Celebrating the New Year Around the World

Happy 2014!

While many people in the United States ring in the New Years with a traditional party, champagne toast and kiss at midnight, there are many other ways the holiday is celebrated around the world.

For instance, did you know that the New Year is typically celebrated in Mexico eating grapes and making wishes, or that in Germany they rub ashes on their foreheads for good luck in the new year?

We’ve pulled together information from Wikipedia and Travel and Leisure magazine to give you the rundown on the world’s most unique New Years traditions!

Estonia

In Estonia, food is king on New Years eve, in the belief that eating seven, nine, or twelve times that day will bring the strength of that many men the following year. The meals are not completely finished so as to leave some for ancestors and spirits who are believed to visit the house on New Year’s Eve.

Japan

Donning the mask of the next year’s zodiac animal to a local temple is all the rage to Japans “faithful”, where bells chime a sacred 108 times.   The zodiac animal of 2014? A horse!

Finland

It has been a longtime Finnish tradition to predict what the new year has in store for you by casting molten tin into a container of water and then interpreting what the shape the metal takes after hardening. Fins believe  that a ring or heart shape means that love or a wedding is in your future for the new year; that a ship shape will bring you travel; and a pig shape signifies plenty of food. In modern times, the molten tin is actually a melted down horse shoe for luck!