Weirdest New Year traditions in the world from red knickers to smashing plates

From red underwear to burning scarecrows, there are a number of unusual traditions as the clocks strike midnight on New Years Eve. This article contains affiliate links, we will receive a commission on any sales we generate from it. Learn more

With New Year’s Day just around the corner, we take a look at some of the world’s strangest traditions.

While a kiss at the stroke of midnight after the celebratory countdown is a tradition in England, other countries have their own quirky ways to bring it in.

From bear skins to husband hunting, Travel experts at have found the nine most unusual ways people celebrate going into the new year.

1. Romania – Bear Skins

Tradition dictates that bears can protect and heal people against evil spirits in Romania. Dating back to pre-Christianity, Romanians roam villages and towns in bear costumes, using real bear skins, and dancing to the sound of drums.

READ MORE: Woman given tragic news after going to occupied Ukraine to join husband for NYE

2. Turkey – Red Underwear

Many Turkish people will partake in the tradition of buying red underwear for women. This is worn to welcome a new and fortunate year because red is seen as the colour of good luck and fortune.

3. Ireland – Husband Hunting

Single women looking to find love in the New Year will sleep with mistletoe, holly and ivy under their pillow on New Year’s Eve. It is said that the new partner, once found, will be approved by the family for marriage.

4. Latin America – Empty suitcases

Many residents of Latin American nations believe that taking an empty suitcase for a walk around their neighbourhood on New Year’s Eve will mean they have a year of adventures ahead.

5. Scotland – Tall, dark and handsome

To ensure good luck for the house the first foot inside after midnight strikes on New Year’s Eve should be from a dark-haired, tall and handsome male.

6. The Philippines – Lights out

Superstitious Filipinos will turn on all the lights in the house on New Year’s Eve to ward off evil spirits. Many will open all doors, cabinets and windows in their home to let out any negativity from the past 12 months, then run around the house and shut them after midnight strikes.

7. Ecuador – Scarecrows

To banish any ill fortune from the last 12 months, Ecuadorians set fire to scarecrows at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

8. Denmark – Plate smashing

The Danes hurl unused plates that have been saved up throughout the year at the front doors of family and friends on New Year’s Eve in a bizarre vandalistic display of affection.

9. Spain – Eating 12 grapes

In a tradition dating back to the 19th century, the Spanish will eat 12 grapes, each symbolising the strike of the clock. The grapes will bring a prosperous and lucky new year if all eaten by the time the clock strikes midnight.

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