Broken glass on pavement
The more broken glass outside your door, the more popular you are.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Breaking Glass & Eating Grapes: 7 Unique Ways Other Cultures Celebrate the New Year


In Denmark, the New Year’s tradition is to smash any old and unwanted glassware against the front doors of your friends and loved ones. It might sound a bit threatening, but it actually represents destroying the problems of the past year and starting fresh.

In fact, it’s considered a compliment to smash plates and glasses around the door of a friend or family member. The more smashed glassware, the more popular you are. So, if you wake up with a lot of broken glass on your doorstep on New Year’s Day, it’s a good thing.

Onions hanging in bunches in front of door frame.In Greece, an onion is traditionally hung on the front door of a home on New Year's Eve.Photo Credit: Getty Images


In Greece, onions are an important symbol of the New Year. An onion is traditionally hung on the front door of a home on New Year’s Eve, as it symbolizes rebirth. This strange custom refers to the squill, which is a poisonous type of sea onion that grows in Crete.

A squill will continue to grow new flowers and leaves even when it has been uprooted. This is why it symbolizes rebirth, growth and the ability to bounce back from life’s hardships.

It’s also traditional for parents to wake up their children on New Year’s Day by tapping them on the head with the onion that was hung on the door. What a way to wake up!

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Roses on the beachIf your flower washes back up on the beach, it means the goddess Iemanja rejected your offering.Photo Credit: Getty Images


One New Year’s Eve in Brazil, the locals will wear white and gather on the beach, so they can throw white flowers into the ocean. This ritual, usually featuring candles and music, is intended as an offering to Iemanja – the Afro-Brazilian pagan goddess of the sea.

Giving an offering to Iemanja is thought to bring prosperity for the New Year. (However – the goddess might reject your offer and let the tides return it back to you.)

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