Traditions for this evening vary as widely as the places that celebrate them. Some of them seem like fun, others are ridiculous. At least it looks that way from our toboggans here in Canada. Mount Seymour in North Vancouver is hosting a Family First Night where people of all ages will be able to go tubing and tobogganing before a fireworks presentation at 9 p.m.
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Across the continent in Eastport, Maine, tonight marks the Great Sardine and Maple Leaf Drop. Eastport lowers a giant maple leaf at midnight Atlantic time, to celebrate the New Year in nearby New Brunswick. At midnight Eastern time, the city drops an eight-foot sardine from the third story of an art museum.
In a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa, residents throw furniture and appliances out of their windows, according to a list compiled by the Scotsman. Police patrol the area with dogs, riot squads and helicopters at the ready. The report says residents argue the practice creates work for people who collect scrap. It also makes the work more exciting as scrap collectors dodge flying sofas.
A village in Peru celebrates by beating each other up. Takanakuy, which means "when the blood is boiling," in the Peruvian dialect Quechua, is a festival on Christmas day. Villagers settle scores and try to put differences behind them before the New Year by fist fighting in the streets.
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Scottish residents of Stonehaven prefer to swing fireballs above their heads for the entertainment of of locals and visitors.
Fire also features prominently in Ecuador's celebrations. Residents build dummies of disliked politicians, wayward family members or anyone else that has invited animosity in the past year, and then they burn them at midnight.
For those who prefer a classic tradition with a twist, Mobile, Alabama will drop a giant MoonPie replica. There's nothing like fake marshmallow-filled goodness for a cheerful celebration.
(Reuters photo from Sydney, Australia)
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