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Weird and Wonderful New Year’s Eve traditions around the world 

28 December 2018

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Weird and Wonderful New Year’s Eve traditions around the world  

There’s no doubt New Year’s is the time to celebrate and lots of people have their own family traditions this time of year. We have had a look around the world for the strangest New Year’s traditions. 

edinburgh  
Scotland

If you’ve got Scottish family you’ve probably heard of Hogmanay. Hogmanay is a three-day celebration across Scotland. On December 30th 8,000 people gather in Edinburgh to light their torches and create a river of fire through the city. They will wind down the streets from Parliament Square to Calton Hill where the celebrations will begin. There will be traditional Scottish music, dancing, food and drink. It’s completely acceptable to go overboard during the celebrations with overindulging in food and drink. The hangover seems to be part of the celebrations.  

New years eve fireworks

Denmark 

Smashing things against people’s houses and front doors are usually considered anti-social behaviour but not in Denmark on New Year’s Eve. Through the year, cracked plats, chipped mugs and glasses are kept for New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s Eve, everyone brings their broken and cracked plates and cups out and throws them against the front of friends and family’s houses. The more broken plates and cups you have outside your door in the morning the more popular you are. It seems an odd tradition but each to their own! 

tokyo crowds  
Japan 

In Japan New year’s eve is celebrated by ringing the bells inside the Buddhist temples. The bells aren't just ringing a few times they ring 108 times. This is to represent the number of human desires and therefore is thought to dispel negative thoughts and emotions for the coming year. If you’re in Tokyo for New Year’s you should go to the famous Zojoji temple, it’s an experience unlike no other. 

Estonia, snowy rooftops
Estonia 

If your no stranger to a food marathon you should head to Estonia for New Year’s. In Estonia it is a tradition that eating a lucky number of meals, the luckiest are said to be 7, 9 or 12. Bear in mind that you have to finish these meals or it will bring bad luck and make Ancestral spirits unhappy. There’s no cheating the system either as the meals must be full plates of food.  

In the UK no doubt we will be singing, dancing and eating too much. Whether you’re watching the countdown on the comfort of your sofa, going to a party or even going into London to watch the fireworks and the countdown first hand from under big ben. We hope you have a great New Year’s Eve and an even better year to come!



 

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