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PHILIPPINES Here, the New Year's Eve dinner table is typically laid out with 12 spherical fruits—one for each month of the year. Round shapes are thought to attract prosperity and abundance because they resemble gold and silver coins. Apples, oranges, plums and peaches are favoured, while thorny fruits like pineapple and jackfruit are avoided, as the spikes symbolize obstacles. Filipinos may also wear polka-dotted clothing on December 31 as part of this symbolic homage to circular shapes. PHOTOGRAPHY [WOMAN] FOTO ARENA LTDA/ALAMY, [BOWL] KAZOKA30/ISTOCK, DEWIN ' INDEW/ISTOCK; [MARKET] IMAGEGALLERY2/ALAMY; [COOKIES] DARREN MUIR/STOCKSY, [MISTLETOE] GIRLIEQ/ISTOCK, [ICE CREAM] JANECOCOA/ISTOCK 24 | CAA MAGAZINE Brazil Millions of partygoers descend on the sandy shores of Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro on December 31 to usher in the new year with a raucous beach party that lasts until dawn. Merrymakers oen wear head-to-toe white clothing to symbolize peace and good luck. They also send flowers, jewellery and other gis into the ocean as an offering to lemanjá, Brazil's goddess of the sea. Following a spectacular midnight fireworks display, partiers jump over the waves seven times while making wishes for the year to come. JAPAN Eating a bowl of toshikoshi soba — "year-crossing noodle" —before midnight on Omisoka (New Year's Eve) is a Japanese custom that is believed to have started in the Edo period, from 1603 to 1868. The symbolic buckwheat noodles are stretched and cut into long, thin strips representing a long and healthy life. The slicing of noodles signifies a fresh start and the cutting away of the bad luck and misfortunes from the previous year.

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