New Year’s Eve Traditions Around the World

This year you can celebrate internationally without ever leaving your home! Read about these fun traditions from around the world and see which ones you want to incorporate to ring in the new year!

Eat Black-eyed Peas (USA)

Eating Black Eyed peas as a part of your New Year’s Eve dinner is believed to usher in prosperity and luck for the coming year. Also, traditionally served as part of a dish called “Hoppin’ John,” which includes collard greens and “golden” cornbread for extra financial prosperity.

Wear White (Brazil)

Wearing white on New Year’s Eve in Brazil signifies good luck and peace as well as a fresh start.

Break A Plate (Denmark)

Celebrate the Danish way! As a tradition, people break plates on the doorsteps of friends and loved ones. The next day, the more stoneware remnants you see on your doorstep, the luckier and more well-liked you are. Don’t forget to sweep up on the first!

Eat 12 Grapes (Spain)

An easy and tasty tradition from Spain—eat one grape at each stroke of midnight or in the last 12 seconds of the old year. Each grape represents an upcoming month; if you set clear intentions for luck and prosperity while eating them, that signals good fortune for that month.

Grab a Suitcase and Run Around the House or Block (Colombia)

For the adventure lovers out there, this one’s for you. The tradition of packing a suitcase or bag with a change of clothes followed by running around your house or block calls forth a year of traveling and adventure. Be sure to complete your run at the last minute before midnight to ensure all your travels will be successful!

Write and Burn your Wishes (Russia)

In Russia, you write out your intentions and wishes for the new year and burn them. You swirl a little bit of the ashes in your champagne glass and drink it before the clock strikes 12 to ensure they come true!

Kiss a Loved One (England/Germany)

Today, a widespread tradition, kissing a loved one at the stroke of midnight, is believed to have originated in England and Germany. It is thought that the first person you kiss in the new year sets the tone for that year’s destiny.

Burn Away the Old Year (Ecuador)

Say goodbye to last year how Ecuadorians do—create a scarecrow with old clothes and papers representing past negativity and catastrophic events or news clippings from the past year—anything you wish to shed. Traditionally, these dolls are also filled with sawdust and can be finished off with a mask. At midnight, burn them to symbolize letting go of the past year and making space for good wishes in the new year.

Find 12 Round Fruits (Philippines)

Prepare yourself and your home with this Filipino tradition: making sure your home has 12 round fruits. The round shape represents coins and invites wealth for the coming year, with each fruit representing one month from the new year. Additionally, avoid wearing rectangles or triangles as those are considered unlucky for the new year.

Smash Pomegranates (Turkey)

Smash pomegranates on your doorway to greet New Year the Turkish way! The belief is that your good fortune in the coming year is directly proportional to the number of seeds that fly out of the fruit upon impact so throw your hardest!

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