Start 2022 with a bang with these New Years traditions from around the world

Welcome in the New Year with some of these traditions. Picture: Shutterstock.
Welcome in the New Year with some of these traditions. Picture: Shutterstock.

It's been a year most of us would rather forget, so get ready to say goodbye to 2021 and welcome 2022 with some of these weird and wonderful traditions from across the globe.

Greece

Vasilopita

The Vasilopita is a traditional Greek cake or bread that has a coin baked inside. It is traditionally cut on New Years Day and it is said that who ever finds the coin in their piece will have good luck for the rest of the year.

The cake is associated with Saint Basil's day on January 1, and the name Vasilopita translate's to Basil's pie. According to the story of Saint Basil, to return money and jewellery that was raised for a ransom, Saint Basil baked the money and jewels in to the sweet bread to distribute to the families on the city. By a miracle, each family received the correct items.

Traditionally, the Vasilopita is cut by the eldest member of the family. Slices are cut for the Lord, Mary mother of God, the house and then in chronological order of family members. However, this can vary from household to household.

It's also customary to wish any Vicky's, Victoria's, Basil's, Victor's, Bill's, Vasilli's and Vasiliki's a happy name day on January 1.

Smashing pomegranates

It's no secret that Greek's love to smash things, but did you know that plates aren't the only thing they love to smash.

Pomegranates are smashed on doors for good luck. It is said that the number of seeds that end up scatted will be the amount of good luck you receive in the year.

If you ask me, I'd rather eat the pomegranate than let it go to waste on the floor.

Spain

Twelve grapes before midnight

Do you think you have what it takes to eat 12 grapes in 12 seconds?

In Spain, if you eat 12 grapes with 12 seconds to go until the New Year, then you will have good lunch for the next 12 months.

It's considered to be bad luck if you can't eat all the grapes in the specified time frame.

Japan

Soba Noodles

Just before midnight on New Year's Eve, the Japanese eat soba noodles called toshikoshi soba. It is filled with plenty of symbolism, the long noodle represents crossing from year to the next and a long and healthy life.

Ringing the bells

New year means fresh start right and clearing evil desires right? Well you might want to get some bells. According to a tradition called joyanokane, Buddhist temples in ring the bell 107 times on New Years Eve and once when the clock strikes 12.

It is meant to both dispel the 108 evil desires in each and every person and cleanse the previous year of past sins.

Scotland

Hogmanay

From the first footing to a parade of torches, there are plenty of traditions and festivities associated with Hogmanay.

While regions in Scotland have their own festivals and street parties that slightly vary, the one thing they are consistent on is First Footing.

According to tradition, the first person who visits you after midnight should be a dark-haired male who will bring you good luck. They also come bearing gifts for good luck.

Ireland

Banging bread

Want to get rid of evil spirits and bad luck? Well according to one Irish tradition, you might want to bang a loaf of bread on the walls of your house.

Banging bread on the walls will help chase evil spirits and banish bad luck, while ensuring the new year will be filled with good luck and food.

Italy

Tossing furniture

You might want to duck and weave if your on the streets in Italy on New Year's Eve.

Nothing says "out with the old" like tossing old furniture out the window to symbolise a fresh start. Don't worry though, a piano won't drop on you - it's mainly blankets, pillows and soft furnishing that will go flying on to the road.

This story Start 2022 with a bang with these New Years traditions from around the world first appeared on Southern Highland News.