New Years Traditions Around the World

New Year’s has always been my favorite holiday. It is always a fun time, and though I’ve never quite understood time, I love the idea of cleansing your plate and saying good bye to the burdens of the year prior. It is a way to start fresh and be thankful for what has happened, as well as what is to come. This year was so different that on New Year’s Eve, I found myself researching what New Year’s looks like around the world, and I found so many fun traditions to wish for luck, love, and call for celebration. 

  1. 1. United States

    firework explosion

    In the United States, New Year’s Eve is often celebrated by watching the New York Times Square ball drop as the clock strikes 12, fireworks, and celebrating with fun drinks.

  2. 2. Mexico

    There is a tradition in Mexico where you wear different colored underwear to symbolize the thing you hope to receive in the upcoming year. Here are their meanings:

    Red: Love

    Yellow: Happiness 

    Green: Health

    White: Peace

    Pink: Friendship

    Another Mexican tradition I love is to walk around the block holding a suitcase so the upcoming year is full of traveling! This is also common in other parts of Latin America.

  3. 3. Spain

    Vineyard Grape Bunches

    To celebrate the New Year, Spain holds a tradition where 12 seconds before midnight hits, they must eat 12 grapes. The tradition states that by not doing so, you are “poisoning your fate,” for the New Year. Managing to eat the grapes signifies good luck in the upcoming year.

  4. 4. Greece

    Woman wearing mask holding “Open” sign

    According to the ancient Greeks, onions were a symbol of fertility and rebirth. The importance of the onion has since remained, so in Greece, it is a New Year’s tradition to hang an onion outside of your door to bring growth and rebirth in the upcoming year. 

  5. 5. Brazil

    peace lily

    In Rio, it is a common tradition to throw white flowers and float candles in the river as an offering to Goddess Lemanja, or the Queen of the Ocean. They are made in hopes that the goddess will grant their New Year's wishes. The tradition is accompanied with samba music and fireworks.

  6. 6. Denmark 

    Underwear, onions, grapes, but perhaps the most unique of traditions is this one. In Denmark, it is common to smash as many plates as possible on New Years, as they signify good luck. The more you smash, the luckier you’ll be.

  7. 7. Russia

    people holding snifter glasses

    On New Year’s, many people enjoy a cold glass of champagne. In Russia, they take this to the next level by adding ashes to theirs. No, not the ashes of a dead body. What they do is write down all of their goals for the upcoming year, burn it, and add those ashes to their glass. I love it!

New Years is a holiday celebrated internationally. No matter the traditions you follow, it is so cool to think that everyone everywhere is celebrating too! Kind of. Time zones are a thing and that is something I still don’t get.