Fireworks are a considerable part in the Italian New Year's Eve celebration, especially in the Southern, where, unfortunately, every year they cause accidents and death. Another dangerous tradition wants Italians throwing old plates, chipped cups or pottery out of the window at midnight: be careful if you are walking around at that time.
Getting rid of useless stuff means that you are finally making room for new things in your life. If you are in Italy celebrating the new year, do not forget to wear red underwear and red lingerie to bring love and passion in your life throughout the oncoming year.
The French people celebrate New Year's Eve in a quieter way than the Italian neighbours, since they banned fireworks years ago. New Year's Eve is usually spent with friends at home enjoying the best food ever: caviar, oysters, foie gras and champagne. But as midnight strikes people are supposed to make the biggest noise possible: screaming, shouting and whatever can scare away demons and evil spirits.
The most cherished New Year's Eve tradition in the UK is the midnight kiss. Because it is not just a simple kiss: the person you are going to kiss will set the tone for the rest of the new year.
In Scotland, after the clock has struck midnight, it is very important to be the first person crossing the threshold of a friend’s home: you will bring him good luck for the oncoming year. It is not that simple, though: the luckiest first-footer are dark hair men. It looks like fair hair men bring bad luck, but if they carry a gift, they automatically will bring good luck as well. Gifts must be things like a coin to bring prosperity, bread for food, coal for warmth or a drink for a cheer.
In Wales, the big tradition on New Year’s Day is Calennig, a Welsh word to indicate a New Year's gift. This tradition started in the past, when children used to go from house to house singing and wishing happy New Year to neighbours. They would also carry and offer skewered apples, corn and raisins, and they would receive gifts such as money or food in return.
Fire festivals are still common to celebrate the oncoming year in various parts of England and Scotland: fires are believed to burn bad spirits from the previous year and purify the new one.
In Ireland, it is very important to get rid of evil spirits in the New Year. That’s why they hit the walls with bread. Bread appears to be very effective against evil.
During New Year's Eve in Denmark, old plates and chipped dishes will be shattered against the doors of dearest friends and family. Believe it or not, shattering dishes against your door bring you good luck for the oncoming year.
Another weird tradition which brings good luck consists in climbing on top of a chair and literally jump down… into the New Year.
In this quiet country, the best way to be sure to be lucky during the New Year requires dropping ice cream on the floor. You can pick the flavour you like.
In Belgium and Romania, livestock is taken very seriously on New Year's Eve. Farmers in Belgium wish happy New Year to cows and bulls, while in Romania, they try to communicate with them: if they feel that in some way the animals understand human voice the New Year will be very lucky.
In Romania, if you do not own cows or bulls, you can still have good luck throwing coins into a river. If you are worried about evil spirits, you can dress up as a dancing bear: it looks like bears can protect people against evil.
Do not try at home what the Finnish do to predict the oncoming year: they melt a special metal at a very high temperature and drop it into a bucket of water. Then they try to foretell the future, “reading” the shape of the metal as soon as it gets cool.
In New York, a massive crowd of people wait for the New Year in Times Square, counting down to midnight. But the big symbol of the oncoming year is the ball drop: a shining ball is lowered down a gigantic pole, to indicate the start of the New Year.
This drop has become so famous that in other US cities, people started to drop all sort of things on New Year's Eve.
In Japan, bells are the main symbol of New Year's Eve. In this Pacific Ocean island, bells will ring 108 times, following the Buddhist belief that this will bring purity in the New Year. It’s also very important to welcome the New Year smiling: a smile will certainly bring good luck.
In New Zealand, the new year will be welcomed by an impressive firework show based on Auckland Sky Tower. Also in Australia, in the Sydney harbour, fireworks will impress the crowd welcoming the New Year.
In Ecuador, in South America, the New Year will be welcomed by burning scarecrows filled with paper, exactly at midnight. Burning last year photographs also will bring good fortune.
In Chile, family always celebrate New Year's Eve with the loved ones, even if they are already dead. According to tradition, families will spend the night in cemeteries, close to their deceased loved ones.
In this South American country we think they have the best celebration of the New Year ever: people carry around their suitcases hoping next year to be able to travel around the world.