Poll selects most unusual New Year's customs


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What about the pre-New-Year osoji? For some reason I don't quite understand, we were compelled to rearrange the furniture in every room, and "white glove" clean most of our mansion, all before New Years Eve.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A giant, three-day water-fight, with water balloons and buckets (Thailand)

AKA Songkran. However, it's in April, the Thai new year, not on New Year's Eve when the rest of the world is celebrating.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Countdown party, dashing over to the cute guy for the stroke-of-midnight kiss ... only to be trampled in the rush.
1 ( +1 / -0 )

One of the most stupid ones is getting drunk, kidding yourself that you are getting more excited the closer it gets to midnight, doing a Seasame Street style countdown, 10, 9, 8 hurts to think about it, then cheering because it is midnight! Well woooheee. Just 365 midnights to go and we can do it again. NYE is pretend jovialty made to feel real by excess alcohol. I don't need a calander to tell me when to have a good time and quite frankly find the whole new year biz an embarassement. This doesn't make me a woswer or a wet blanket because heaven knows I have my good times through the year. Often spontaneous which are always better.

I'll have a few beers tonight. But then I always do.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What's "unusual" about gathering in a graveyard to be with relatives? And yes, Songkran is not done at New Year's. Some of the others on the list, I agree, seem a bit 'unusual' to me, but are not to the people in those nations, I'm sure. I just hope people in South Africa check for pedestrians on the street before chucking stuff out the window (I like how it and Songkran are on both the 'unusual' and 'fun' lists!), and the poor possum in North Carolina gets some serious respect after probably being scared near to death.

Use to just go to the pubs or a house party for the countdown and a bit of a smooch if single at the time, but tired of the party scene at present.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Happy New Year, everyone. Wish I was the cute one, Tessa! But I'll go to bed early, as I do every night, and get up again at 3AM to check up on y'all and then get back to my writing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In Costa Rica, some people in the bigger cities, go outside at midnight carrying a suitcase and run around the they get to travel somewhere cool the next is a lot of silly fun!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

While in Talca is most common, in the Northern Part of Chile they do it too. We do not go, because cemeteries creep me out, but we kinda understand why some of my neighbors do it.

We have a lot of traditions, the most fun for me is eating 12 grapes and burning a figure made with old clothes and shoes, it is to represent to burn all the bad things that may have happened during the year and receive the new one with a "clean slate"... Some make real art like figures like the alien, space robots, Freddy Krueger or Jason.

if you want to check it out:

In Costa Rica, some people in the bigger cities, go outside at midnight carrying a suitcase and run around the they get to travel somewhere cool the next is a lot of silly fun!

My sister did that the year before last, I don't need to do it because i get to travel somewhere cool every year for my vacation...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The strangest (not listed above) has to be the Japanese ritual of sitting through the NHK "Kohaku" programme.

Without even commercials to break up the monotony/mediocrity, it's just a tad more interesting than watching grass grow.

I am thankful that we don't have a TV.

1 ( +1 / -0 )


Thank you for the confirmation. I was thinking that residents of Talca would be scratching their heads like most people in Scotland. I believe the No. 8 tradition is limited to the residents of Stonehaven, a town of 10,000 people. Most Scottish people follow the Japanese tradition of watching crap on TV, although with the added nuance of having consumed more varieties of alcohol than even BertieWooster could imagine.

Just kidding, Bertie! I enjoy your comments here. Have a good new year, and the same to all the posters on Japan Today.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nothing says New Year's like K1.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"2. Trying to hear animals talking; if you fail, it’s good luck"

I guess Doctor Doolittle is outta luck, ha ha!

"7. A village punch-up with neighbors to settle old disputes"

Heck, they do this in Afghanistan and Iraq every day.

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