eating 12 Grapes – Spain
One of the most exciting things about being in Spain when the clock strikes 12 is that you get to cram a dozen grapes in your mouth. They even sell little tins with exactly 12 little peeled and seedless grapes in the supermarkets. You then stuff one in your mouth with each chime of the clock. This is either easier or more difficult than you think, depending upon how big your mouth is and how hard you think it is.
Colorful Underwear – Latin America
If you take a trip to a clothes market in a Latin American country just before New Year you might be surprised at the unusual New Year tradition you see starting to take shape. You will see a sea of yellow and red underwear laid out in front of you. This is because these colors are seen as bringing you good luck in the New Year. Yellow undergarments will bring you success and money. If you slip on some red underwear then you can expect to be lucky in love the following year. Which color would you go for?
The First Footer – Scotland
As a kid growing up in Scotland I learned to be very nervous about the first person to step into our house after the bells had struck. Traditionally that person would bring a gift such as coal with them, which was great until we moved onto an electric fire in our house. You will be hoping for a tall, dark male to be your first visitor, as he will bring you the best luck.
The Lowering of the Possum –USA
We might as well start this one with the bad news; you are highly unlikely to see a lowering of the possum in New York City, Washington DC or even Hollywood. This is a New Years tradition that doesn’t cover the whole of the USA. Instead, it is carried out in the town of Brasstown in North Carolina. You probably already know that this is the possum capital of the world, don’t you? To celebrate this exciting fact a possum is lowered over a crowd on New Year in a transparent box. No, I don’t know why.
A Giant Kissathon – Italy
If lowering a possum doesn’t light your fire then what about a giant kiss-in without any marsupials in sight at all? Every year in St Mark’s Square, Venice a big group of (presumably) couples get together at midnight for a big kiss. Apparently this place holds the record for the biggest group kiss when 70,000 smooched at the same time during this strange New Year tradition.
Throwing Dishes – Denmark
Wouldn’t you just love to start the New Year by throwing dishes at your neighbors’ front doors? You’re darned tooting you would. Well, you want to get your sorry butt over to Denmark then, don’t you? This is apparently a Danish New Year tradition and it sounds pretty interesting.
Wearing Polka Dots – Philippines
If you believe that polka dots are the work of Satan (and you really should) then you don’t want to pass New Year in the Philippines. An interesting New Year tradition here is to wear a lot of polka dots. It sounds like something worth seeing if everyone takes part in it but I guess that watching a crowd of people walking down the street like this would give you a headache even before you started drinking.