The new year is swiftly approaching (2015? is that you?) and that means celebrations are in order. But these celbrations often vary depending on where you’re from and your local cultures and religions. Check out some of the weird, wacky and cool ways The Business Insider found that people will be celebrating this year:
1. In Argentina, people eat beans on New Year’s Eve for good luck in the year ahead.
In Argentina, it’s commonly believed that eating beans before the clock strikes midnight means they will have good luck in their careers in the year ahead. And, quite possibly, less luck in the flatulence department.
Some also believe that if they carry a suitcase around their house, they will travel more in the year to come. So come on, get lifting!
2. In China, New Year’s rituals include cleaning and buying presents.
Though celebrations to honor the Gregorian New Year are held in major Chinese cities such as Hong Kong and Shanghai, the Chinese Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival does not happen until late January or early February.
Traditions vary across China, but many include cleaning the Chinese people cleaning their homes to get rid of bad luck, buying presents for loved ones, and children receiving money in red paper envelopes. So, not really too different to some western cultures!
3. In Denmark, people eat a really huge cakeand smash dishes.
People in Denmark prepare an evening meal that ends with a special dessert known as Kransekage, a steep-sloped cone-shaped cake decorated with fire crackers and flags. And it’s giant. Like, absolutely huge.
Also, it is thought that throwing dishes on someone’s doorstep on January 1st assures they will have many friends in the year ahead. We’re definitely trying this one out on our neighbors!
4. In Ecuador, people burn effigies of their enemies at midnight.
Thousands of life-size dummies representing misfortunes from the past year that are burned in the streets.The scarecrows are made from newspapers and pieces of wood, and at midnight, everyone gather outside their homes to burn the dummies together. Like Guy Fawkes night but better!
5. In Estonia, they eat up to 12 in one night.
For some in Estonia, New Years means eating seven, nine, or twelve meals. With each meal consumed, it is believed that the person gains the strength of that many men the following year. We’re starting to wonder if the guy from Man Vs. Food ever had a go
You don’t eat the entire meal, however – part of the meal is left unfinished for the spirits or ancestors who visit the house on New Year’s Eve.
6. In Finland, people tell one another’s fortunes with melted tin.
A Finnish new year tradition is called molybdomancy (yes, really), which is the act of telling New Year’s fortunes by melting tin (actually lead) in a tiny pan on the stove and then quickly throwing it into a bucket of cold water.
The blob of metal is then analyzed to see what fate will befall the person in the New Year, like a very dramatic form of tea leaves.
7. In Germany, they eat pigs made of marzipan and watch TV.
The German people eat jam-filled doughnuts made with or without liquor fillings on New Year’s Eve, as well as a tiny marzipan pigs as a token of good luck. We want in on this one.
The entire country also loves to watch the 1920s British Cabaret play Dinner For One that is broadcast on German television stations in black and white each year, which we can assume is to them what Love Actually or Elf is to us.
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8. In Greece, people hang an onion on their doors.
It’s believed that hanging an onion, or kremmida on your door on New Year’s eve as a symbol of rebirth in the coming year. The following morning, parents traditionally tap their children on the head with the kremmida to wake them up before church we can just imagine it now.
Greeks also commonlybreak a pomegranate on their doorstep before entering their houses on New Year’s Day, another symbol of prosperity and good luck.
9. In Ireland, women put mistletoe leaves under their pillows to find husbands.
Single women in Ireland place sprigs of mistletoe under their pillows on New Year’s night in the hope that it will bring them better luck and a future husband They probably also sleep with a bottle of wine.
Also according to Irish superstition, be wary of who enters your home after the 31st – if the visitor is a tall, dark handsome man, your year will bring good fortune (obviously. And especially if he enters your bed). If it’s a red-headed woman, she will bring a lot of trouble.
10. In Japan, it is believed the God of the New Year comes down to Earth.
On New Year’s Eve in Japan, Buddhist temples ring their bells 108 times to welcome Toshigami, the New Year’s God.
The Japanese also clean their homes and send thank-you cards callednengajo that wish a Happy New Year and give thanks to friends and relatives.
11. In Macedonia, people celebrate New Year’s Eve twice.
In Macedonia, New Year’s Eve is celebrated both on December 31st as well as on January 14 according to the Macedonian Orthodox (also known as the Julian or Lunar) Calendar.
Fireworks happen throughout the day on the 31st, and Macedonian children receive gifts from relatives on the 14th.
12. In Serbia, New Year’s Eve is like Christmas.
New Year’s Eve is celebrated like Christmas in Serbia, where it is believed Santa Clause (or Deda Mraz) visits houses to leave presents under the family spruce tree.
The population then celebrates the Serbian New Year on January 13, according to the Julian calendar.
13. In Spain, they eat 12 grapes for luck.
Spaniards eat a grape with each of the twelve chimes of the midnight countdown while making a wish. The tradition dates back to 1895 when some savvy vine farmers realized they had a surplus of grapes and started the tradition to get more customers.
Many then celebrate with a late-night family dinner before heading out to Spanish nightclubs after midnight until 6 AM.
14. In the Czech Republic, fireworks displays light up the sky.
In Prague, visitors can watch an incredible fireworks display on the world famous Charles Bridge after the clock strikes midnight.
15. Rosh Hashanah, The Jewish New Year, is said to be a day of judgement
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and is known as theDay of Judgment, when God inscribes the fate of every person for the upcoming year in the Book of Life or the Book of Death.It takes place over two days in early autumn and usually involves synagogue services and a large meal with family and friends.