In America, we usher in the new year with parties, champagne and well wishes that we want to come true. Some people in other parts of the world find other ways to make note of this passage of time.
We recently came across a few that we’d like to share with you because they remind us all that everyone has hopes for a benevolent year filled with love and delights.
Puerto Rico– At the stroke of midnight some people drop backwards into the breaking ocean waves.
Mexico– On New Year’s Eve, many Mexicans decorate their homes in different colors, each representing hopes for the new year. Red is for love, yellow is for work and green is for money.
Iceland– Iceland has a whole new host of magical traditions that are said to take place on New Year’s Eve, such as cows being able to talk, the dead rising from their grave, and elves moving house.
England– The tradition of kissing at midnight stems back to old English and German folklore. A midnight kiss will set the tone of your relationship for the coming year.
Greece– An onion is traditionally hung from the front door of a house on New Year’s Eve as a symbol for rebirth for the coming year. Parents then wake their children the next morning by tapping an onion on their head.
Southern States– It’s traditional to eat a stew made from black-eyed peas, which symbolize coins. In this way, eating them with bring prosperity into the new year.
Canada– Known as the Polar Bear Swim, the tradition started in 1920 and involves people jumping into the freezing waters of the English Bay on New Year’s Day.
Denmark– Dane’s like nothing more than seeing in the new year by smashing plates on their neighbors’ doorstep. The more broken crockery at your door, the better your luck for the coming year.