The Popcorn Stand: On New Year’s, I prefer not to drop the ice cream |

The Popcorn Stand: On New Year’s, I prefer not to drop the ice cream

Continuing on the theme of New Year’s stuff the Popcorn Stand today looks at some of the weirdest traditions from around the world.

We start in Denmark, which we thought was a pretty friendly place. But people in Denmark save all their unused dishes and plates so every New Year’s Eve they can break them against the doors of their family and friends. I certainly hope the family and friends aren’t responsible for the cleanup. It also just seems to me like a pretty big waste of time, not to mention dishes and plates.

They also jump off of chairs in Denmark as a symbolic gesture of jumping into the New Year. This seems pretty senseless to me, too, but it’s better than breaking a bunch of plates.

In Ecuador they burn scarecrows at midnight. They also burn photographs from the previous year. I sort of get the burning of photographs as a symbolic thing to move on from the past and look to the future with the coming of a new year, but again when it comes to burning scarecrows, who comes up with these ideas. I mean who in Ecuador said, “you know what would be a good New Year’s tradition, burning scarecrows.” Evidently people in Ecuador have never seen “The Wizard of Oz.”

Eating grapes is also on the list and attributed to Spain, but I think people in a lot of countries do this and it really isn’t that weird.

Again everything I’ve heard about Switzerland is it’s a pretty cool country, you know neutral and all that, but they have the stupidest New Year’s tradition: They drop ice cream. Then again, maybe the five-second rule applies.

In Siberia they jump into frozen lakes carrying tree trunks. I mean, what else is there to do in Siberia?

France actually has a pretty cool and simple tradition. They just eat a stack of pancakes. France seems to be one of the few countries that actually likes to eat food to bring in the New year. As another example, Ireland throws bread off of walls to ward off evil spirits.

According to this list of the strangest New Year’s traditions, the strangest is in Estonia where people eat seven times on New Year’s Day to ensure abundance for the coming year.

That brings new meaning to the term 7-Up.

— Charles Whisnand