Top 5 Weirdest New Year’s Traditions
Ah, here we are. It seemed like this day would never come, but 2020 is finally almost over. We can all take a collective sigh of relief before we begin bracing ourselves for 2021. As we bring in the new year, people all across the world will be partaking in New Year’s celebrations, but not all traditions are made equal. Here are some of the weirdest New Year’s traditions from across the globe.
The first tradition on this list comes from Ecuador, where the new year is brought in by burning scarecrow effigies called Año Viejo. This tradition is said to burn away all of the bad luck from the previous year, so it’s a perfect choice for ending 2020. The strangest part about this is that many Ecuadorians model their effigies after pop culture characters such as superheroes or cartoon characters. So, if you see someone bringing in the New Year by burning Homer Simpson, this might be why.
Predicting the Future with Tin
There are quite a few traditions out there designed to bring good luck or predict what the next year will bring, but this Finland custom is one of the strangest. At midnight, Finnish people will toss a piece of molten tin into a body of water. You then attempt to interpret the shape of the tin to determine what’s going to happen in your following year.
Knock on Doors Dressed as a Bear
An old Romanian tradition involves people dressing up in bear costumes on New Year’s and going from door to door and dancing in order to ward off evil spirits lingering in the area. Surprisingly, a lot of New Year’s traditions (including banging on pots and pans at midnight) are designed to ward off evil spirits.
Eat Seven New Year’s Feasts
In Estonia, the New Year is an opportunity to absolutely gorge oneself with either seven, nine, or twelve different New Year’s feasts. These are all considered lucky numbers in Estonia, hence why so many feasts are required.
The Original New Year’s Kiss
The New Year’s kiss is probably the most prominent tradition of the holiday, seconded only by New Year’s resolutions. Nevertheless, the origins of this tradition are much stranger than the modern version. A Scottish tradition is partaken during Hogmanay, the German phrase for the New Year is often speculated to be the origin of this tradition, and it involves every person in the room attempting to kiss one another at the same time as the clock strikes midnight.