New Year is a time that is celebrated by all regardless of the origin, nationality and cultural background. People believe that the coming year will fill their life with love, bliss, wealth and good fortune. They pray to get rid of all the ill fated memories of the past. New Year is considered the best time to make promises and resolutions and to straighten ones self. This post compiles 10 funny, weird or freaky New Year customs, traditions and festivals practiced around the globe

10. Mistletoe Leaves Are Placed Under Pillow To Find Husband – Ireland The single women of Ireland wait desperately for the New Year’s night because it is the night that can bring them the love of their life. They place mistletoe leaves under their pillow hoping to catch their future husband. It is also believed in Irish culture that it helps them get rid of bad luck

9. Breaking Dishes On Neighbor’s Door  – Denmark A strange and weird Danish New Year tradition is throwing breakable dishes at neighbor’s door. Strangely this makes them happy instead of annoying them. The family with the most huge tower of broken plates, glasses, cups and other crockery is considered to be the most lucky one because it means that they have lots of loyal friends.

8. Talking to Spirits – Mexico Talking to spirits is a part of Mexican belief. Mexicans strongly believe that they can communicate with the souls of their dead loved ones. New Year eve is considered the best time to communicate with the dead spirits to convey a message or ask for guidance. And this is not done at home on individuals basis but is practiced legally. Taos Inn, in New Mexico, e.g. offers 15 minutes session of spiritualism and meditation in $15. Mexicans also celebrate a day, “Day of the Dead” annually on the 2nd of November.

7. Wearing Polka Dots – Philippines Imagine streets full of people wearing polka dots and dinning table full of round shaped food and fruits on one single day of the year. This all actually happens in Philippine on the New Year eve every year. Philippines believe that this will bring them prosperity by associating the round dots to coins and wealth.

6. Great Balls of Fire – Scotland A dangerous Scottish festival around the New Year is the festival of Hogmanay. The Hogmanay Festival is a New Year celebration with a dash of Scottish flair. This festival takes place on the 31st of December every year. Men parade through the streets holding blazing balls of fire. They continuously swing these balls over their heads.  According the the locals, the balls of fire bring purification and sunshine. This celebration dates back as far as the Vikings.

5. Burning Scarecrow Dummy – Ecuador  Ecuador has a unique custom of making scarecrows and burning them at midnight. They dress up and fill the scarecrows with newspapers and pieces of wood. As mid night approaches, everyone gathers outside their home and each family burns their scarecrow. The tradition says that this destroys all the bad things that took place in the past 12 months. The scarecrow also scares bad luck. This fills their New Year with luck and happiness.

4. “Dinner for One” – Germany Imagine you are made to watch the same programme or show every year on New Years eve. Same dialogues, same script and nothing new. Is this fun or torture? In Germany this weird practice is carried by the Germans since 1972. Every single year, on midnight Germans watch the British show “Dinner for One.” The origin of the tradition is unknown, but it is so popular that even the punch line “same procedure every year” now is a catch phrase in Germany. The Germans actually enjoy watching this show.

3. New Year Celebrations At The Cemetery – Chile Talca is a small town in Chile with a very strange, weird and freaky New Year custom. The people of Talca are celebrating the new year with their dead relatives for the past 15 years. The doors of the cemetery are opened for the local public by the Town’s mayor at 11 pm sharp. People are welcomed in the cemetery with light classical music and dim blinking lights making the cemetery are perfect party place. I don’t know if it’s fun or not. For me it just sends chills down my spine. They believe that their loved ones wait for them in the cemetery and they should start the new year with them. The tradition began in 1995, when a local family jumped the cemetery fence to spend New Year’s near their father’s grave. Now over 5,000 people have adopted this tradition.

2. Midnight Kiss Brings Love or Makes Love Life Smooth – America It’s a tradition in America to share a sweet midnight kiss with your girlfriend or boyfriend or with anyone in case you don’t have one. This will make the coming year incredibly beautiful for you. They believe that this practice brings true love. It washes away the bad memories and fate from the past and marks the beginning of a New Year full of love and life. A famous movie, “In Search of A Midnight Kiss” is themed on this New Year Ritual.

1. Wear Colorful Underwear – Mexico, Brazil and Bolivia Residents of Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia and other South American states welcome the New Year by wearing colorful underpants. The usually wear red, yellow or other brightly colored under-wears past midnight to catch good fortune for the coming year. This also helps them find a loving mate. Red means an amorous love life ahead and yellow expresses the desire to gain money and wealth. The wishes of the locals are expressed via their underpants.

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