Professional fireworks are a given on New Year’s Eve, but apart from new year fireworks what are the other traditions around the world?
Every year cities compete to have the best professional fireworks displays. From Central London all the way through to Sydney, Australia, pictured here, thousands of people gather to witness magical explosions in the sky as they celebrate the New Year with their loved ones.
Professional fireworks is one of the most popular ways to celebrating the occasion. Just a simple Google search of how NYE is celebrated will show results of impressive displays with beautiful well-known landmarks as backdrops. Despite similarities, every country has its own set of traditions that are practised every year.
NYE in the UK
The exit of the old year is usually noisy. Parties are held where everyone dances and sings ‘Auld Lang Syne’ to remember old and new friends while waiting for Big Ben to strike at 12 AM. Then it’s all eyes on TV as London lights up in a fantastic display.
NYE in Denmark
People keep piles of dishes outside their front door. These are then thrown on their doors by loved ones to symbolise friendship. Usually the ones with the most broken dishes outside their house are perceived to have the most friends!
Unlike fireworks in the UK, Danes are only allowed to light fireworks six days a year. Just imagine how excited everyone must be at the sight of them! Copenhagen’s Town Hall Square is famously known to draw crowds where rockets and roman candles are fired.
NYE in Austria
In Austria, most of their New Year traditions are based on food. It’s considered good luck to eat suckling pig and prepare a punch with cinnamon, sugar and red wine.
NYE in China
While most countries celebrate with fireworks simply for the joy it brings, in China the tradition was born to drive evil spirits away. It is believed that the first person to launch a firework on New Year will be lucky throughout the year.
People clean their homes a few days before the event to signify removing of the old and welcoming the new. Houses are also decorated in red to symbolise happiness and good fortune. The most popular decorations include lanterns and upside down fu (good fortune signs).
NYE in Brazil
While most countries prefer to have their firework displays around their well known landmarks, many NYE celebrations in Brazil take place on the beach. Not only is this to accommodate the hundreds and thousands of people who come out to watch, but also to perform the Lemanjá ritual – a ceremony honouring Lemanjá, Goddess of the Sea. Of course in the capital, Rio de Janeiro, the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer is rarely out of the picture.
Brazilian culture also promotes people to wear white attire to welcome the New Year. This symbolises peace and happiness. Everyone can add their own touch by wearing accent colours beneath to represent NY resolutions. For example, blue for harmony, pink or red for romance and orange for professional success.
NYE in Germany
New Year celebrates the saint days of Pope Silvester who died in 335. Traditions in Germany often include old superstitions which have been passed on for centuries. Like China, the tradition of fireworks grew from the old pre-medieval belief to ward off evil spirits with loud noises.
Lentils symbolise wealth. It is believed that having lentil soup will result in a good financial income throughout the year.
Lead is also considered auspicious. Molten lead is poured into cold water and the shape it takes predicts the future. Round shapes symbolise good luck while heart shapes denote marriage and an anchor shape indicates that you need help or support.
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