Three unique new year traditions from around the world

WaterAid/ Ernest Randriarimalala

What do a bath, a chicken and cow dung have in common?

Well, they're each used in their own special way to see in the new year. As 2019 draws to a close, it’s time to both reflect on the past 12 months and to look forward to a fresh start in the new year – and a new decade.

Around the world communities celebrate new year in a myriad of ways, and in the countries where we work, some of the local traditions are fascinating. Here's a roundup of our three favourite new year traditions from across the globe.

Using cow dung for cleanliness and health

In Ethiopia, people polish their walls and floors with cow dung to banish dust and illness. 

POLISHING THE FLOOR WITH COW DUNG: In Ethiopia, people use cow dung to polish the walls and floors of their houses as part of a house cleaning new year tradition to banish dust, illness and fleas and to bring good health for the coming year. Senede po ...
WaterAid/ Frehiwot Gebrewold
A woman using cow dung to polish the walls and floors of her house as part of a house cleaning new year tradition to banish dust, illness and fleas.

This ritual is thought to bring good health for the coming year.