Goodbye 2019, hello 2020. New Year is the perfect time to let go of the stuff you’d rather forget and look onwards and upwards to the excitement of the unknown.
You might be seeing the new year in with your nearest and dearest; possibly with a glass of bubbles in hand, or perhaps at the fireworks with 1 million other people.
Maybe you’ll be trying to figure out the words to auld lang syne as you sing it at the top of your voice or tucked up in bed, catching some zeds.
However you choose to celebrate the new year, know that there are people around the world celebrating in some rather unique and bizarre ways!
Check out these interesting traditions you had no idea existed…
Black Rabbits, White Rabbits
In Yorkshire tradition, there’s an unexpected appearance of these fluffy little critters on New Year’s eve.
Just as the clock is about to strike midnight on New Year’s Eve, the legend goes that you should say “black rabbits, black rabbits, black rabbits”. Then, as the clock chimes 12, say “white rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits”.
It’s said to bring good luck, so worth a go – just in case!
Hogmanay is a Scottish tradition, beginning on 31 December and lasting two days.
No-one knows exactly when Hogmanay first started but it’s believed the celebrations became really popular when the Vikings invaded Scotland and fires were lit to keep away evil spirits.
In Wales, Calennig is the name of New Year’s Day celebrations.
Calennig is a kind of table-top sculpture made of an apple and some twigs. You basically make a tripedal stand for the apple by sticking the twigs in, and coat them with dried fruit and nuts, and add a sprig from an evergreen on the top.
This then becomes a decoration for windowsills and mantelpieces, to bring luck to the household in the forthcoming year.
In some South American countries, your fortunes for the year ahead are all decided by your undies!
People who want to find love wear red underwear for New Year, whilst people who want to get rich should go for yellow, which brings wealth and luck.
If you’d like a bit of peace and quiet for the New Year, then white pants are the way to go.
What colour will you wear?
The 12 chimes of Big Ben are nothing compared to the 108 times bells are rung in Japan.
In Buddhist tradition, the chimes are supposed to banish your sins.
It’s also thought to be good luck to be smiling or laughing going into the New Year.
In Denmark, people often wake up on New Year’s Day to find a pile of smashed plates outside their door.
Unused plates are saved up all year and then are thrown at the front doors of friends and family, in a smashing show of friendship.
In Ecuador, people set fire to scarecrows filled with paper at midnight on New Year’s Eve, to banish any ill-fortune or bad things that have happened over the year.
They also burn photographs of things that represent the past year as a way of putting the past to one side and looking forward.
We hope you have a happy and healthy 2020.
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