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10 strange New Year traditions

New Year is traditionally a time of resolutions, promises and new beginnings, but some New Year’s customs around the world are a bit stranger. Here are our favourite weird and wonderful New Year traditions.

  1. Great Balls of Fire

In Stonehaven, Scotland, there is a custom of parading through the streets on New Year’s Eve while swinging blazing balls of fire around.

The tradition is part of Scotland’s Hogmanay celebrations, although its roots trace back to the Vikings.

  1. Red for love Yellow for money

In São Paulo, La Paz, and other spots, people don brightly coloured underpants to ring in the New Year—red if they’re looking for love, and yellow for money.

  1. A Smashing Time

In Denmark they save up all of their unused dishes and plates until the 31st of December when they affectionately smash them against the doors of all their friends and family. I suppose that’s as good a reason as any to buy yourself some new crockery!

  1. Ringing in the New Year…to the extreme

Ringing bells to signify the New Year is a fairly common tradition and in Suffolk we have a lot of lovely churches that keep up that custom. In Japan they take this to the next level. They ring all of their bells 108 times in alignment with the Buddhist belief that this brings cleanness. It’s also considered good luck to be smiling going into the New Year.

  1. Enjoy your meal

In Estonia people eat seven times on New Years’ day to ensure abundance in the coming year. Fitness gyms must be pretty busy in January! (If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get fit, why wait till January? Check out our great offers now and get fit for Christmas

  1. A New Year’s Kiss, Italian Style

St Mark’s Square in Venice is famous for holding not only a big firework display over the Basin of St. Mark but for something far more unusual, a mass kiss-in in the piazza.

  1. An Eco tradition for a Green New Year?

Ever thought of underwater tree planting? This is the Siberian custom of cutting a hole in the ice covering Lake Baikal and diving to the lake’s bottom while carrying a New Year’s tree. Don’t worry, only professional divers participate!

  1. Eat your 5 a day for a healthy New Year

In Spain as the clocks chime the 12 midnight- New Year’s revellers stuff a grape for each chime into their mouths. If you can get all 12 into your mouth it is supposed to bring you good luck.

  1. New Year has to be round

In the Philippines it’s all about the cash. They believe that everything should be round so as to represent coins and bring wealth. Round food, round clothes, as long as it’s round.

  1. A chilly dip in the water

Here in the UK, brave souls take to the cold waters of the ocean and the rivers for a swim, usually to raise money for charity. One of the most famous dips is in Saundersfoot, Wales where nearly 2,000 people have braved the icy water to raise money in a charity swim.

Start your own New Year’s tradition by joining us for our dinner dance or family disco this New Year’s Eve

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