10 Weird New Year Traditions All Over The World

New Year is a time that is celebrated by all regardless of the origin, nationality and cultural background. People believe that the coming year will fill their life with love, bliss, wealth and good fortune. They pray to get rid of all the ill fated memories of the past. New Year is considered the best time to make promises and resolutions and to straighten ones self. This post compiles 10 funny, weird or freaky New Year customs, traditions and festivals practiced around the globe.


10. Mistletoe Leaves Are Placed Under Pillow To Find Husband – Ireland

Mistletoe Under Pillow
The single women of Ireland wait desperately for the New Year’s night because it is the night that can bring them the love of their life. They place mistletoe leaves under their pillow hoping to catch their future husband. It is also believed in Irish culture that it helps them get rid of bad luck.


9. Breaking Dishes On Neighbor’s Door  – Denmark

Breaking Dishes
Breaking Dishes in Denmark
A strange and weird Danish New Year tradition is throwing breakable dishes at neighbor’s door. Strangely this makes them happy instead of annoying them. The family with the most huge tower of broken plates, glasses, cups and other crockery is considered to be the most lucky one because it means that they have lots of loyal friends.


8. Talking to Spirits – Mexico

Talking to Spirits
Talking to Spirits
Talking to spirits is a part of Mexican belief. Mexicans strongly believe that they can communicate with the souls of their dead loved ones. New Year eve is considered the best time to communicate with the dead spirits to convey a message or ask for guidance. And this is not done at home on individuals basis but is practiced legally. Taos Inn, in New Mexico, e.g. offers 15 minutes session of spiritualism and meditation in $15. Mexicans also celebrate a day, “Day of the Dead” annually on the 2nd of November.


7. Wearing Polka Dots – Philippines

Polka Dot Dress
Wearing Polka Dots
Imagine streets full of people wearing polka dots and dinning table full of round shaped food and fruits on one single day of the year. This all actually happens in Philippine on the New Year eve every year. Philippines believe that this will bring them prosperity by associating the round dots to coins and wealth.


6. Great Balls of Fire – Scotland

Great Ball of Fire Tradition in Scotland
Great Ball of Fire Tradition in Scotland

A dangerous Scottish festival around the New Year is the festival of Hogmanay. The Hogmanay Festival is a New Year celebration with a dash of Scottish flair. This festival takes place on the 31st of December every year. Men parade through the streets holding blazing balls of fire. They continuously swing these balls over their heads.  According the the locals, the balls of fire bring purification and sunshine. This celebration dates back as far as the Vikings.


4 thoughts on “10 Weird New Year Traditions All Over The World

  1. in the Philippines, i think we got the wearing of polka dots through some chinese beliefs that we have. another weird practice/tradition is that the parents tell their children to jump as high as they could because of the belief that jumping will make you grow taller.

  2. How come so many foreign websites claim that we break dishes? I can’t find any Danish reference to this and think the myth originates from an Australian site that wikipedia quotes. Yes rather Diner for One, or jumping off the chair, or the Queens speech and the city hall square.

  3. It is very good to know about the traditions of different people groups.HAPPY NEW YEAR-2012.

  4. Hmm, Interesting………..

    I never knew these things happened!

    Anyway, Thanks SmashingLists!!!

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