ST Scroll Back: 5 weird ways to celebrate New Year, giving you 5 wild excuses to ditch work

Stonehaven Fireballs

ST Scroll Back on people walking on the wild side to welcome 2018

Are you looking for an excuse to not go back to work in the new year?

How about ringing up the boss, saying: “I have authority issues. Bye.” 

Not for you?

Check out these five weird ways of ringing in the New Year, and the wild excuses that could accompany them. Have a good one.

Excuse No. 1
“I'm rethinking my man bun. I burnt my hair - celebrating the Scottish way. Bye.”

The Scots like to make sure their new year is off to a hot start. They march through the streets to the harbour, swinging fireballs around in a parade at midnight.

Mind your head and your kilt.

Excuse No. 2
“I fell over a tombstone - celebrating the Chilean way. Bye.”

Families paying their respects at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery during Qing Ming Festival, which is an annual “tomb sweeping” day. PHOTO: ST FILE

New Year’s Eve is a great time to visit relatives - the young and the old… and the dead.

In Talca, Chile, people gather late at night in its cemetery to welcome the New Year. They hang out with dead relatives, and serve up food and drinks. They light fires next to graves. It sounds like our Qing Ming Festival, where families feast on offerings such as roast meat and rice in front of tombs and niches. 


The scary tradition is said to have had a sweet beginning in 1995, when a family broke into the cemetery to spend New Year’s Day at their father’s grave.

Mind the tombstones if you’re stumbling in the dark.

Excuse No. 3
“I was tasered when mistaken for an animal - celebrating the Romanian way. Bye.” 

You can choose to be a wild dancing party animal to celebrate the New Year. Or you can do it the Romanian way as a dancing pretend wild animal.

In the eastern Moldova region, locals wear bear pelts and dance to chase away evil spirits before the New Year. 

The boogieing bear tradition has its origins in the time when gypsies descended into towns from the forests in which they lived, bringing with them real bears.

Beware of being mistaken for a wild creature and being tasered.

Excuse No. 4
“I was nabbed for fishy behaviour with a bag - celebrating the Ecuadorian way. Bye.”

Keep a tight grip on your luggage, so you can safely go on a dream vacation. ST PHOTO: ZAIHAN MOHAMED YUSOF

Ecuadorians run around the block with luggage at midnight, hoping it will make their dreams of travelling come true. They make sure their pockets are full of lentils, and their hands are full of cash, hoping that the new year is overflowing with good fortune.

Don’t freak out security personnel or the place you’ll travel to is the police station.

Excuse No. 5
“I'm sick from eating food dropped on floors - celebrating the Swiss way. Bye.”

A lucky, licky dog with a generous little girl. According to a Swiss belief, a dollop of ice cream falling on the ground may bring them luck if it happens on New Year’s Day. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

If you’re eating ice cream for breakfast on New Year’s Day, the Swiss believe that you should drop some on the ground for good luck.

In other food-related beliefs, the Irish bang loaves of bread against walls to scare away bad spirits. They bang them on doors to welcome the good ones.

Mind the littering law. As for the five-second rule, well, it’s your behind on the line.

Butter croissants for sale at a bakery in France. Eat well and be a better/butter person in 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

A poll found that “being a better person” and “weight loss” shared the top spot as the most popular New Year’s resolution for 2018 in the United States.