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Trolls, bonfires and grapes: New Year's Eve around the world

On New Year’s Eve in Canada, most of us watch the ball drop on atelevision set while sipping champagne, warm and cozy inside our homes.

On New Year’s Eve in Canada, most of us watch the ball drop on a television set while sipping champagne, warm and cozy inside our homes. In other countries, there are different traditions that honour the incoming new year. From good luck charms to fireworks to elves, here are a few countries with fascinating celebrations.

Scotland
The Scottish New Year celebration has become a huge festival named Hogmanay. Many cities take part in the festival, but Edinburgh and Glasgow boast the largest. There are music performances, fire ceremonies such as torchlight processions, and street parties. The celebrations can last up until Jan. 2.

Brazil
The largest New Year’s Eve celebration in Brazil is on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach. Attendees of the beach parties wear white for good luck and to honour the goddess of the water, Iemanjá. The beach boasts numerous concert stages, lots of dancing and large fireworks displays at midnight.

Iceland
A popular tradition on New Year’s Eve is to participate in community bonfires. They usually take place in the evening, after family dinners. At midnight, families have their own sets of fireworks and firecrackers. In Iceland, traditions can extend until Jan. 6, with a celebration for elves and trolls.

Japan
Known as Oshogatsu, the holiday is one of the most important for the country. It is a time for families and getting rid of the year’s bad luck, making way for new, more prosperous luck. On Dec 31, Buddhist temples ring gongs 108 times to expel 108 different types of human weakness

Spain
One popular Spanish tradition during the celebrations is for a person to eat 12 grapes, one for each stroke the clock makes at midnight. If you can eat them all successfully, you will have good luck.

 
 
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