Old practices for fresh starts

Crossing into the new year, everyone looks forward to a fresh start and good fortune. Traditions and old practices give us hope. Even if you’re not a believer, it’s often fun to participate in some of these rituals.

We can’t guarantee that it always works, but hey, you tell us after you try:

Cattle class

In Assam, India, cattle are brought to fresh water sources and bathed with herbs, fed well and groomed for the new year.

Undergarments in auspicious colours

This seems most universal in Asia, with red being the colour of choice. Just don’t wear your underwear on the outside like Superman.

Water splashing and talc smearing

Take your pick from Laos, Myanmar or Thailand, hose away the bad and welcome the good. Then powder up for freshness.

Young elephant splashing water
Copyright : Manit Larpluechai

What a grape idea

In Spain they eat 12 grapes, one for each chime of the clock at midnight. This sounds like the safest one, but chew your fruits before you swallow.


Take your suitcase for a walk at midnight

Ecuador believes that this helps you enjoy success during travel. Avoid neighbourhood patrols around the same time or you might be mistaken for a murderer trying to stow away evidence. Dressing up to look like you’re actually going to catch a flight may help.


Fruit graffiti

People in Greece hurl pomegranates into the ground at the stroke of midnight. The more pieces the fruits break into, the greater the abundance. We like this!

You can have your cake and eat it too

Countries like Greece and Bolivia make baked goods with coins for good luck. Make sure you use a big medallion so you won’t accidentally swallow the coin or break a tooth biting into cake.


Bear with me please

People in Romania dress up in bear costumes and dance from house to house to keep evil at bay. Don’t try it in Asia because chances are you’d look like a Paddington Bear, Winnie the Pooh or a Teddy Bear.

bear with words

Have fun in 2018 and we wish you the very best of laughter, joy and health.

StraitsJourneys is a place for travelers to find and book deep travel experiences tailored to specific interests. The experiences are presented by carefully selected local experts. We expect to launch in early 2018. In the meantime, register your interest in StraitsJourneys and be the first to receive our stories, updates and offers.

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