Weird and wonderful New Year rituals from around the world

By Travel at 60
Image: Getty

Forget the fireworks this New Year's Eve

For some, the New Year is about setting goals and preparing to become a fitter, healthier, and an all-round person. For others New Year's Eve is an opportunity to watch fireworks with family or drink well into the evening and snog someone at midnight. Whatever the case may be for you, we can almost guarantee that these New Year rituals from around the world are stranger, funnier and more bizarre that what you’re getting up to this year. Well, maybe!

Read more: New Year celebrations in New York for over-60s

1. Breaking plates in Denmark

One rather loud celebration in Denmark involves people breaking plates at the door of their family and friend’s homes. The person with the most broken crockery at their door is considered lucky because they are perceived to have the most friends and family who care about them. 

2. Eating grapes in Spain

At the end of the year people in Spain traditionally pop 12 grapes in their mouth for good luck for the year ahead.

3. Wearing yellow underwear in Colombia

Colombians have a few New Year and Christmas traditions, but one of them is wearing bright yellow underwear. This signifies a happy and peaceful New Year.

4. Giving a lump of coal in Scotland

This might be something we taunt naughty children with, but people do actually give away lumps of coal for Christmas in Scotland. But the sentiment isn’t the same there, it’s actually given to the first person that steps into someone’s home after midnight in the New Year to throw into the fireplace.

5. Bell chiming in Japan

In Japan the New Year is welcomed by ringing a bell 108 times. Taken place in Buddhist temples, it’s thought that the 108 chimes, which signify the 108 desires that cause people suffering, represent purification from any suffering experienced in the last year.

6. Dropping ice cream in Switzerland

It sounds like an absolute waste to us, but in Switzerland people drop their ice cream onto the floor for good luck. It’s thought to bring good luck in the year to come, but it has left us wondering who does all the cleaning up?

Do you have a New Year tradition? Let us know all about it in the comments section below.

Travel at 60
Do you have a New Year tradition?