We Aussies can’t imagine celebrating the New Year’s Eve without cracking fireworks that sparkle the city skies with all the bright colours imaginable. However, things are not the same across different countries in the world.
Customs and traditions vary from place to place and some countries have their own ways of celebrating the New Year’s Eve, which, if you want to describe in one word, are ‘bizarre’.
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‘First footing’ from a guest
The Scots call the day ‘the last day of the year’ instead of New Year’s Eve and they also celebrate the day differently. They believe the first person to enter a house after midnight determines the household’s fortune for the whole year. The tradition is known is ‘first footing’ and the most welcoming guest is a dark-haired man carrying a coal or food.
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Set fire to the rain! Erm…’people’.
This is not a joke! Peruvians set people on fire – well, sort of! In fact, people make a bonfire at midnight on the New Year’s Eve and throw dolls representing national hate figures into it. Though people sometimes burn tyres and plastics too, dolls representing celebrities are their favourites with President Ollanta Humala and his wife Nadine Heredia are among the most popular!
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An ‘ice cold dip’ is what we like
Well, we don’t, definitely! We are happy to celebrate the New Year in summer. But, Canadians have taken their winter celebration to the next level by choosing to plunge into ice cold water in subzero temperatures. Crazy but that’s exactly how people celebrate the occasion in Canada!
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In Latin America, everybody loves undies at the New Year’s Eve because it is all that matters! When we are buying a new outfit for a New Year party, Latin Americans they are busy shopping for undergarments because they believe the colour of underwear to be a forerunner of good fortune. However, no matter what colour you choose, you can never wear black as it brings bad luck for the entire next year.
Eat your bread. NO! Smack it!
What will you do with a loaf of bread? Well, we’d like to take a dip into vegemite and eat it, happily. But, the Irish won’t! They smack it against the walls and doors of their home on New Year’s Eve, thinking it a way to drive off all the evil spirits.
Another custom that single Irish people follow is to sleep with a nip of ivy, holly, or mistletoe under their pillow, hoping to have their dream partner in the New Year.