9 New Year Traditions Around The World
People in each country have their own ways to wish good luck, fortune, and happiness in New Year’s Day.
- In Spain: Eat 12 grapes at midnight
To hope for 12 months filled with happiness, Spaniards eat a grape at each stroke of the clock. The origin of this tradition dates back to 1909 when the country had a successful grape harvest and the King made a decision on giving the remaining grapes to people so that they could celebrate the New Year.
Nowadays, it is said that anyone who can promptly finish 12 grapes before the chimes end will be a happy and lucky person in the coming year.
- In Brazil: Give an offering to Lemanja– the Goddess of the sea
To worship the Goddess of the sea, Brazilians throw white flowers into the sea. Every year, there are thousands of people carrying out the custom with the desire that she will bless them in the New Year. In addition, they can throw other female items such as perfume, jewelry, or lipstick put into small wooden boats.
- In Denmark: Break plates
This is the unique way Danish people do to get rid of the chipped old plates in their kitchen cupboard. On New Year’s Eve, they will throw these plates at their neighbor’s and friend’s doors.
In this country, it is believed that you will have lots of friends and fortune in the coming year if you find a large number of broken dishes outside the door in the first day of New Year. Today, this custom seems to fall into oblivion, but it is great fun, right?
- In Scotland: Invite a handsome man to home
To ensure a year with good luck, the Scots try to invite tall, dark and handsome men to be the first New Year’s caller.
This “first-foot” tradition shows a strong belief of Scottish that the first person to enter their house in the New Year will influence the household’s prosperity during the next 12 months. The tall, dark and handsome guys are considered as the ones bringing the best luck, and it is even luckier and greater when they bring whiskey as a gift.
- In Ecuador: Burn scarecrows
At midnight on New Year’s Eve, Ecuadorian families will gather outside their house and together set fire to a scarecrow made from newspaper and pieces of wood.
To lots of people, burning scarecrows may be an action expressing anger, fear or dark magic, but in Ecuador, it is supposed that this can help destroy all bad luck in the last year as well as scare evil forces so that they can welcome the New Year with luck and happiness.
- In Ireland: Place mistletoe under the pillow
If you are looking for a romantic relationship in the coming year, put the mistletoe under your pillow before sleeping on the New Year’s Eve then you will find your true love.
In this country, single people often place a branch of mistletoe, holly or ivy under their pillows with the desire to find their own mate in the near future.
- In Chile: Celebrate the New Year at a cemetery
Chilean people welcome the New Year with their whole families and ancestors at the cemetery. In fact, this tradition is not for luck, it is the chance to reunite family members and honor deceased loved ones.
This tradition originated in a family living in a small town of Talca. They decided to jump the cemetery fence to start the New Year beside the tomb of their father. Since people believe that their dead relatives are waiting for them, there have been over 5000 people visiting cemeteries, lighting candles, and playing classical music there every year.
- In Italy: Throw furniture through the window
The Italians throw old furniture out of the window as a way to show that they are ready for a new year with new changes and challenges. In Naples, people can toss any items like old ovens, or even broken refrigerators out of their balconies.
However, people prefer small and soft items to harmful belongings that not only are dangerous but also don’t bring good fortune.
- In the Philippines: Wear polka dots
In the Philippines, roundness stands for fortune and prosperity; thus, Filipinos dress up round shaped items, including polka dot clothes, and fill their pockets with coins as well as eat round fruits like grapes, cantaloupes, cherries or oranges.
If you want to pray for wealth, don’t forget to wear polka dots and bring circular fruits in the New Year.