New Year’s Traditions Around the World

We’re inching closer to the New Year and I’m ready to party! This is always such an exciting time of year. The holidays are over, the Christmas presents have been opened, and we look towards the future, full of promise, wonder and memories yet to be created.

I usually spend New Year’s Eve at a friend’s house, and we watch the New Year’s Eve countdown on television as the champagne flows. I love it when they show fireworks around the world as each major city hits midnight, from Sydney to Paris and beyond! A spectacular fireworks display tends to be a theme around the world as the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Eve, but what are some really unique New Year’s traditions around the world? Scroll down to learn a few of my favorites and please share your own in the comments!

Spain: Eating Grapes

If you can manage to stuff 12 grapes in your mouth at midnight, you’ll have good luck in the coming year. Do the grapes in champagne count?

Philippines: All Things Round

Speaking of grapes, eating round fruits of all kinds, wearing polka dots and tossing coins into pans ensures you’ll have a prosperous year.

Denmark: Breaking Plates

Danish people save their old plates for December 31, when they smash them on the doorsteps of their friends and family. The more broken dishes on your doorstep, the more luck you’ll have!

South America: Wearing Colored Underwear

In countries including Argentina and Bolivia, people wear pink underwear if they’re looking for love in the coming year, yellow underwear for wealth, or white for peace.

Colombia: Carrying a Suitcase

On December 31, many Colombians carry around a suitcase with them in hopes of having a travel-filled year ahead.

Japan: Ringing the Bells

Buddhist temples across the country ring their bells 108 times, and many believe this cleanses the people of the previous year’s sins.

Greece: Hanging Onions

On New Year’s Eve, an onion is traditionally hung on the front door of a house to symbolize rebirth and in the morning, parents wake up their children by tapping them on the head with it.

Peru: Throwing Punches

The inhabitants of Chumbivilcas Province in Peru participate in the Takanakuy Festival by fighting each other to settle their differences and start the year on a clean slate. Punching and kicking is allowed, but no biting, hair pulling or hitting someone on the ground.

Scotland: First-Footing

The first guest to cross the threshold of a home after midnight should carry a gift for the residents to bring good luck in the New Year. The luckiest guest to receive is a dark male with a gift of coal.

Estonia: Eating for Abundance

New Year’s Day typically involves eating either seven, nine or twelve times — all lucky numbers to ensure abundance in the New Year.

It sounds like a lot will be going on around the world in the coming days! Do you know of any other unique New Year’s traditions around the world that you’d like to share? How do you ring in the New Year? I’d love to connect with you in the comments!

Whether you’re stuffing your face with grapes, wearing pink underwear, or simply watching the countdown on TV with your loved ones, I hope you have a happy and healthy New Year! Thanks for reading and please share this post!

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