Out with the old, in with the new. That’s the prevailing theme when it comes to celebrating the new year. However, despite thematic similarities, countries around the world don’t usher in the New Year with fireworks and a slowly-descending ball.
If this list teaches you anything, it’s that traditions can get weird. Here are 10 strange ways that other countries celebrate New Year’s Eve.
1. Scotland’s River Of Fire
Where New Year’s Eve is only one day in most countries, Scotland ramps it up by making it a three-day celebration. On top of that, they go above and beyond with their fiery festivities.
During those three days, Scotland’s residents parade through the streets wielding torches in what they call the “river of fire.” It’s great for pyromaniacs, but if you’re looking for someplace cooler to celebrate, #3 is definitely for you.
2. The Grapes Of Spain
When the clock strikes 12 on New Year’s Eve in Spain, get ready to scarf down some grapes. Once it’s midnight, the people of Spain eat 12 grapes, one for each stroke of midnight.
Surprisingly, people actually hone their grape-eating skills for such an event. Legend has it that anyone who can eat all 12 grapes will have a year of success ahead of them.
3. Wave Jumping In Brazil
Spain isn’t the only country with weird traditions meant to bring good luck. In Brazil, one tradition says that if you are able to jump seven waves at the stroke of midnight on the New Year, you will face a year of prosperity.
This practice is calm and fun – the exact opposite of the total destruction of #4.
4. Denmark’s Plate Smashers
If you’re looking for a New Year’s without a major clean-up the next day, don’t go to Denmark. It is a tradition that once the New Year commences, people gather unwanted plates and dishes to smash on their friends’ doorsteps.
Denmark isn’t the only country to smash things, either – in fact, the place at #7 makes the biggest splash on New Year’s.