While fireworks and the ball dropping in Times Square are the usual fare on New Year's Eve, the following is a look at some of the more obscure ways people around the world usher in a new calendar year.

Vikings raid Edinburgh for Hogmanay

In the Shetland area of Scotland, fire festivals, known as Up Helly Aa, dating from pre-Reformation times are still acted out in the streets of Edinburgh.

Unusual New Years celebrations Hogmanay Vikings fire parade

Vikings from the Shetland Islands hold lit torches during an annual Hogmanay (the Scots word for the last day of the year) procession that now ends with a fireworks display at Calton Hill in the Scottish capital. (Russell Cheyne/Reuters)

The Loony Dook

In South Queensferry, just to the west of Edinburgh, hardy (and in some cases hungover) revellers have taken up the relatively new New Year's tradition of swimming in the icy Firth on Fork river on Jan. 1.

Unusual NYE celebrations Scottish Loony Dook Jan 1 2015

Known as the Loony Dook, the New Year’s plunge started around 1986 and has grown into a popular annual tradition in Scotland. (Russell Cheyne/Reuters)

New Year's comes early in Avila

The residents of this Spanish village, where the average age is 75, toasted the New Year 12 hours before the rest of their countrymen in a collective decision to get to bed at a decent hour.

SPAIN Villar de Corneja seniors ring in New Years early Dec 31 2015

Some of the 42 inhabitants of Villar de Corneja, a village near Avila, Spain, have decided to welcome the New Year at noon on Dec. 31 instead of at the conventional stroke of midnight. (Raul Sanchidrian/EPA)

January 1 just another day in Berchules

The residents of Berchules, in the Spanish province of Granada, also celebrate early. Because of a power outage that prevented New Year's celebrations in 1994, the Berchulese decided to move their annual celebration to the mid-point of the year, which typically falls in August.

Unusual New Years celebrations Berchules Spain in August

One would be forgiven for assuming this street party, in Berchules, Spain, was just ramping up in the early hours of Jan. 1 but its actually Aug. 2, 2014. (Sergio Camacho/Getty)

Spanish down 12 grapes at midnight

The eating of a dozen grapes, timed with each bell strike at midnight on Dec. 31, is said to lead to a year of prosperity.

unusual New Years traditions Spain 12 grapes

The practice of eating 12 grapes at midnight, which started in Spain around the turn of the 20th century, has become a tradition, especially in Madrid, where people gather with cups and bunches of grapes under the Puerta del Sol clocktower. (Chema Moya/EPA)

Brasstown possum drop is back

In Brasstown, N.C., a once-annual possum drop — in which a live possum is lowered to the ground at midnight — is back after a three year hiatus. The live-marsupial lowering will be preceded by a bluegrass performance and, of course, the Miss Possum contest.

NEW YEARS EVE 2016 POSSUM DROP is back in Brasstown NC

Last year, a pot of possum stew was lowered as a compromise after years of animal-rights protests. The organizer, Clay Logan, insists no possums are harmed in the New Year's celebration. (Erik S. Lesser/EPA)

The possum drops off Clay's Corner gas station

A judge and state officials cleared the lowering of the opossum after finding that no harm would come to the animal.

Romanians ring in the New Year in bear fur

Romanian villagers in the northern town of Comanesti observe a centuries-old tradition involving bear fur costumes and a door-to-door parade to ring in the New Year.

Burn your enemies in Ecuador

Known as los anos viejos, these puppets are representatives of the sins and joys of the past, which one is supposed to incinerate at midnight on Dec. 31.

ECUADOR NEW YEAR Old Year burnings

The making and burning of papier-mâché effigies is a New Year’s tradition in Ecuador. (Jose Jacome/EPA)

This eagle's goose is cooked

In India's northeastern borderlands, Naga tribespeople enjoy a meal of wild birds, like this eagle for sale in Kohima town on Dec. 31, as a rare, seasonal delicacy.  

Unusual New Years practices INDIA BIRDS DELICACY Dec 31

The Naga people, who live in the northern Manipur and Nagaland states of India, hunt and eat wild birds to celebrate the winter festive season. (Rajat Gupta/EPA)