25 New Year’s Traditions Around The World

New Year is one of the biggest festive days around the world and is mostly observed on January 1st in all the countries. The day is pre-occupied with lots of practices starting with food, parties, toasts, fireworks etc. The people follow different traditions say it religiously or spiritually without hitting miss. The traditions usually differ from country to country depending on their culture. If you are interested in knowing the New Year’s Day Traditions practiced by people in different countries then this article is for you. We have put together different types of traditions observed by people around the world in various countries. Have a read!

New Year’s Traditions Around The World 

Many countries make this world and each country has its own sort of tradition and culture to abide by. People living in particular country will automatically adapt the tradition that has been there from ages on the Eve. Though the world of people rings in the New Year on the same day and at the same time, New Year’s Traditions are quite different for each country. We have rounded up some of the captivating traditions perceived by the people in various countries.

The main purpose of perceiving the traditions on the New Year is with a belief that they would bring good luck and prosperity. After reading them even you may want to practice them by yourself on the coming New Year Eve. While some sound hilarious some are quite science backed traditions. So, give yourself good knowledge of the traditions followed around the world by reading this article completely.

1. Spain – Eating 12 Grapes

In Spain on the Eve of the New Year, people eat 12 grapes right at the midnight in the name of a tradition. The belief surrounding this tradition is that eating grapes bring good luck and prosperity all through the year.  After midnight, for each second 12 grapes are eaten for 12 consecutive strikes of the clock. The 12 grapes here represent 12 months. Also, if not all the 12 grapes are consumed within the time, it is considered bad luck.

2. Scotland – First Footing

The Scottish people observe different traditions on the New Year Eve. They name the ceremony that is celebrated before the 1st January as Hogmanay. The very much observed tradition is first footing. The tradition says that the first person who crosses through the threshold of the house after midnight on the New Year’s Day will bring luck given that he is a dark-haired man. These men enter the house with whiskey, coal, salt etc as a symbol of good fortune.

3. Finland – Melt Tin to Predict Future 

Finland also has New Year’s Eve Traditions that all the people of the country follow religiously. People of Finland predict the future in the coming year by casting molten tin into a water container. By finding out the shape of the tin after melting, they predict the future. While the heart or ring shape translates to wedding and pig resembles lots of food etc.

4. Russia – Plant Tree in Frozen Lake

The Russian New Year Eve tradition is quite chilling even to mention. They follow the tradition where two people named Father Frost and Ice Maiden get into the frozen Lake Baikal and plant a New Year Tree 100 feet beneath the frozen surface. This tradition is being followed by the Russians from more than 25 years.

5. Denmark – Break Plates

The people of Denmark have a different tradition of breaking plates on the Eve. The more plates you break, the more good things come your way is their belief. The people in Denmark thrown old plates and glasses against the doors of friends and family to avoid bad spirits. Also, they jump off of the chairs in the midnight meaning that they are jumping into the New Year with a hope of good luck.

6. Greece –Eat Pomegranate 

The Greeks believe that the pomegranates resemble fertility, life and abundance, which means it is full of good fortune. So, on the New Year Eve, Greek people smash the fruit on the front door of the house and the number of seeds that come out equals to the amount of good luck they receive in the coming year.

7. Philippines – Eat 12 Round Fruits

Philippines hang round shapes all over the country on the New Year Eve. This is again to symbolize prosperity as the coins are in round shape. Also, many people eat 12 round shaped fruits on the midnight for each of the month and also wear polka dot patterned attires for luck.

8. Brazil – Dons Red underwear

There are many other New Year’s Traditions Around The World and Brazil also has one of its kind tradition to follow on the Eve. The people of Brazil wear special underwear on the New Year’s Eve. They make sure to pick the red colored underwear as it is considered to bring love. On the other hand, yellow colored underwear resembles money. Other than Brazil, other Central and South America countries such as Ecuador, Bolivia, and Venezuela also follow this tradition on the Eve.

9. Panama – Burn Effigies 

People of Panama burn the effigies of popular figures like politicians, television artists etc on the New Year Eve believing that it would ward off the evil spirits. The effigies represent old year according to them.

10. Colombia – Carry Empty Suitcases 

Colombia people seem to like travelling a lot. Their New Year tradition will make you feel the same. Colombia people carry empty suitcases around with a hope that the coming year will be full of travel for them. If you are a travel-freak then may be this tradition works for you. Do give it a try (winks).

