Happy New Year

New Year's Rituals and Superstitions: Paint the Front Door Red

Typically, we all wish each other happiness, luck, love and money for the New Year. To make these wishes come true, each country has its own rituals that its citizens carry out on New Year's Eve.

In countries such as Spain and Portugal, for example, you're supposed to eat a grape seed for every second counting down to midnight - for a total of 12, which would guarantee good fortune for the next 12 months.

In the US on the New Year's Eve dining table they serve cabbage, which symbolizes green American dollars. This brings financial well-being and prosperity.

In Australia, they call for good luck with mint ice cream in the form of a clover leaf, while in Denmark - they do the same with donuts.

The New Year's party is also linked to various rituals for success and warding off evil. In the US on New Year's, everyone is supposed to wear a mask. These symbolize evil spirits. As soon as midnight hits, everyone removes their masks and they kiss, in this way keeping away malevolent spirits.

White clothes

In Brazil, white clothing is a mandatory element of the holiday.

A new tradition, owing its origins to Italy, has been taking over Europe however, that being - bringing in the New Year while wearing red underwear. This has transformed into a symbol of daring and love throughout the new year.

In the eastern countries, such as China for example, all the knives in the home are hidden and not used, so that the good luck isn't accidentally cut. Another tradition is to paint the front door red.

A rather odd practice is common for young women in Finland. There they throw their shoe over their shoulder on New Year's. If it lands with the toe facing the door, there's going to be a wedding for that woman.

Red door

In contrast, in Hungary on January 1, everyone washes their hands not with soap but with coins, believing that this will bring them prosperity and riches.

One of the most lavish and radiant ways of spending New Year's happens in Russia. There, it falls on January 13, according to the Julian calendar, and celebrations continue for 10 whole days. These older traditions may be somewhat forgotten but the extravagant revelry on the holiday is not.

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