Custom – Croatia

Continuing with New Year’s traditions, Croatians have a unique New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day tradition of their own.

My good friend Lauren, who is of Croatian descent, recounted for me a tradition that she, her father, and their entire family do once the clock strikes midnight on December 31st every year: wash their faces with money.

As a New Year’s ritual, Croatians literally dip cash, dollar bills, coins, and other types of monetary forms in a sink and then proceed to rub and caress the soaking currency over their faces.  They perform such an act with the hopes of having money all throughout the coming year.  Lauren’s father, Walt, puts his own spin on a cultural tradition by washing his face with foreign currency, so that, in addition to basking in monetary wealth, he also hopes to be a jetsetter and travel all throughout the world during the new year.

This Croatian custom connotes the importance of wealth and prosperity to this culture, as well as their belief in superstition.  For Lauren and her family, this is a unifying, bonding experience—a little custom to look forward to every New Year’s Eve.