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From grapes to plates: How do other countries celebrate New Year?

From grapes to plates: How do other countries celebrate New Year?

Filipinos love to celebrate festive holidays, especially with what will happen later when the clock strikes at 12. Aside from Christmas, New Year’s Eve is the most anticipated year-ender event for everyone across the world.

Another celebration to enjoy and reflect on as we bid farewell to the old year and look forward to a better (and safer) year.

Here in the Philippines, we have our own way to celebrate the holiday and practice of customs and traditions. From food and displays to outfits and goals, we really have interesting traditions inherited from our ancestors and colonizers.

Round shapes symbolize prosperity, so see to it that you’ll have 12 round-shaped fruits in your checklist. You might also meet people wearing polka dots-styled clothes. And if you wish to grow taller, don’t forget to jump when the clock hits 12 (will try harder this time)!

However, have you ever wondered how other countries celebrate this holiday? Don’t worry, we’ve already rounded up for you!

Eating grapes in Spain

The first on our list may bring a dozen of luck or a couple of trouble if not performed cautiously.

spain-celebrate-new-year
Photo courtesy | One How To

In this Spanish New Year tradition called “las doce uvas de la suerte“, when the clock strikes at 12, you’ll need to prepare your jaw as wide as you can. For every stroke of the clock, you’ll need to stuff one grape inside your mouth. Each represents 12 months of the year that believes to bring luck said Weekly Journal.

Interpreting fortune in Finland and Sweden

Stoves on and fire up!

finland-sweden-celebrate-new-year
Photo courtesy: Pinterest | Antti

Finns and Swedes seem to be curious about what the new year has stored for them that’s why they do a “little fortune-telling” activity. Over a stove or any heat source, a miniature tin horseshoe is placed in a small container until it melts. After that, it is tossed in a bucket of cold water. When it cools, pluck it out and put it above candlelight—then interpret its shape through its shadow!

According to Vogue Scandinavia, if it turns out like a gun, it’s possible to have fights with love one or even a breakup. But of course, what we want to hear are good fortunes, right? A luminous year awaits if it turns out as a star as it symbolizes “full of success and great health.”

Drinking wishes in Russia

Makes wishes come true not from the genie in a bottle but with the drink inside (preferably champagne). Russians write down their wishes on a piece of paper and then they set it on fire. After that, its ashes are poured into a glass of drink.

russia-celebrate-new-year
Photo courtesy: Elite Readers

Start the year with a toast and high hopes as you take in your wishes with you.

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Cheers for a prosperous year!

Ringing bells in Japan

To “dispel a long list of unwanted mental states,” Japanese people celebrate New Year’s Eve or Ōmisoka through ringing the bell 108 times in Buddhist temples.

Photo courtesy: Nippon

According to Kyoto Inn & Tour, this huge number symbolizes the “worldly desires” that cause pain and suffering. Hearing each ring, it is believed to drive away these things “one by one,” thus, to have a fresh beginning.

Breaking plates in Denmark

In the Philippines, there’s a belief that broken things bring bad luck. However, it’s the other way around for Danes as they purposely smash their plates—at their neighbors’ doors!

When midnight strikes, instead of anger, they toss them with appreciation, just in an aggressive manner. Said in a Yahoo article, “the greater number of broken plates you find, the luckier you’ll get.”

How about you? How do you celebrate the New Year? But whatever that it is, may you have a prosperous and blessed year ahead!

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