Events, Lifestyle, News
Dec 26, 2023

New Years Traditions From Around the World

Happy New Year! All around the world people celebrate the changing of the year in all kinds of ways. Let us know what your New Years/New Year’s Eve traditions are. Meanwhile, we have a few for you, incase you’ve been curious how the rest of the world ushers in a new year. 


Grapes! We’re starting with Spain because our lifestyle editor grew up with this tradition and has passed it to many of her friends. Traditionally you swallow 12 grapes within the first minute of the New Year. Every grape signifies a goal or intention you have for the New Year. If you need inspiration just think along the lines of: health, travel, love, peace, etc to name a few. Let us know what your 12 grapes would be.


In Ecuador, they celebrate the changing of the year by burning scarecrows. Lets just hope the one from the Wizard of Oz has found his brains before they begin picking them off. To ensure good fortune they burn the scarecrows at the stroke of midnight. And not to be outdone, they also burn photographs ( all for good fortune, of course).

*This is a scene from Cloud Atlas but this is definitely what we picture


In Denmark, they celebrate midnight by breaking unused plates. The Danish don’t just smash plates anywhere. They’re supposed to shatter them against the doorways of your friends and family with affection and well wishes for their New Year.

The Dane’s are killing the traditions here. They also ring the New Year in by climbing on chair and literally jumping into the New Year as they jump with the strike of midnight.

South America:

Many South American countries hold the tradition of choosing their underwear color carefully on New Year’s Eve. You see the different colors mean different things for the incoming year. Red underwear means you’ll find love, white is for Peace, and gold is for wealth.


In the Buddhist religion ringing a bell 108 times brings you alignment and cleanliness. They also believe in ringing in the New Year with a smile, as it brings luck to you.


………………………………………. :O

Excuse us, we’re pretty sure our inner eight year olds are aghast at this tradition. Give it a moment to sink in. The Swiss drop Ice Cream on the floor, to celebrate. We think it’s ice cream abuse, how could you do that to a pint of Ben & Jerry’s? But to each their own.


Romanians toss coins into the river on New Years to bring them luck. Huh, we wonder if this is where that idea with fountains came from?

Puerto Rico:

In some part of Puerto Rico they believe in throwing water out of their windows as the clock strikes midnight to drive away spirits.


This is a tradition we could totally get behind. In Bolivia they bake coins into desserts and sweet treats. Whoever finds the coin or coins are destined for good luck in the New Year.


The French have it made. They consume a stack of pancakes at midnight. Sounds easy AND delicious. We are in.


Forget a one minute activity at the strike of midnight. Colombians spend all of New Year’s Eve walking around with their suitcases for good travels in the New Year.


Chileans celebrate the New Year by sleeping in the cemetery with their ancestors. No offense to our Chilean readers but here at the office we think we’ll issue a HARD PASS on a night in the cemetery, on whats considered (mythically) a thin day between the living and the dead.


We love the Irish! They bake bread and throw it at the walls to ward off evil spirits at the strike of midnight. This basically sounds like a legit food fight, and after a few pints of beer, the evil spirit banishing competition could be epic. We’re in.


It’s FREEZING we get it, so we weren’t exactly surprised to find out their population jumps into frozen lakes, while carrying a tree trunk. Is THIS where we get the ‘Polar Bear’ plunge idea from? Hard Pass. But if that’s your kind of thing, send pics. No really, tag us we want to see. (Yes that is a REAL photo from Siberia….and the very real “tree” they are jumping in with, cue the “Meanwhile In Russia” meme)

Those are some of the best traditions we researched online to bring in the New Year. Let us know what your traditions are! Watching the ball drop in New York City is a true tradition here in the U.S.