11. Italy – Wears Red Underwear 

Italians also wear red underwear on the New Years’ Eve similar to the people of Brazil, but the purpose is entirely different. Here, they wear red underwear with a hope that they would conceive in the coming year. They believe that red is associated with fertility.

12. Chile – Prayers offered at Cemeteries 

In Chile, the masses on the New Year’s Eve are held at cemeteries rather than at church. This tradition allows the family members to spend quality time with their beloved deceased. This also means that they celebrate the New Year Eve with the deceased people by doing it at cemeteries.

13. Japan – Ringing Bells

Japan people conduct a traditional ceremony every year on the New Year Eve in the name of Joya no kane. It is a bell-ringing ceremony and is been adapted from Buddhists. The bells are rung 108 times on the eve and they represent each of the worldly sins. These ceremonies are held at Buddhist temples all across the country. 

Another tradition is Japan is that they eat Soba noodles on the Eve. The ritual is titled toshikoshi soba where they eat the Soba noodles. They believe that their thin and long shape resemble healthy and long life. 

14. Germany  – Lead Pouring 

German people observe the activity named BleigieBen on the Eve as a part of the Eve’s tradition. It is also referred as lead pouring where people melt small piece of lead or tin using the candle flames and thrown it into a cold water container. The shape of the lead or tin after the process decides their future. 

15. Czech Republic – Cutting Apples

The Czech people predict their future on the Eve using an apple. The night before the Eve, the apple is cut into half and the shape of the core of the apple is believed to determine the fate of the people. If the shape is in star, then everyone will be safe and sound, but if the shape is cross, then someone will fall ill.

16. Estonia – 12 Meals in a Day

This tradition followed in Estonia will make you watery mouthed for sure. If you are a big foodie then you would definitely visit this place sometime to celebrate the New Year as the tradition here is about eating many meals on the Eve. They believe that eating seven, nine and 12 meals in a day will bring them good luck. Also, the food left in the plates are said to be served to the deceased people in the family.

17. Armenia – Consume luck kneaded Bread

Armenia people eat bread on the New Year’s Eve with a belief that it contains luck. It is believed that mothers bake special bread by kneading with luck and good wishes. People eat the luck filled bread on the Eve to get good fortune in the New Year.

18. Turkey – Sprinkle Salt

As soon as the clock hits the midnight people of Turkey sprinkle salt at the doorsteps. It is said to bring good luck to them. This New Year’s tradition is said to give peace and prosperity throughout the year.

19. Ireland – Sleep with Mistletoe 

Single people in Ireland sleep with a mistletoe under their pillow on the New Year’s Eve with a hope that they find their better-half in the future. Also, women sleep with the plant to dream of their future husband.

20. Singapore – Release Wishing Spheres

In Singapore wishing spheres are released on the New Year’s Eve onto the River with the hopes of the people written on them. This is one of the most observed traditions in the world and people from different parts of the world visit there to participate in this tradition.

21. Belarus – Rooster Corn Game

The tradition followed by Belarus women mainly revolves around the young women who are unmarried. The women take part in a game which will determine who will be getting married in the coming year. In one of the games, rooster is used to pick the piles of corn and whose pile is picked will be the next to wed in line.

22. South Africa – Threw old things Away

Following the adage “out with the old and in with the new”, South African people throw out the old appliances out of their windows. They believe that it would bring them good fortune in coming year.

23. Romania – Communicate with Animals 

This is one of the unique traditions followed by the people of Romania. The farmers in the country communicate with the animals on the Eve and if they are successful, they will have good luck in the next year as per the tradition.

24. Austria – Eat Pigs

Austrian people consider pigs as good luck charms. So they celebrate the New Year by eating pigs and exchanging chocolate pigs with each other. It is one of the most followed traditions by the people of Austria. 

25. Hungary – Rotate Budapest’s Wheel

Hungary has a complete different tradition to follow on the New Year’s Eve. The Budapest’s Time Wheel runs out on the Eve and it is mechanically rotated so that the sand runs through it for another year. These are the New Year’s Day Traditions followed by different countries in the world. If you belong to any of these countries or want to give any of these traditions a try, they go ahead and give them a try. We hope you seek good luck on the New Year Eve and reach great heights. We are sure these traditions have surprised you very much. If so, experience them by yourself and see the magic of it. Also, bookmark our website – NEWYEARWIKI.COM and stay connected for more captivating articles.

1 thought on “25 New Year’s Traditions Around The World”

  1. The South African entry is not really true. There was an incident in Hillbrow on New Years eve but that was part of a protest not a ritual. Going to the beach would be a more accurate tradition.


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