New Year’s festivities in the United States consist of guzzling champagne, kissing a loved one at the strike of twelve, and watching a magnificently resplendent, six-ton, LED light-powered ball dropping from Times Square to honor the time-keeping tradition back in the age-old time-winding days and to welcome the birth of a new year and new beginnings.
Have you ever wondered how people from other places around the world ritualize the coming of a new year? Stick around to satisfy your culture cravings!
1. Spain: Eating 12 Grapes
To the people from the “Land of 10pm Dinners,” eating 12 grapes at each bell strike at midnight on New Year’s is probably not that unusual. Anyone who successfully fits all 12 grapes in his or her mouth at midnight has supposedly achieved good luck for the new year. Think of it as a healthier twist on the “chubby bunny” challenge.
2. Philippines: Round Things
People who have lots of coins are wealthy. Coins are round. By this logic, the Filipinos believe that all round things—from clothes to food—represent wealth and good fortune.
3. Switzerland: Dropping Ice Cream
Drop it like it’s…cold? Maybe that’s one reason. The Swiss toss ice cream on the floor to celebrate the New Year.
4. Bolivia: Sweet Coins
Whoever finds the golden coin baked inside sweets wins good luck and fortune for the upcoming year! It’s no Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, but I’d take it!
5. France: Pancakes
Nothing like a good ol’ stack of pancakes to rejoice in a New Year’s beginnings.
6. Ireland: Throwing Bread Against a Wall
Because one of the biggest phobias of evil spirits dwelling in walls is supposedly getting bombarded by any type of baked dough.
7. Estonia: Eating for abundance
On New Year’s Eve, the Estonians consume up to twelve meals with the belief that for each meal eaten, that person gains the strength of that many men for the New Year! However, it’s actually encouraged that you don’t eat the entire meal, for the remainders are offered for the spirits or ancestors who come to the house on New Year’s Eve.
Do as the French do with this mouth-watering hot chocolate pancake recipe.
Make your own ice cream without an ice cream maker and drop it in your mouth as opposed to the floor.
Scare away bad wall spirits and pleasure your taste buds with this monkey bread recipe.