These Bizarre New Year's Eve Traditions Actually Exist Around The World

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Let us count the ways we can collectively say, "GOODBYE 2018!" New Year’s Eveis a night the world over celebrates, thinking back on what was and what is.

Here are some interesting ways the world will say "thank you, next" to ‘18:

1. Have a Bonenkai gathering to forget the year in Japan.

In Japan, instead of celebrating the coming year, they celebrateBonenkai, translated as a “gathering to forget the year.” This sounds like a great idea, specifically for 2018. The parties serve as a reason for people to come together and collectively forget whatever they wish to forget about the year, namely with the help of alcohol.

2. Get a visit from Dzmer Papik (Santa Claus) in Armenia.

The people of Armenia celebrate New Year’s for an entire week starting on December 31st, by baking cookies and filling tables with food and sweets. Throughout the week, Armenians exchange gifts and well wishes, while homes are open to welcome everyone. Meanwhile the Armenian Santa Claus, Dzmer Papik, brings gifts to children on New Year’s Eve.

3. Burn a scarecrow version of someone you hate in Ecuador.

A crucial part of Ecuador’s New Year’s celebration is “los años viejos” (the old years), where Ecuadorians make large scarecrow-like dolls, many times of the people they don’t like. Some of the dolls feature a list of their sins. Then at midnight everyone lights the dolls on fire as a symbol of forgetting the negative things of the past year in hopes that the next year will be better. This tradition is also practiced in other Latin American countries.

4. Bang bread against the wall in Ireland to keep evil spirits away.

A popular Irish tradition is to bang bread loudly against the wall as a way to keep all the bad luck and bad spirits far from any Irish home.

5. Waltz into the new year in Austria.

Austria’s dancing traditions for New Year’s Eve are very specific. All the radio station ran by Austrian broadcasting play Blue Danube and the people of Vienna start dancing the waltz together, wherever they are.

How are you celebrating the New Year and welcoming in 2019?