Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy Expat New Year!

The clock will be striking midnight at different times for all of us no doubt, but we’re wishing a happy 2015 to each and every expat around the globe.

We’d love for you to share with us your plans for the night, whether big or small. Will you be importing your New Year traditions from home or are you seeing 2015 in as the locals do?

For a bit of inspiration, here’s a whistle-stop tour around the globe via some of the countries with the most intriguing New Year traditions!

Image source: Creative commons / Tomas Castelazo
In Spain and some parts of Latin America, many people eat 12 grapes in time with the 12 chimes of the clock at midnight, which is said to secure them a happy year to come.

In Burma the traditional ‘Thingyan’ festival involves people splashing water on one another in order to start the New Year with a purified soul.

Every year, the locals write their hopes and wishes on white spheres and cast them into the Singapore River to make them come true!

On New Year’s Eve, an onion is traditionally hung from the front door of a house as a symbol of rebirth for the coming year. Parents then wake their children the next morning by tapping them on the head with the onion. 

For Estonians, New Year’s Day consists of trying to eat seven, nine or twelve times, as they are all considered to be lucky numbers. The more they manage to eat, the more plentiful the food will be in the coming year!

South Africa
In Johannesburg, the residents throw their old appliances out of the window to represent “out with the old and in with the new”.

Czech Republic
Here, the people cut apples in half and look at the shape of the core to determine what the New Year will have in store. 

(Our personal favourite) The Danes like nothing more than smashing plates on their neighbour’s doorstep. The more broken plates you have at your door, the better your luck will be for the coming year!

The romantic Venetians gather in St. Mark’s Square to see in the New Year with a mass kissing session. 

The Swiss drop a blob of cream on the floor on New Year’s Day to bring luck and a rich year. 

Each year, thousands of Brazilians throw white flowers into the ocean as an offering to the Goddess of the Sea in the hope that she’ll make their wishes for the next year come true.

Bolivians believe that wearing bright yellow underwear on New Year’s Eve will increase their fortune for the year to come, whereas Argentinians believe that pink underwear will attract love in the New Year. 

So there you have it – a peak into New Year celebrations around the world! Don’t forget to share below in the comments section some of the traditions from your adoptive country!

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