In Denmark, smashing plates on a loved one's door is considered to be auspicious. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)
The first day of the new year is the most exciting time. It begins on an aspiring note, with people writing down their wishes and resolutions as earnestly as possible. Somewhere amid the merriment, they also observe and take part in some rituals, which are believed to bring them good luck. These New Year traditions vary from culture to culture, but are extremely popular around the world. Here are some fun and interesting practices that people observe on New Year's Eve and on the first day of the year. Read on.
Smashing crockery, Denmark
It may seem strange to others, but the people of Denmark believe in breaking unused plates and other crockery items on New Year's Eve. In fact, they throw them on the doors of their near and dear ones, so as to wish them good luck for the year ahead. Smashed crockery is considered to be a display of affection.
Scarecrow burning, Ecuador
The Ecuadorians set fire to a doll or to a paper scarecrow on New Year's Eve, to symbolically get rid of ill fate and troubles that plagued people in the previous year. They do this so as to look ahead and embrace a new year filled with hopes and newer goals. They also burn down photographs of things that represented the previous year.
In Spain, eating 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight, is believed to bring great luck. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)
Eating grapes, Spain
Around midnight, when the rest of the world is staring at fireworks, the Spanish are stuffing their mouth with 12 grapes, one for every time the bell rings to mark midnight. This is also a competition, wherein if you succeed, you are believed to be blessed with an incredibly lucky year.
Colourful underwear, South America
Why is underwear important, you ask? In many South American countries like Bolivia and Brazil, the colour of the underwear is believed to be an indication of what is to come in the new year. So, people begin their year by wearing one of a certain colour. For instance, if someone is looking to get lucky in love, they will likely wear a red underwear, if they are looking to attract wealth, a golden underwear, and if it is peace and prosperity that they wish upon themselves, they are believed to wear a white underwear.
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Packing bags, Latin America
In some Latin American countries, people customarily pack their bags on New Year's Eve, so as to fulfil their wish of wanting to travel abroad in the coming year. They do it quickly, stuffing their suitcases with clothes -- and hit the streets before the last bell of the year.
Ringing of the bell, Japan
The Japanese step into the new year by ringing a bell 108 times. This is a Buddhist tradition that is believed to banish all sins. People are in a joyous mood for the rest of the day.