Polka Dots and Coins, New Year's Eve
On New Year's Eve, men and women in the Philippines wear polka dots, keep coins in their pockets, and adorn their tables with round foods, such as grapes.
The essence: According to Filipino folklore, circles symbolize future good luck and riches.
La Quema de los Anos Viejos, the Burning of Effigies in a Midnight Bonfire, New Year's Eve
In late December, Ecuadorans make life-size dolls resembling unpopular public figures (such as local politicians or Osama bin Laden) and display them on balconies or in windows. On New Year's Eve, the dolls are piled in the street and torched, creating a bonfire. Some people believe that jumping over the burning dolls brings good luck.
The essence: The fires wipe away evil and bring good fortune for the coming year.