Lucky New Year
Every year, New Year’s Day is considered to be a new beginning – we change our calendars, make resolutions and reflect on the previous 52 weeks. And cultures all over the world have all sorts of different traditions to start that new beginning on the right foot. Some traditions might look a little different this year due to the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t celebrate in your own home. For a little extra good fortune in the new year, give these lucky traditions a try – at the very least, it can’t hurt!
Denmark: Smash plates
In every household, there are some dishes, plates, and cups that, while perfectly acceptable, somehow never get used. Those in Denmark know how to put them to good use. Tradition says you should – affectionately! – shatter them against the doors of your friends’ homes to ward off bad spirits and welcome happier vibes in the chaos. Another ritual that doesn’t require cleanup is jumping for joy at midnight – literally. As the clock ticks closer to midnight, Danish folk will try to climb to the highest peak they can – on top of chairs, tables, you name it – and jump into the New Year. (Psst: Just make sure you’re not too high and hurt yourself, because hey, crutches make it tough to begin a new lap around the sun!)
Thailand: Throw water on your friends
Make sure to wear your swimsuit if you’re ringing in the new year in Thailand. And we don’t mean December 31, when lantern festivals freckle the country, but rather the Songkran Festival from April 13 to 15 for the Thai New Year. During this fun time that attracts crowds worldwide, look out for endless buckets of water flying in every direction. In what feels like a water fight reminiscent of summer camp, the tradition is drenched with good will: The act of dunking water over someone is seen as a sign of respect, sending the sentiment of good wishes for the year ahead and symbolically washing away any bad luck.