My house celebrates New Year’s Eve & Day pretty much that same way as most Americans: a New Year’s Eve party celebrated with friends, watching the Times Square ball drop in front of the tele with the family, & the next day stuffing ourselves with ham, kielbasa, & sauerkraut. In keeping with my unusual traditions to ring in the new year- AKA Unusual Ball-Dropping Ceremonies in the U.S. & Canada (you can check out the link here)- I’ve researched some unusual New Year’s Traditions from around the world and really think they’re worth a read and mention. From mistletoe under the pillow to marzipan pigs, here a fun list of 12 unusual New Year’s traditions from around the world.
Philippines & Argentina
Sweet, little handcrafted piggies are given out at the New Year for good luck. The Glücksschwein dates back to decks of playing cards where the decks’ aces were known as “die sau”- German for the sow. If you’re want a real history lesson, here you go: Wild boar was considered a holy animal and revered by Germanic tribes in Central Europe. As the years, passed, the pig became a symbol of wealth and prosperity. To this day, pigs are considered to be lucky charms in Germany.
Greeks celebrate St. Vasilios Day on New Year’s with a Vasilios cake that the head of house cuts and passes out & by playing the lottery in the hopes that winning on the first day of the year will bring them wealth for the rest of it. In Crete a rare, wild & poisonous onion grows. Even when uprooted, the onion will continue to grow leaves and flowers. Cretians believe that the onion holds rare qualities and hang onions on their doors and in their homes for good luck.
The Japanese love cleaning their houses from top to bottom for the New Year. According to a Shinto tradition, cleaning in every crack and crevice is required to welcome a kami (god) who comes to the house on New Year’s Day. Children often help their mothers during this time.