It’s not a secret that New Years Eve is a very special day all around the world, but did you know that countries have different ways of starting the new year? Taking English courses in Vancouver means meeting people from all over the world and it is interesting to find out how they are celebrating the beginning of a new year. People from all places have superstitions about the right way to start the upcoming year.
For example, the most common practice worldwide is wearing coloured underwear to match what you wish to have during the next year. Red normally represents love, yellow luck and money, and white prosperity. In Latin American countries it is very common to carry lentils in your pocket to ensure that your wallet will be filled with money through the entire year. In places such as Colombia you can see people running around the block with an empty suitcase, with the superstition that this will increase their possibilities to travel. Another common superstition, not only in Latin America but also in Spain, is to eat 12 grapes on midnight. Each grape is meant to represent a wish. You must chug the grapes and think of your wish as you are eating them in the fastest way possible.
In Brazil the superstition is all about throwing flowers and gifts into the ocean as an offering to the Afro-Brazilian spirit of Yemanja. This is part of an African tradition that spread around Brazil many years ago. In China the superstition is receiving the new year with a clean house, although it is very important to clean the house from top to bottom to make room for upcoming fortune.
Some European countries such as Estonia have different superstitions like eating several different meals through the night to receive the strength necessary to face all the challenges of the upcoming year.
The world has a lot of different superstitions, but at the end of the day it is all about spending time with your family and friends and having a good time!