Unique New Year’s Eve Traditions around the world

Calendar New Year, also known as “Western New Year”, is one of the most important holidays for many nations and cultures around the world. Calendar New Year begins on the night of 31 December, which is the last day of the year. On this day, besides fireworks and red wine, some countries also have their own customs to welcome a lucky new year.



Spain: The faster you eat grapes, the more luck you will have

During the transition between the old year and the new year, besides drinking wine, Spanish also have a traditional custom of eating green grapes as quickly as possible. There will be 12 bunches of grapes representing the 12 months of the next year, expressing wishes for a sweet and smooth new year.

Czech Republic: New Year prediction with an apple

For Czechs, on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, all family members will gather at the dining table, on which they put an apple cut in half. Czechs believe that if the apple’s core is shaped like a star, all people there will have good health and good luck on that year. And if the apple’s core has a cross shape, then someone may not be in good health condition that year.

Colombia: Run around with a suitcase

Colombians are eager to travel all over the world. So the New Year’s tradition in this country is to carry a suitcase and run around a rock, wishing that in the new year, they can go to various places and learn interesting things. Of course there is nothing inside this suitcase, otherwise you will have a hard time carrying it.

Germany: Watch the same black and white movie over and over

Like other countries in the world, on the new year, in addition to fireworks, champagne and family reunion, this country has many special customs such as putting molten lead into cold water, the shape of lead will be a prediction of the future. In addition, a portion of food eaten on New Year’s Eve will be left on the plate until midnight, symbolizing the abundant food in the coming year.

Starting in 1970, on New Year’s Eve, Germans often had the habit of watching the program “Dinner for One”. This is a British black-and-white comedy filmed in Germany in 1963 and interestingly, it has almost nothing to do with the New Year.

Hungary: Do not wash clothes on New Year

According to Hungarians, New Year’s Eve is called “Silvester”. Like other countries, Hungary also has a lot of interesting customs on this New Year’s Day such as making loud noises to ward off evil spirits, or absolutely not washing clothes on New Year’s Day if you don’t want bad luck for next year...

The Hungarian New Year’s conceptions share many similarities with Asians such as if the first guest entering your house in the new year is a male, it is considered a blessing for your family for the whole year. On the contrary, if the person is a woman, it is not so lucky.

Romania: Dance in real bear skin

To avoid the disturbance of evil spirits, on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, the Romanians devise a way to use a real bear skin to cover themselves and dance, roll and roll until they “die” before resuming good health, signifying the coming of spring.

Scotland: Beliefs about people who bring good luck

The Scots and some other parts of the United Kingdom also have a “superstition” in guessing luck based on the first person to enter the house. If that person is a black-haired man, bringing a dish or a piece of coal, it means that in the new year, the whole family will be very happy and rich.

On New Year’s Day, Scottish children also get up early, visit their neighbors and sing traditional songs. In return for that enthusiasm, the host will give them coins, cakes, apples and other sweets.

Costa Rica: Drag suitcase around their house

Costa Ricans have a tradition of dragging suitcases around the block at midnight, hoping for traveling in the new year.

“The farther we drag our suitcases, the farther we’ll go in the new year,” according to reporter Samantha Schmidt of The Washington Post. Schmidt often spends New Year’s Eve with his extended family in Costa Rica every year.

Greece: Hang some onions

In Greece, onions symbolize rebirth, so people hang them on the door on the last day of the year to hope for a year of prosperity. The Greeks also have a tradition of hiding coins in the cake and sharing it with relatives. Whoever is quick... to find the coin will have good luck for the whole year.

Japan: Ring the bell

On New Year’s Eve, you’ll hear bells ringing through the streets. The Japanese believe that ringing the bell 108 times will drive away human sins and bring good luck to everyone. The Japanese also believe that smiling on New Year’s Eve brings good luck in the new year.

Philippines: Decorate with round items

Filipinos hope to bring prosperity and wealth in the new year by surrounding themselves with round items on New Year’s Eve. From coins to grapes, apples... each item represents wealth and success.


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