Want to know how you can guarantee good fortune in 2016? Check out some of these interesting traditions around the world that you can do to ring in the new year.
A common tradition in Colombia is to run hard and fast around the house with a suitcase in hand to ensure a year of traveling. Great for someone who suffers from wanderlust.
No, the Danes do not smash plates on each others' doors, despite the Viking-esque rumors. They do, however, stand on chairs and jump off of them at the stroke of midnight. By taking your feet off the ground in the final moments of the year, it is said that you'll leave all the bad spirits behind as you "jump into" a fresh, new year.
In Germany, many people rub chimney ashes on their foreheads for good fortune and health. Like many Nordic countries, they also indulge in a fortune telling ritual by pouring molten lead into cold water, and the shape of the cooled metal predicts your fortune. Shapes such as a heart or anchor will predict new love or hard times ahead, respectively.
In Greece, the pomegranate has held strong symbolic meaning since ancient times. A common tradition on New Year's Eve is to throw pomegranates on the ground, and break them apart. The more they burst, the more abundance your household will have.
A very old custom, and still practiced by some today in Ireland, is for the unmarried women to place mistletoe leaves under their pillow. This is believed to bring good fortune, hoping to find love in the new year.
Mexicans celebrate by eating 12 grapes, one for each of the 12 clock chimes at midnight, making a wish with each one. The grapes also represent the 12 months of the new year, and each wish is to ensure a lucky month. However, a sour grape will represent a particularly unlucky month and a wish unfulfilled.
New Year's Eve is a big deal in Russia, and is very similar to how we celebrate Christmas in the West. One wish-making custom on New Year's Eve is to write your wish on a piece of paper, burn it, and mix the ashes in your champagne glass before drinking it at the stroke of midnight.
In Scotland, they celebrate Hogmanay, and the most popular tradition is the "first-footing," which involves the first person to "cross the threshold" (enter the front door) of a friend's house that will determine that household's fortune of the new year. The first foot is expected to bring luck-bearing gifts of coal, salt, bread, whiskey and a coin, and enter saying "A happy New Year and good tidings to you and yours!"
Passed down from English and German folklore, Americans kissing their special someone at midnight has been a common tradition said to bring good fortune and erase bitter memories. Originally, it was believed that the first person you encountered at the start of the new year would determine whether you had good or bad luck in the new year, so you'd kiss them to seal the deal. Over time, the custom changed to selecting who you wanted your good fortune to be shared with.
Venezuelans wear bright yellow underwear for luck, and typically showcase it for the world to see. Whether that means wearing underwear on the outside or no pants at all, each are supposedly good luck. Other variations of the same ritual include wearing different colors for what you want to have in the new year: red for love, gold for wealth, and white for peace and a fresh start.
Almost none of these customs are reserved to any single country, and typically countries sharing the same language and culture will also share customs. For example, most Latin countries have very similar New Year's Eve traditions, if not the same.
New Year's Eve traditions around the world said to bring you good luck
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