The ball drop in New York City’s Times Square is ubiquitous, so NewsFeed has decided to round up lesser-known New Year’s Eve traditions.
For the past 15 years at 7 p.m. E.T., pickle lovers in Mount Olive, N.C., gather at the corner of Cucumber and Vine streets to watch Mt. Olive Pickle Co. lower a 3-ft. lighted pickle down a 45-ft. flagpole into a redwood pickle tank. Dillsburg, Pa., also hosts a pickle drop, and last year’s event featured a pickle chocolate fountain and pickle soup.
After an 8-ft. wooden replica of a fish covered in LED lights is lowered at midnight E.T., in Eastport, Maine — the birthplace of the sardine-canning industry in the U.S. — residents line up to kiss it for good luck. And because the town borders with Canada, “O Canada” is also sung and a red maple leaf is lowered at midnight Atlantic Standard Time (11 p.m. E.T.).
If you go to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, mind the dress code. People wear white, and some may sport a little color — “red for romance, yellow for success and green for health,” according to Rio.com. “Do not wear black or you will be doomed throughout the coming year.”
Germans have melted pieces of lead (or another metal), drop them in cold water, then hold the resulting shapes up to a flame and try to figure out how their shadows signify what’s to come in the new year.
Talk about a mouthful: when the clock strikes midnight in Spain, a bell chimes 12 times in quick succession, and revelers have to eat a grape after each one.
Brasstown, N.C., has been known for lowering a possum in a plexiglass box from a pole outside of the convenience store Clay’s Corner. “Possum Idol” and “Miss Possum” contests have also been on the schedule of events. Organizers have vowed to continue the tradition no matter what, despite PETA’s attempts to ax it because of concerns that the festivities stress out the animal.