10 Quirky New Year’s Celebrations Around the World

It’s one minute to midnight, the champagne glasses are full (with non-alcoholic sparkling cider of course) and your nearest and dearest family and friends surround you as the New Year approaches. Even in T&T, traditions vary on the proper way to ring in in the New Year. Local Chinese eat black-eyed peas as a sign of good luck, other folks kiss their significant others at 12 on the dot, and others head to church for a spiritual blessing.

The entire world will celebrate a fresh, new start in 2012, and here’s how:

In Ireland

A piece of bread is taken and repeatedly struck against a wall. The bread symbolises plenty of food for the following year, and the banging against the wall drives out evil spirits.

In the Netherlands

It’s out with the old and in with the new as they set their Christmas tree on fire!

In Denmark

Friends throw plates at one another’s doors. The more broken dishes outside your door, the more friends you have. At midnight, the Danish leap off chairs as a way of jumping into the new year.

In Spain

12 grapes are eaten for every chime on the clock as it turns midnight. This brings good luck for the next 12 months of the new year.

In Brazil

They fill a boat with flowers and candles and push it out to sea. Making a wish, they watch to see if the tide will take it out. If it does, the wish will come true!

In Japan

Laughter while the clock strikes 12 ensures good luck for the future year.

In Scotland

Good luck for the New Year depends on the “first footing”, i.e. the first person who walks through your door. The best luck, according to the Scottish, will come from a tall, dark and handsome man carrying a bottle of fine whiskey.

In South & Central America

Colourful underwear on New Year’s Day can determine your luck in the new year. Want love in 2012? Red underwear will bring you a mate, while bright yellow will attract money.

Have a Happy New Year

So, whether you’ve got your own unique New Year’s tradition or open to try a few international versions for maximum luck, keep in mind that the slate has been wiped clean and this new year is yours to create. We wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year, filled with good food, family and friends.