These New Year’s Day Traditions Are Just Insane

Get Spooky In The Cemetary In Chile

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If you can’t sit through a horror film then don’t even think about visiting Chile for New Year’s Eve. In one small town, Tulca, it is tradition to spend the last night of the year at a sleepover in the local cemetery.

The locals believe that their dead relatives come back to the graveyard to celebrate the end of the year. The townspeople will make fires, bring meals, and decorate the graves for an extra spooky celebration.

Don’t Forget About The Cows In Belgium

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In most countries, New Year’s is about partying all night and sleeping until noon the next day. In Belgium though, farmers make sure to wake up nice and early on New Year’s Day. They fight the hangover and head out to their stables to wish their cows a happy new year.

The farmers believe that by sharing their good wishes it will bring them good luck with their crop in the upcoming year.

It’s A Friendship Contest In Denmark

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Danish residents will save up their old cracked and broken dishes all year for one New Year’s Eve tradition. As a sign of friendship, people walk around the neighborhood on December 31 and break the dishes on their friend’s doorsteps.

People allow the dishes to pile up so they can show off how many friends they have. If you’re anti-social, Denmark might not be the place for you on New Year’s.

The Southern United States Have A Specific New Year’s Eve Dinner

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While tradition for New Year’s Eve dinner varies from state to state, the Southern states nearly all share the tradition of eating a black-eyed pea stew. The peas are said to represent coins and therefore bring prosperity in the new year.

The tradition actually comes from the Jewish tradition of eating black-eyes peas in celebration of Rosh Hashanah. It spread to the south during the Civil War when black-eyes peas helped Southern soldiers survive the cold winter and make it to the new year.

Estonians Know How To Eat

New Year Fireworks near Kuressaare Episcopal Castle, 2010. (Photo by: Focus/Toomas Tuul/UIG via Getty Images)

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The most impressive part about an Estonian New Year’s celebration is that they even make it to midnight. Estonia tradition dictates that you eat as many meals as possible, and it has to be a lucky number. That means either seven, nine, or twelve courses is standard.

Families will opt for the highest number if possible because tradition says that the more meals you have, then that’s how much strength you’ll have in the new year.

Japan Keeps It Clean

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In Japanese culture, it is traditional to cleanse the household of the past year so you can be ready to welcome what comes in the New Year. The entire family will take part in Oshogatsu by both cleaning and decorating the house.

The decorations aren’t flashy lights or streamers though. Instead, the household is decorated with natural elements like pine branches, plum blossoms, and bamboo. This decor definitely spruces up the New Year’s celebration.

South Africa Takes Cleaning House To A New Level

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If you thought Japan liked to cleanse their house, take a trip to South Africa. Particularly in neighborhoods like Johannesburg and Hillbrow, South Africans will clean by throwing perfectly fine things out the window. We’re not talking plates or bags of garbage, we’re talking about old refrigerators and couches!

It’s a great thing to witness if you need new furniture, but in some neighborhoods, it’s become a serious health hazard.

Have The Right Guest Enter The House In England

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Brits believe in a long tradition that says a certain type of person needs to be the first guest to enter through the front door in the new year. If a dark-headed male walks into the house after the clock strikes midnight, then you’re in luck.

It’s even better if he brings gifts like bread (to keep you full for the year), salt (to bring you wealth), and coal (to keep you warm).

Hop In For A Polar Bear Plunge In Canada

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This tradition doesn’t actually involve swimming with polar bears. Rather, it involves people jumping into the freezing cold waters of Canada on New Year’s Day.

The tradition began in 1920 in Vancouver, British Columbia, as a way to ring in the new year and since then has spread across the country. The Polar Bear Plunge is also now done around the world, often as a way to raise money for charitable organizations.

Pull Out Your Best Underwear In Turkey


It’s common for the people of Turkey to have one single pair of red underwear that they wait all year to wear. Apparently, if you’re wearing the right color underwear on New Year’s Eve, it can bring you luck in the new year.

This same tradition is observed in other countries too like Italy, Spain, and Mexico. There, red underwear means you’ll find love, yellow underwear means you’ll find wealth, and white underwear signifies peace.

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Written by Peter Ramos


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