New year’s traditions around the world

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Photo provided by Bella Glastra van Loon

Senior Kate Jeffries celebrates the 2019 New year. It is a common tradition in the United States to have New Year’s Eve parties and watch the New York ball drop.

All around the world this year it seems that people are anxiously waiting to ring in the new year and move on from 2020. So, how do all the countries celebrate the coming of a new year? Well here are 5 of the most interesting New Year’s traditions around the world (in my opinion). 

Myanmar – In the country of Myanmar, also known as Burma, the Burmese people celebrate the New Year’s with a three day celebration called the Thingyan Water Festival. This festival takes places to mark the arrival of Thingyan which is a celestial Buddhist figure. The people of Burma fire water cannons and flood the streets with sprinklers until the New Year. (This New Years Celebration takes place in mid-April because that is their new year).

Denmark –  Denmark rings in the new year by throwing plates. In order to banish bad spirits the people of Denmark throw old plates or glasses against friends and families houses. Another interesting tradition Denmark has is their “leap” into January. People will stand on chairs and actually jump off to symbolize jumping into the new year with high hopes. 

Spain – In Spain it is a tradition to eat one grape for each ring of the clock at midnight so, on the new year they eat 12 grapes. One grape means good luck for one month the coming year. 

Ecuador – When the clock strikes midnight in Ecuador, Ecuadorians light scarecrows on fire. They burn the scarecrows (now they are more paper mache mannequins)  along with photographs and other things to banish any bad things or feelings from the past year. 

Scotland – Scotland celebrates the new year with the festival of Hogmanay. It is a celebration with parades and bonfires all to purify the coming year. It usually lasts the night before the new year and the day after. In addition, one of the most important traditions during Hogmanay is the “first-footing.” That means that the first person to enter a home after the new year in Scotland should have a gift that represents good luck.