From time-traveling to wearing special underwear, experience unique New Year's Eve traditions from around the globe
Published December 30, 2014
• 2 min read
Celebrating the New Year and the potential it holds is a tradition dating back millennia. From watching “the ball drop” in New York City’s Times Square to popping grapes on the beaches of Barcelona, our rituals may vary, but the prospect of a clean slate is a universal ideal.
Below the Belt
Brazilians choose their own fortunes for the coming year by underwear color. Yellow symbolizes prosperity, red passion and love, blue good health and tranquillity, and white peace.
Buddhist temples in Japan ring their bells 108 times before midnight, a sacred purification ritual.
The Samoa Islands straddle two time zones, a 25-hour difference. Last year around 200 people celebrated in Samoa, flew an hour east, and counted down again in American Samoa 24 hours later.
<p>The three-day-long Toyohashi Gion Festival is known for its hand-tubed fireworks (<i>tezutsu hanabi</i>). Masters carry gunpowder-filled bamboo cylinders in their arms as sparks fly and flames shoot out.</p>
The three-day-long Toyohashi Gion Festival is known for its hand-tubed fireworks (tezutsu hanabi). Masters carry gunpowder-filled bamboo cylinders in their arms as sparks fly and flames shoot out.
PHOTOGRAPH BY HIDENOBU SUZUKI, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC YOUR SHOT