3 Bizarre New Years Traditions

I’ve concluded that every New Years tradition originates from a lunatic. No joke. People do really bizarre shit when they celebrate. Here in America, we drink, make out, blow things up in the sky, and generate obnoxious noises with pots and pans. Perhaps worst of all, we watch a ball drop (which sounds like we’re watching puberty).

But the United States is only the beginning. Nut jobs have established odd traditions and customs all around the globe. For your amusement, I’ve drafted a short list of bizarre, world-wide New Years rituals that strike my fancy. Enjoy.

1. Wear Bright Underwear

Residents of Mexico, Brazil, Bolivia, and other South American countries welcome the New Year by wearing colorful panties. The specifications for these underwear tend to vary, but most traditions encourage bright, radiant colors. Those who want to find love wear red underwear, and those who seek luck wear yellow. I’m assuming if you want to get lucky with someone, you wear orange?

The tradition comes from an old belief that people can catch good fortune in their drawers… but this makes NO sense to me. Usually when my underwear catches something, it ends up being shitty.

All joking aside, this tradition could be a lot of fun. Simply writing about it makes me happy. Nothing is closer to a smile than tight underwear… they both make your cheeks go up.

2. Burn A Scarecrow

Ecuador has a unique custom of burning scarecrows on New Year’s Eve. On the last day of the year, young guys gather giant bamboo poles and dress them up like dolls. After stuffing them with newspapers and wood shards, the dolls are placed in their yards. As midnight approaches, families gather outside and burn them down.

Now, if a pile of burning bodies doesn’t ward off those pesky crows, it might be time to move.

According to tradition, the burning of these scarecrows represents the passing away of the old year. It destroys all the negativity that has taken place and provides a fresh, brighter start. However, if this act leads to more bad things, like, say, your house catching on fire, you might want to put the lighter away.

Perhaps even more bizarre; as the scarecrows burn, the young men of Ecuador dress up as women. [Insert flamer joke here]. Nothing says celebration like a drag show! You can’t blame them for being a little confused, after all, considering they devote their entire day to life-sized Barbies.

3. Throw Dishes At Neighbors

A fun Danish tradition involves throwing breakable dishes at your neighbors’ doors. People start by spending their entire year collecting dishes. As soon as the year ends, these dishes are viciously launched at the homes of friends and family. I bet I can predict the most popular Danish New Years resolution: buy new kitchenware.

Strangely, this outlandish custom makes the victims happy. The family with the biggest tower of broken plates, glasses, bottles, and cups (and maybe even a few windows) at their doorstep is considered to be the luckiest. They are crowned and honored for having the most loyal friends. But are they loyal enough to clean that shit up?

If you’re planning on picking up this tradition, it might be advantageous to first consider your own customs and traditions. I mean, I can only imagine how expensively dangerous a Greek New Years wedding would be…

Leave Comment


  • Jim
    Jun 15, 2011 5:11 am

    great comedy. New Years gets better every year, colors of clothing gets brighter too!

  • Angelica
    Apr 19, 2011 2:49 pm

    lol! Sweden don't have any weird new years tradition. I kinda wish we had! I want to throw plates at neighbours doors as well!

  • stepherz
    Mar 01, 2011 1:11 pm

    I'm totally down for wearing bright underwear. And short skirts. That way I can show off my new years resolution!

  • Steff
    Feb 27, 2011 3:40 pm

    Sounds like I should avoid all contact with USA. :/

    Here in Australia, most of us have fun by drinking lots of beer, mixed with Vodka or Techila (Excuse the bad spelling), then look for fights at low classed pubs. Sometimes I think we're not far from baboons. But I on the other hand, stay at home doing nerdy things like write novels, build websites and think up plans for world domination, at the same time wishing I lived in Berlin. But I love Australia. 🙂

  • Monnii
    Feb 23, 2011 6:12 pm

    Wow, I can understand the bright underwear (I mean who wouldn't want to do that?) but the breaking dishes at friends? Yikes! I only do that at the people I'm pissed with!

    What I did for this new years was the same thing that I've done for the past few years now; go to the bars with a fake I.D!

  • dress clothes
    Jan 11, 2011 1:58 am

    I think wearing bright underwear is really bizarre

  • Sindara
    Jan 09, 2011 3:07 pm

    We just watch the ball drop. Boring as heck, I rather just watch normal tv or some stupid junk like that.

    How about you love? How have you been? I haven't talked to you in ages! How's come! :clown:

  • Risa
    Jan 08, 2011 10:23 am

    lol this really made me laugh.especially the underwear bit.

    But seriously I wore blue ones that said happy and nothing happened…>.<
    I ended up going out to a club for new year's. No making out though or any of that stuff- I wasn't that drunk xD

  • Simone
    Jan 05, 2011 4:25 pm

    Ohmy. I never there were such strange New Years traditions. I don't know about anyone else but I would love to do the last one but I know everyone would have that "WTF is she doing?! If she doesn't get her crazy ass here and clean this shit up…" look. It's pretty funny, in my head though.

  • Jhase
    Jan 02, 2011 8:49 pm

    Wow, these might be custom in some places but if anyone breaks a dish on my front door and just leaves it there. I'm going to have spend some "alone" time with them. Not the good kind either.

    I think I would do the second one, only in a field with possibly no grass what so ever so nothing can catch on fire. It'd be fun. We could roast hot dogs over a burning scarecrow. Make some S'mores. Golly, we could even jump out and have a old fashion dance off with the guitar.

    Let me stop. These are fun, and I love other people traditions.



    That is all. Welcome back to the world of the net, by the way.

    Also to answer that question, no new years plans were for me. And my only custom is wondering what's so new about the new year outside the date change.

  • Holly
    Jan 02, 2011 9:44 am

    I don't think I have heard of any of these traditions before haha! They do sound fun though.

    We just normally party at new year. I use to go a fancy dress party every year but this time I just went to my boyfriend's house which was really nice.

    Happy New Year!

  • Christine
    Jan 02, 2011 9:33 am

    Haha, I love these!! The whole colorful underwear thing is hilarious. I'm pretty sure my Mom would love doing the dish throwing tradition at our next door neighbors because they drive her nuts, haha. For my NYE we did the typical American thing, drinking, and eating. Happy new year!!

  • Jolly Princess
    Dec 31, 2010 4:34 pm

    Hahahah! You made me laughed so hard with these traditions. I am just thinking if you are the most “popular” in the neighbourhood you will have mountains of broken dishes to clean.


  • Brian
    Dec 31, 2010 1:28 am

    I've got some neighbors who I wouldn't mind throwing dishes at :tongue: As to how I'll spend my New Years, I'm pretty sure it's going to be enjoying a night with an interesting blogger/actor/penguin/ all around awesome person…

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