15 New Year’s Eve Traditions Around the World

New Year, a fresh start celebrated globally, signifies renewal and life possibilities. Midnight triggers historic, culturally-rich traditions, uniting us in hope and aspiration.


As the clock strikes midnight in Spain, locals eat twelve grapes, one for each chime. Each grape symbolizes good luck for one month of the coming year.


In Denmark, old plates and glasses are thrown against doors of kin and friends to ward off evil. More broken pieces signify more popularity!


In Japan, Buddhist temples ring their bells 108 times at midnight to cleanse the 108 earthly desires believed to cause human suffering.


Brazilians jump seven waves at the beach for good luck and offer flowers to the goddess of the sea, Yemanja.


In Scotland, the first person who crosses the threshold of a home in the new year should carry a gift for good luck, a tradition called “first-footing.”


In Ecuador, large, intricate effigies, or 'Año Viejo,' of politicians and celebrities are burnt to symbolize the shedding of the old year.


In the Philippines, round shapes representing coins (symbolizing prosperity) dominate every celebration aspect, from the clothes to the food.

South Africa

In some parts of South Africa, people throw furniture out of their windows to leave the past behind and start the New Year fresh.


Russians write down a wish for the New Year, burn it, collect the ashes in a glass of champagne, and drink it as soon as the clock strikes midnight.


In Greece, an onion is traditionally hung on the front door of homes on New Year’s Eve as a symbol of rebirth in the coming year.


In Germany, people drop molten lead into cold water and predict the future based on its shape.


In Chile, families spend the night in the company of their deceased loved ones by sleeping at the cemetery.


In the USA, the famous’ ball drop’ takes place in Times Square, New York, with a million people watching the sparkling ‘New Year’s Eve Ball’ descend a flagpole.


In Finland, people predict the coming year by casting molten tin into a water container and then interpreting the resulting shape.


In Estonia, people believe in eating seven, nine, or twelve times on New Year’s Eve to ensure abundance in those months of the new year.

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