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Worldwide, plenty of New Year's Eve customs weird as ball drop

People gather to celebrate New Year's Eve on

People gather to celebrate New Year's Eve on Red Square in Moscow. (Getty) Credit: People gather to celebrate New Year's Eve on Red Square in Moscow. (Getty)

Here in New York, New Year's is celebrated with a ball drop, a fireworks extravaganza, a kiss and "Auld Lang Syne." Those traditions might seem odd to strangers in faraway lands, just as these New Year's customs might seem unusual to us:

Future's so bright
In several South and Central American countries - including Brazil and Venezuela - residents wear brightly colored underwear in the days before New Year's. Doing so, they say, brings good luck in the coming year. Red underpants are said to bring love, and yellow skivvies bring money.

Smashing good time
In Denmark, residents celebrate New Year's by throwing dishes at their neighbors' doors. While cleaning up piles of broken plates and glasses might not be the way some people want to start the year, the truth is that the bigger the mess, the better: It means the recipient is lucky because he or she has plenty of friends.

Unwed Olympics
In Belarus, unmarried women compete in a series of games to determine who might get married in the upcoming year. In one game, each woman stands near a pile of corn before a rooster is let loose; whoever's pile is approached first is declared the winner.

Never too 'late' to celebrate
In Talca, Chile, New Year's revelers don't mind if their party is dead. Thousands of locals there congregate at a public graveyard to ring in the new year with their departed loved ones.

'Dinner for One'
In Germany and Austria, people gather around their televisions on New Year's Eve to watch "Dinner for One," a 1963 comedy sketch about an Englishwoman celebrating her 90th birthday. Strangely enough, the 18-minute show's plot has nothing to do with New Year's, and it's unclear how the obscure show became a holiday cult classic.

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