Singing Auld Lang Syne, champagne-fuelled hugs and a general sense of debauchery are staples of many British New Year’s Eve celebrations. For better or worse, the last night of the year is a time for revelry of the highest order.
Many of us wouldn’t have it any other way. However, if you take a look around the world, there are plenty of New Year traditions that could offer an alternative form of entertainment. From the weird to the wonderful, there are some amusing ways to ring in the New Year in a non-British way.
Wine is a common tipple on New Year’s Eve but the Spanish prefer to go straight the source for their celebratory libations. Instead of waiting for grapes to ferment and the liquid gold to flow, Spaniards will simply eat some grapes on New Year’s Eve. However, you can’t do it any old way. No, if you want good luck for the coming year, you need 12 grapes.
At the stroke of midnight, you pop one grape in your mouth. Then, you continue popping them in for each subsequent stroke. So, by the time you’re one minute into the New Year, you should have 12 grapes either in your mouth or sliding down your gullet. Will it actually bring you good luck? That’s hard to say. However, we wouldn’t suggest trying this while you sing Auld Lang Syne.
You didn’t think Greeks were the only people who enjoyed demolishing crockery, did you? According to Danish tradition, New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to clear out your cupboards. That’s right, on December 31, Danes will bring out a stack of plates they’ve saved throughout the year and smash them to smithereens. Why? Good luck and prosperity, we assume.
However, what’s even more confusing about this tradition is that the plates aren’t supposed to be smashed on the floor. No, if you want to celebrate New Year like a true Dane, you need to throw them at the doors of your family and friends. Just make sure no one is standing in the doorway when you do it!
We Brits love a bonfire but, unlike other parts of the world, we do all of our burning in November. Well, if you want to celebrate New Year like an Ecuadorian, you need to strike a light on December 31. According to tradition, burning a scarecrow on New Year’s Eve is the best way to do it. In fact, just for good measure, photographs of things that have happened throughout the year are also put on the fire.
Like so many of these New Year rituals, it’s all about luck. Burning a scarecrow is designed to banish bad luck and negative emotions. Given that a lot of people light fireworks on NYE, it wouldn’t be hard to spark a fire and watch a scarecrow light up the New Year.
Of course, if you’re more of the homely type and want something a little more sedate, there’s always Buzz Bingo. Our games never stop and, if you’re looking for a novel way to spin in the New Year, we’ve got plenty of slots. Year of the Dog from Genesis would be perfect. However, there are plenty of alternative options if you want to celebrate NYE with a casino game or two.