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Lucky New Year

Lucky New Year
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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

Denmark: Smash plates
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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!)

Check out these 25 inspiring new year’s resolutions.

Thailand: Throw water on your friends

Thailand: Throw water on your friends
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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.

For good fortune in the New Year, carry these lucky quotes with you.

South Africa: Throw furniture out the window

South Africa: Throw furniture out the window
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You’d better look up if you’re touring South Africa for New Year’s Eve – as it’s not confetti that’s sprinkled from the skies, but, um, furniture that catapults to the ground below. Though this is not a widely adopted practice throughout the land, certain areas believe the physical act of tossing unused goods from their window sends a signal to the universe that you have let go of past grievances and are hopeful for the future. Keep to the more touristy sections of major cities, as some rough neighbourhoods can take this ritual to the extreme, pushing large, heavy appliances – such as fridges and microwaves – off balconies.

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Scotland: Be picky about your first house guest

Scotland: Be picky about your first house guest
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Who is the first person to knock on your door on January 1? If it’s your local deliveryman greeting you with greasy takeout to cure those one-too-many-glasses-of-champagne blues, you’d better hope he’s a good person if you’re living in Scotland. In Isle of Man, Scotland, and some regions in Northern England, the idea of “first footing” is practised and trusted. Here, locals seek out a tall, dark man to be the first person to enter their home in the New Year, often carrying specific gifts – like salt, shortbread, or whiskey – to bless the home with good luck for the next 12 months. In other areas, you might not seek out a specific person to walk across your threshold, but rather, be specific about who you invite. And if you’re selected? You better bring one of the traditional gifts to bring your pal or family member good vibes.

These 11 lucky things are must-haves in your home.

Ecuador: Burn away your grievances

Ecuador: Burn away your grievances
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For a warmer New Year’s celebration, you might turn your attention south to Ecuador, where beaches and bonfires abound … literally. Here, locals celebrate Los Anos Viejos, which translates to “the old years” – a tradition in which you want to destroy any of your past demons. You’ll see many locals create dolls that resemble scarecrows, some decorated with signs, descriptions of their sins, or images of sinister people. They’re often filled with sawdust, newspaper or clothes, and they might be finished off with a mask, creating quite the sight for uneducated tourists. As the clock hits midnight and celebrations begin, the front yard creations are caught on fire, symbolising the fiery, smoky embers of one year and inviting good spirits to circle in the new.

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Spain: Eat 12 grapes in 12 seconds

Spain: Eat 12 grapes in 12 seconds
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You’d better come hungry for the New Year’s Eve celebration you were invited to in Spain if you want to earn the good graces of locals. Spaniards subscribe to the superstition that the last 12 seconds of the year can determine your fate for the next year, all dependent on how many grapes you can chow down in a short time. In many regions, you won’t see a 10-second countdown to a ball drop, but rather, a 12-second countdown, with each ding representing a month. The idea is to get through 12 grapes before midnight, awarding yourself with luck. Just don’t forget to chew – and go for seedless if you can.

 

Philippines: Find 12 round fruits

Philippines: Find 12 round fruits
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For a favourable fortune in the Philippines, it’s not size or colour or texture that matters, but rather shape. Avoid rectangles and triangles if you’re visiting this country for its New Year’s celebration, and instead, be on the lookout for anything circular in fashion. The idea is that circles represent coins and bring wealth, so the more circle shapes you can collect, the better. Most locals will attempt to get to 12 round fruits, each representing a month of the year. If you can get to that infamous big 1-2, tradition says you’ll be raking in the dough!

 

Brazil: Wear white

Brazil: Wear white
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It’s no secret that Brazil likes to party, but when it comes to New Year’s, it’s less about the glittery mini-dresses and sequined skirts. Instead, for a year that will promise you luck, wonder and adventure, your outfit only needs to have one characteristic: white! This is the case even in the party capital of Rio. This doesn’t mean you can’t have accessories with colours – like a bikini, undergarments or trunks underneath your outfit for an impromptu night swim. Each colour has a different meaning though, so choose wisely. While green is about health and yellow brings money, red attracts romance and purple will flood you with inspiration.

Colombia: Lug around an empty suitcase

Colombia: Lug around an empty suitcase
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While you might steal a kiss from your partner (or a love interest) at the stroke of midnight, if you’re in Colombia, you’d better have on your running shoes. Here, if you want a year that’s full of jet-setting luck and wanderlust, the start of the new year is a race to the airport. OK, not really, but sort of. Many Colombians will take an empty suitcase and run around their block as fast as they can. Legend says if you’re in good spirits and do this the right way (perhaps without tripping?), your next lap around the sun will guarantee at least one travelling adventure.

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