11 New Year’s Eve Traditions From Around the World
Unmarried women in Belarus get all of the attention during the traditional party of Kaliady. The aim of the game is to predict who will get married in the New Year. One game consists of placing a pile of corn before each woman and letting a rooster choose a pile – whichever pile is chosen, the corresponding women will be the first to marry in the new year. Another game has a married woman hiding gifts around her house, which unmarried friends must search to find. Each gift has a different significance for the qualities of the future husband.
It’s all about round in the Southeast Asian country of the Philippines. Round shapes symbolize coins and prosperity for the coming year, and round fruits are popular table toppers. Some families eat 12 round fruits each at midnight, and most celebrators wear polka dot clothing and accessories for extra good luck.
In major Spanish cities like Madrid and Barcelona, celebrators gather in main squares to celebrate the passing of one year into the next. At midnight on New Year’s Eve, each person must eat 12 grapes – QUICKLY – consuming one grape at each stroke of the midnight bell. Each grape represents one good and lucky month, so don’t skip any! It’s also customary to sip cava, perhaps to help the grapes wash down better.