5 MORE Weird New Year’s Traditions from Around the World

Unlike other holidays, New Year’s is celebrated by everyone, regardless of religion and social status. While most of us revel in delicious food and alcohol, there are people out there who welcome the new year in some pretty curious ways. Here are five more weird NewYear’s traditions from around the world:

Tying the knot – Belarus

While the world is partying and celebrating New Year’s, the single girls of Belarus see this moment as an opportunity to find out if they’ll be getting married in the following year. Bachelorettes get together and take part in a series of fortune-telling games and contests to see which one will finally be starting a family.
The most popular game involves placing piles of corn in front each girl and releasing a rooster. The pile the rooster eats from first indicates the lucky girl who’s about to get married. Another interesting game has single girls playing with two mirrors. It is said if they are placed in the right position, one of them will reveal the face of the man they’re going to marry.

All about the underwear – South America
In various South American countries like Bolivia, Ecuador or Brazil, people celebrate New Year’s wearing a pair of brightly colored underwear, for good luck. According to tradition, wearing a pair of yellow underwear at midnight will bring you great wealth and prosperity, while wearing red will help you find true love.

Round shapes – The Philippines

Filipinos associate roundness with coins and wealth, so to insure the coming year is a prosperous one, on New Year’s Eve they like to surround themselves with round stuff. People dress in outfits covered with circular patterns, like Polka dots, and eat 13 round fruits, for good fortune.
But it’s really the fruit vendors who enjoy the prosperity, as their sales soar on the night between years.

Polar Bear Diving – USA and Canada

One of the least pleasurable things I can imagine doing on New Year’s is diving into freezing water, but then again, I’ve never tried it. A relatively new tradition, Polar Bear Diving on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day is becoming increasingly popular in North America. Groups of people gather around large bodies of water, like lakes or rivers, and jump in, with or without their clothes on.
According to tradition, the closer to midnight you dive, the more luck you’re going to have in the next year. Though most Polar Bear divers get out of the water quickly, there is a danger of hypothermia or catching a really bad cold.

Melting Tin – Finland

Just like Belarusians, Finish people consider New Year’s the perfect time to foretell the future. Before midnight, they take some horseshoe-shaped tin pieces and melt them in a metal ladle. Once the tin becomes liquefied, it’s poured into a bucket of ice-cold water and almost instantly takes a random shape.
At midnight, “fortune-tellers” light a candle in a dark room and examine the shadow of the new tin piece on the wall. Round shapes are associated with a ring and symbolize a forthcoming wedding, animal shapes signify prosperity and a ship means they’re about to embark on a journey.

Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4,5

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