I'm sharing an interesting article from The Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City Utah, USA) last week about the different world traditions of "good luck" associated with the New Year's Eve celebrations:
"A world of luck: New Year's rituals to prosper in the coming year vary from country to country
By Roxana Orellana The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 12/31/2008 05:15:27 PM MST
Many Utahns living through the worst economic downturn in decades can use more than a little luck in 2009.
So rather than watching the ball drop in Times Square or kissing your sweetie at the strike of midnight to usher in the new year, why not try out a new tradition?
All around the world, people greet the new year with rituals intended to bring luck, love, health and prosperity. Some traditions you might want to try include:
Latin America » In Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile, El Salvador, Colombia, Mexico and Peru and other Latin American countries, a common ritual involves packing a suitcase on New Year's Eve so it will bring good travels and good fortune in the year ahead. Variations of the tradition include running with a suitcase, getting on a chair with a suitcase, circling the house while dragging a suitcase, crossing the street or taking a suitcase out the front door.
During the holidays in Bolivia, stores sell all sorts of plastic miniature items to put in a suitcase, depending on what kind of good fortune a person is looking for. Jackie Slack, of Salt Lake City, said her mother, who lived in different countries throughout Latin America, said people in Bolivia will pack their suitcases with fake money and go up and down the stairs of the house.
Or, farmers will buy miniature seeds and farming tools, put them in buckets and place them under their Christmas trees in hopes
of good crops in the coming year.
In Brazil and Mexico » people eat a meal of lentils or rice to encourage prosperity. Eating 12 grapes as the clock strikes midnight and making a wish for each grape eaten is also said to bring prosperity to the person.
For luck, Brazilians wear white clothing. For luck in love, Mexicans wear red underwear. In Venezuela, the color for luck is yellow.
In Greece » luck comes from a coin in a piece of sweet bread or cake eaten just after midnight. Nitsa Tsoutsounakis, who makes the cake, called vasilopita , for her family, said a coin is added to the batter before baking. Whoever finds the coin in his or her piece of bread will have good luck for the whole year. Greek tradition calls for the first piece to be cut symbolically for Jesus or the Orthodox church; subsequent pieces are cut to represent the home and family members.
To scare away evil spirits » for venturing into the new year, natives of Portugal gather on their balconies and make as much noise as possible with pots and pans.
Perhaps the old year didn't bring you everything you had hoped for, but with some adopted traditions, maybe your luck will change. "