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5 Strangest New Year Traditions Around the World

Estonians eat 7 times on New Year's day


There are some New Year traditions that many of us are familiar with like the ball dropping in Times Square or the kiss at midnight.

New Year traditions
Source: Flickr

However, there are many other New Year traditions around the world that most of us are not familiar with. From trashing old appliances to wearing horse masks, there are some bizarre things that people do on New Year’s Eve to celebrate new beginnings.

Here are 5 of the world’s strangest New Year traditions.

  • South Africa’s Appliances: Downtown Johannesburg residents throw out old appliances down the window to bring in the New Year.
  • Japan’s Zodiac: In Japan, people wear a costume of the New Year’s zodiac animal at the local temple where bells chime 108 times. The horse is the zodiac animal in 2014 in case you’re wondering.
  • Spain’s Grapes: In one of the coolest New Year traditions, Spaniards eat 12 grapes at midnight — one at each stroke of the clock. The 12 grapes are supposed to represent the 12 months and each grape signifies good luck to its month.
  • Estonia’s Seven Meals: Estonian tradition dictates that people eat seven times on New Year’s day to ensure abundant food for the coming year. Nowadays, drinking in excess is as important as eating in excess to bring in the New Year.
  • Central and South America’s Underwear: Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela are among the nations that sell bright underwear days before the New Year. Wearing ‘special’ underwear is one of the strangest New Year traditions but each color is supposed to represent something special. Red and yellow are the most popular colors as they represent love and money respectively.

Check out some more wacky New Year traditions here.

More New Year’s News

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