3..2..1.. HAPPY NEW YEAR! Maybe you traditionally stuff your belly with Dutch doughnuts and champagne, but did you know you can also throw plates? Or start a water fight? We celebrate NYE in different ways all over the world and sometimes even at a different time. Discover the happiest New Year in the world, just from the comfort of your home!
COLOMBIAA SUITCASE FULL OF EXPERIENCE
New Year's Eve in Colombia means following 'Agüeros', or 'omens'. Their connection to spirituality ensures faithful following of these Agüeros. Think of a pocket or purse full of lentils, a tradition that symbolises overflow and prosperity. Or wearing a pair of yellow underwear - another tradition in Latin America. The yellow colour represents love and happiness in the new year.... What more can you ask for? However, under one condition: you are not allowed to buy the underwear yourself, but have to be given as a gift. Perhaps a true SUITSUIT tradition.... Travel-loving Colombians pick up an empty suitcase around twelve o'clock and go for a walk. In so doing, they are hoping for a year full of great travels and explorations.
FIFTEEN DAYS OF CELEBRATING
Fifteen days of celebrating the new year. It's your ultimate dream, or maybe just a little too overwhelming. According to the lunar calendar, Chinese New Year falls between 21 January and 20 February - putting China in the lead for the world's longest New Year. Each day of this 15-day celebration has its own meaning, ceremony and associated traditional dishes. Gold-coloured spring rolls, for instance, symbolise good luck and rice cake in the shape of a fish even brings double luck! The fish represents prosperity and abundance; something everyone can use in the new year. There are also incredibly spectacular fireworks shows on 31 December - but the traditions described earlier are seen as leading.
NETHERLANDS, BRAZIL & DENMARK
JUMP INTO THE YEAR
In the Netherlands, the annual New Year's dive is on the agenda for many. No matter the weather, thousands of people gather on the beach, all shivering, for a very refreshing dip. Brazil also has a similar tradition. On New Year's Eve, people jump over seven waves to make seven wishes for the new year. It will undoubtedly be a few degrees warmer than the New Year dive in our cold little country.... The Danes also like to jump into the new year. They do so by jumping off a chair at exactly the stroke of 12 o'clock, which they believe brings good luck. Read more about another striking tradition in the next paragraph, which involves shards and a lot of noise..
THROWING PLATES FOR GOOD LUCK
Throwing plates at the doors of your friends and family... It sounds like an out-of-control episode of the Dutch programme Family Dinner, but it really does bring good luck, according to Danes. Breaking tableware is also said to scare away evil spirits. The more souls, the more joy and the more plates, the more friends and family. The size of the pile of plates at your doormat shows how many loved ones you got. You will surely get rid of all your frustrations after following this wonderful, age-old tradition.
COLD CHAMPAGNE & WISH LISTS
Sipping on that one lingering wish? Um... what? In Russia, it's quite common. Write your wish on a note, burn it and scatter the ashes in a nice glass of champagne. Maybe not the taste you're used to, but hey! Nashe zdoróvje, or: cheers! A little caviar and cake is also not be missed during the Russian New Year, which is all about children and family.
WATER GUN FIGHTS
Closed offices, gated streets and crowds equipped with supersoakers. It sounds like a scene from a surrealist movie, but is the start of the new year in Thailand - or 'Songkran'. The Songkran Festival, which takes place between 13 and 17 April, was once started to mark the New Year in Thailand and Laos. Where it is now a big water fight, it originated as a ritual where young people pour water on the hands of elders to get their blessings. Especially in Bangkok's tourist districts, this festival is celebrated in a big way. However, it is not just a celebration for tourists; many locals attend. There are families who, after a morning visit to the temple, fill their water guns and spare no one. Unprepared tourists are even offered plastic bags to protect phones and cameras.
GRAPES AND PARTIES
Kissing your lover at midnight is not that easy in Spain. In fact, Spaniards start the new year by eating 12 grapes, which bring 12 months of happiness and prosperity. That luck only works if you eat the grapes exactly at 00:00h. One grape for every chime! So that means some serious eating. The 'Nochevieja', or New Year, completely unravels after eating the grapes. The Cava arrives, glasses are filled and the party starts all over Spain. People dance until the morning. In plazas, bars and even in the middle of the street. The municipality organises firework shows throughout the country and even on the beach.
SOUTH AFRICA, KENYA AND ZIMBABWE
DANCE UNTIL YOU DROP
Countdown, big fireworks shows and great parties - this is what New Year's Eve is like in many African countries. The only difference: it is usually twenty degrees warmer over there. In Kenya, there is a long celebration: as from 30 December to 3 January, the festival Kilifi in Kenya is in full swing. Reggae and house artists come from far to celebrate the new year. In Zimbabwe, there is the spectacular Vic Falls Carnival, where the greatest African musicians and traditional dancers party together. And the celebration that surely wins is The Second New Year, better known as the Cape Klopse or Cape Town Street Parade. Musicians, clowns, dancers and comedians dance their way through the streets of Cape Town in as many as 50 different parades spread across the city.