The Mayan calendar ended and the world carried on. Now a new year looms and there are many traditions and myths that mark the change of the calendar in different parts of the world.
South America: People wear bright underwear to bring them good luck in the new year. Those looking for love opt for red while those seeking fortune wear yellow.
Denmark: The Danish throw their old plates at their friends’ and neighbours’ doors as a sign of good luck and friendship. Cleaning up isn’t much of a bother because the higher the stack the more friends one has. The Danes also leap off chairs at midnight to banish bad spirits from the New Year.
Germany and Austria: Molten lead is traditionally used to read the future. The lead is poured into a bowl of water and the various shapes formed by the lead are indications for the year ahead. A ball means luck across the year, an anchor foretells eventual need of help, while a cross spells death.
Ecuador: Ecuadorians celebrate the new year by gathering and burning portraits or something else that represents the previous year as a way to get rid of the past. Thousands of these fires light up the country on New Year’s Eve.