London, Dec 27: A city in central Chile, where locals gather each New Year’s Eve in the town cemetery to welcome the coming year in the company of dead relatives, has topped the list of the strangest such customs in a global poll.
The poll was conducted by Badoo, an online social networking platform for meeting new people and revealed that in Talca in central Chile hanging out in the graveyard is a custom on each New Year’s Eve, said a statement.
The second most bizarre custom was found to be in Romania, where people try to hear animals talking. The third spot was taken by Ireland, where people bang bread on the walls to dispel evil spirits. in the fourth spot is South Africa, where furniture is flung out the window, a statement said.
Siberia rounds up the top five with a custom of diving into a frozen lake, carrying a tree.
As many as 7,200 users online across 18 countries – 400 per country – were polled in November and December for the findings.
The 18 countries polled were the US, Britain, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, the Czech Republic, Russia and Poland.
Here’s the list of 10 strangest customs revealed in the poll:
1. Gathering in a graveyard to be with dead relatives (Talca, Chile)
2. Trying to hear animals talking; if you fail, it’s good luck (Romania)
3. Banging bread on the walls to frighten away bad spirits (Ireland)
4. Throwing furniture out the window (Johannesburg, South Africa)
5. Diving into a frozen lake, carrying a tree (Siberia)
6. A “possum drop”: lowering a possum over a noisy crowd (North Carolina, US)
7. A village punch-up with neighbours to settle old disputes (Peru)
8. Parading the street while swinging balls of fire over your head (Scotland)
9. Watching an old British TV comedy sketch about a lonely dinner (Germany)
10. A giant, three-day water-fight, with water balloons and buckets (Thailand)