Historical Origins Revealed
New Year's celebrations date back 4,000 years to ancient Babylon. Babylonians marked the start of both the New Year and planting season with a massive 11-day festival called Akitu.
Spain's Grape Tradition
At the stroke of midnight, Spaniards eat 12 grapes, one for each toll of the bell. This is to secure 12 months of good luck in the coming year, a tradition that started in 1909.
Japanese Joya No Kane
In Japan, Buddhist temples strike their bells 108 times at midnight during New Year's Eve. This practice, Joya No Kane, symbolizes the banishment of 108 human sins, purifying souls for the new year.
Danish Plate Smashing
In Denmark, people save their old dishes to throw against the doors of friends and family on New Year's Eve. This unique tradition is a way to wish good luck and express affection.
The Scottish tradition 'First-Footing' champions the first person to cross a home's threshold after midnight. Bringing symbolic gifts like salt, coal, shortbread, or whisky, they represent good fortune for the household.
Ecuador's Burning Scarecrows
Ecuadorians celebrate the new year by burning paper-filled scarecrows at midnight. The scarecrows represent the old year; their burning signifies purging the past's bad energy to welcome the new year's possibilities.
Brazil's Colorful Underwear
In Brazil, the color of your New Year's Eve underwear is believed to determine your fate for the upcoming year. Yellow signifies wealth, red stands for love, and white symbolizes peace.