In Portugal and Spain, at the stroke of midnight, you are expected to eat 12 grapes to secure 12 happy months in the coming year.
In Greece, the traditional food served is called Vassilopitta, or St. Basil Cake. A silver or gold coin is baked inside the cake and whoever gets the slice with coin is said to have good luck all year long.
In Denmark, you hope to wake up with a pile of broken dishes at your front door. Old plates are saved all year and on New Year’s Eve you are supposed to toss dishes at all your friends’ front doors. The more friends, the more dishes.
In China, you are to paint your front door red for good luck.
In Brazil, people are encouraged eat lentil soup or lentils with rice, as lentils are said to signify wealth.
In England, there is a tradition called “first footing.” It is said that if a tall, dark, handsome man is the first person to cross your front door after midnight, then you will have good luck. Blonds, redheads and women are said to bring bad luck.
In Norway everyone eats rice pudding and in one serving, a whole almond is hidden, whoever receives the almond will receive good luck the following year.
In South Africa they ring church bells and fire gunshots at midnight. In fact, in several countries, at midnight there is loud celebrating in order to ward off the evil spirits who are said to hate loud noises.
So as you prepare for your own celebrations this weekend, we hope you stay safe, have fun and celebrate with your own traditions.
Until next time, keep reading.