Grapes, Red Pants, Flying Objects and More

348 Grapes, Red Pants, Flying Objects and MoreChristmas has already finished but there is another forthcoming holiday – New Year. Various nations celebrate it according to their local traditions which are sometimes strange and weird, funny and crackpot. So, guys, here are some New Year’s traditions from all over the world.

Italy: The Italians have a tradition, according to which red pants and underwear should be worn on the New Year’s Eve. The tradition of wearing and giving red underwear dates back to the medieval times when men wore a drape in red over the groin thus protecting and keeping safe their “family jewels” 😀 from witches. Those witches were a real trouble because they rushed here and there at midnight, casting spells or having fun. 😀 And why was red chosen? Just because it’s a lucky colour and keeps negative energy away.

Spain: The Spaniards have a very lovely tradition at midnight sharp when the New Year comes. They usually gather together and they should eat 12 grapes. Each of the grapes is dedicated to one wish they should make while eating it. Or in other words said, they eat 12 grapes, make 12 wishes, one for each month of the year.  There is one condition here. They should eat each grape in the rhythm of a bell ring. If they don’t manage to do it, their wish will not come true. But if they do it, they will be lucky throughout the year and all their wishes will come true. It could be a great burden for unexperienced foreigners. So, please, be careful and try to not get choked with the grapes.

The Netherlands:  While the Spaniards eat grapes together, the Dutch get sober together. Yes. It’s a tradition for about 25 000 locals (especially around The Hague) to jump in the icy and even frozen waters of the sea, lakes and rivers. This diving whose aim is to have a refreshing effect over the locals, has been “practised” since the 60s of last century.

Estonia: As per the local tradition, the Estonians ought to try to eat 7 times on the New Year’s Eve. Thus they will get the strength to jump into the New Year. The origin of the tradition dates back to the “poor” years of the country. But …. but the tradition has changed. Nowadays these seven meals and food are (almost) substituted for alcohol.

Colombia: If you’re a passionate traveller, for sure, you ought to spend the New Year’s Eve in Colombia. Why? The people of the country carry empty suitcases here and there in their residential complexes with the hope they will have the chance to travel much more next year.

South Africa and Denmark: Some carry empty suitcases; others say “Farewell” to their old appliances and devices by throwing them through the window. The latter happens in the central parts of Johannesburg. (My humble piece of advice is: “My friends, watch out and look up” 🙂 ) I will open a bracket here. As a matter of fact, it is an old Venetian tradition. On the New Year’s day the Venetians would throw their old belongings from the window hoping to get new, better ones from the next year. This old tradition has somehow been shifted from New Year to Easter on the Ionian Islands and nowadays the islanders from Corfu and Zakynthos follow it strictly by throwing pots and jars of all sizes on Easter. Bracket closed. Last funny fact here. Apparently, the locals of Denmark have adopted the “Easter pot-smashing” tradition from the islanders of the Ionian Islands and have adjusted it to their New Year’s traditions. What do they do? They throw plates and glasses at …. at their relatives and friends’ doors. But before that, at midnight sharp they jump together from the chairs, that symbolizes a jump together in the New Year.

Romania: Being on the topic of “throwing something”, the Romanians believe that if you throw your only coins in the river, this will make your year, i.e. it will be a prosperous one for you.

Panama: And I will end up this New Year’s post with far-distant Panama. The mannequin of celebrities is burnt out ritually on the New year’s Eve and thus locals drive away goblins.

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