9 weird and wonderful NYE traditions from around the world
It’s safe to say, New Year’s Eve is a universally monumental occasion. For more than 4,000 years, mankind has celebrated the start of the year with various ways of making merry. And naturally, over four whole millennia, we’ve come up with some pretty crazy ways of doing so.
As the clock strikes midnight, people everywhere go wild with their peculiar party habits, each one a quirky way of seeking favour and fortune in the New Year. We’ve listed our favourites below; here’s a rundown of the most unusual rituals from right around the world...
Spain: Stuffing 12 grapes in your face for good luck
When the clock strikes 12 at Nochevieja, it’s time to put down your glass and pick up the grapes. You must eat one every time the bell tolls – if you succeed, you’ve secured good luck for the year. Why grapes? Who knows, but at least they’re delicious, nutritious and, fortunately, fairly small!
Russia: (Burning then) drinking your wish to make it come true!
In Russia, it’s customary to write down your New Year’s wish on a piece of paper. You must then burn it, drop it into your champagne glass and guzzle down the sooty libation. The draught must be drunk before 12:01. It’s pretty intense Russia, let’s hope it works!
Bolivia: Risking a trip to the dentist with coin-filled cakes
In Bolivia, families bake coins into cakes and sweets, hoping to get to the CRUNCH. Whoever ‘finds’ the coin is bestowed the very best of luck for the upcoming year. And probably several broken teeth. Brings a whole new meaning to ‘freshly baked dough’.
Cuba: Burning dolls, buckets of water and watching fireworks
Much like the Spanish, the Cubans take part in ‘las doce uvas de la suerte’ – the twelve grapes of luck. They also burn dolls and throw buckets of water out onto the street to forget the trials and tribulations of the year before. But the biggest Cuban tradition by far? Fireworks and a late-night fiesta – for the win!
Denmark: Smashing plates and jumping off chairs
For the party-loving Danes, one odd NYE tradition simply wasn’t enough – they had to double up. Throughout the year, people collect broken or unused plates and dishes, only to affectionately shatter them against the doors of friends and family for luck. Or, you can stand atop the nearest chair and high ‘jump’ into New Year. The choice is yours...
Chile: Camping that promises to be dead fun
In Chile, expect a frighteningly spine-chilling family affair. In a rather sweet-natured, yet totally terrifying twist, many people choose to spend the night in the company of their deceased loved ones… By sleeping at the cemetery!
Belgium: Partying ‘til the cows come home
Belgians take their livestock very seriously. At least seriously enough that the farmers wish their cows a happy new year! That’s right – in rural areas, farmers bless their cattle individually. This is said to bring good luck for the whole year, but we think that might be milking it a bit.
UK: Jigging to ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and watching Jools Holland
We sing, we jig, we join hands and be merry. But before you ask what’s so offbeat about this… What’s not weird about jumping up and down to a song that absolutely nobody knows the words to? We raise our glasses and kiss everyone in the room. And while we try like Hell and high water to avoid the Hootenanny, somebody’s always got it on somehow.
Switzerland: Throwing your cone for good luck and lolly
In Switzerland, many celebrate the New Year by dropping ice cream on the floor. The belief is that this strange, sticky ritual will bring prosperity for the year to come… Hopefully that’s hundreds and thousands?
There’s only one feeling that beats waking up on New Year’s Day, flipping open a fresh new calendar and finding yourself face-to-face with 12 pristine, as-yet-unmarked months… And that’s doing it all in the knowledge that last night was quite simply the best. night. ever.
This year, why not come and join us? It’s time to celebrate the good, say goodbye to the bad and, frankly, snog the face off the very first person you can find.
Surround yourself with friends and frivolity at the hottest fiesta in town. You’d better book now, because tickets are flying and tables are filling up fast. Believe us when we say, New Year’s Eve at Revolución de Cuba is most definitely a night to remember…