Poll names ceme­tery vigil as world’s strangest New Year’s Eve cus­tom

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

THE TI­TLE of the world’s “strangest New Year’s cus­tom” has been awarded to the prac­tice of peo­ple gath­er­ing late ev­ery New Year’s Eve in the ceme­tery of a Chilean city to wel­come the com­ing year in the com­pany of dead rel­a­tives.

Run­ners-up in the poll con­ducted by Badoo.com, a so­cial net­work­ing site, in­cluded the Ir­ish prac­tice of bang­ing bread on the walls and the an­nual habit in South Africa of throw­ing fur­ni­ture out the win­dows of tall build­ings.

Badoo asked 7 200 users in 18 coun­tries to vote for both the world’s “strangest” cus­toms for cel­e­brat­ing the New Year and also those that are the “most fun”.

The top spot in the lat­ter cat­e­gory went to Venice, where rev­ellers in St Mark’s Square in re­cent years have joined lips on New Year’s Eve for the world’s largest mass kiss.

Fol­low­ing are re­sults:

● The most un­usual New Year’s cus­toms:

1. Gath­er­ing in a grave­yard


poll to be with dead rel­a­tives (Talca, Chile).

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

3. Bang­ing bread on the walls to frighten away bad spir­its (Ire­land).

4. Throw­ing fur­ni­ture out the win­dow ( Hill­brow, Jo­han­nes­burg).

5. Div­ing into a frozen lake, car­ry­ing a tree (Siberia).

6. A “pos­sum drop”: low­er­ing a pos­sum over a noisy crowd (North Carolina, US).

7. A vil­lage punch-up with neigh­bours to set­tle old dis­putes (Peru).

8. Parad­ing the street while swing­ing balls of fire over your head (Scot­land).

9. Watch­ing an old Bri­tish TV com­edy sketch about a lonely din­ner (Ger­many).

10. A gi­ant, three-day waterfight (Thai­land).

● New Year’s cus­toms that are the “most fun”:

1. A mass kiss in Venice (Italy).

2. Wear­ing red un­der­wear for good luck (Spain, Italy, Mex­ico).

3. A gi­ant, three-day waterfight, with wa­ter bal­loons and buck­ets (Thai­land).

4. Throw­ing fur­ni­ture out the win­dow (Hill­brow).

5. A vil­lage punch-up with neigh­bours to set­tle old dis­putes (Peru).

6. Mak­ing can­nons from heated milk jugs with tight lids (Nether­lands). – Reuters

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