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17 January 2014
Here in Scotland we celebrate New Year (or should I say 'Hogmanay') in a rather conventional manner with parties involving champagne toasts, Scottish dancing, fireworks and singing 'Auld Lang Syne' at the bells. This is often followed by the age-old tradition of 'First-Footing' where Scots visit houses of friends and family members after midnight with gifts of whisky and coal to bring them good luck. While giving a piece of coal to someone as a gift may seem a bit odd , it has nothing on some of the strange traditions that take place in other countries...
It will come as no surprise that people all over the world stay up late to bring in the New Year at midnight, with the hope for health, happiness and prosperity for the coming year. However, the celebrations that mark this occasion at midnight vary greatly from country to country, and some traditions are certainly more bizarre than others! So, we thought we would enlighten our aspiring TEFL-ers to what we consider to be the top 10 weird and wonderful New Year traditions celebrated in some of the most popular TEFL destinations. If you know about any other wacky traditions that we haven't mentioned then let us know!
As a keen traveller, I particularly like the sound of the Colombian tradition of carrying an empty suitcase around to ensure you have a year filled with exciting travels! I may have to give this one a go myself. If you're bored of the standard New Year celebrations in the UK, maybe you could be tempted to experience an Italian New Year with a romantic group kiss in San Marco square in Venice!
Happy travelling everyone! Make the most of your year.
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