10 Unique New Year's Eve Traditions
One of the best parts of travelling is getting to experience different cultures and taking part in unique traditions. Have you ever celebrated New Year's Eve in a foreign country? From eating grapes to smashing plates, check out some of the most fascinating ways that cultures around the world ring in the new year.
- Spain: Eating Grapes
- Australia: Bang Pots and Pans
- Scotland: Singing Auld Lang Syne
- France: Having a Feast
- Russia: Drinking Your Wish
- Denmark: Throwing Crockery
- Brazil: Offerings to the Goddess of the Sea
- Ecuador: Burning a Doll
- China: Red Everywhere
- Germany: Lead Casting
While most people drink a glass of champagne at midnight, the Spanish take a different route. In Spain the tradition is to eat twelve grapes at the turn of the year, one for each stroke of the bell. If you manage to eat twelve grapes within the twelve bells, you will bring happiness and good luck to the New Year. Special small boxes of grapes are even sold in the supermarkets this time of year, specifically for this tradition. Another fun fact: Spaniards also believe that wearing red underwear on New Year's Eve will bring extra happiness for the upcoming year.
Grab a pan or pot, a spoon and walk across the street, making as much noise as possible on New Year's Eve. This is the tradition in Australia, as people see it as a sign of good luck, and that the noise keeps evil spirits away.
Do you wanna close the year as a real Scot? In Scotland, they fill barrels with tar, put them on fire, and roll them over the street. The new year is also celebrated with the song "Auld Lang Syne" at midnight. New Year's is also called Hogmanay, the celebration of the Winter Solstice. The celebrations are normally stretched to the 1st of January and people typically enjoy a steak pie as a hangover meal.
In France on New Year's Eve, or le réveillon de Nouvel an as they like to call it, the French meet with family and friends for a big dinner. It goes on for hours with culinary dishes such as oysters, escargot, foie gras, smoked salmon and other delicacies. The French believe that a proper meal on New Year's Eve will bring wealth and prospetity to the house. Bonne année!
In Russia, the tradition for New Year's Eve is to write your wish on a piece of paper, burn it, throw the ashes in your glass with champagne, and drink it at exactly 12 o'clock. If you finish your drink, it is believed that your wish will come true.
Do you have old crockery at home? This can be put to use for your New Year's celebrations in Denmark. In the country, it's customary to throw your crockery against your neighbor's door. The larger the pile, the more friends and the more luck you will have in the new year.
In Brazil, many locals are seen wearing white and throwing white flowers and candles into the ocean as an offering to Iemanja, the Goddess of the Sea. Offerings to the Goddess are said to bring prosperity for the new year.
To ring in the new year, people in Ecuador make and burn a doll on New Year's Eve. This is said to symbolise the burning away of the old year and welcome the new.
In China, the New Year is celebrated from late January to mid-February for no less than 15 days. Traditions include painting your front door red, cleaning the house, paying off debts and celebrating in new clothes. Red is considered to be the happiest and luckiest colour in China, so you'll see a lot of red during this time.
Lead casting is part of the New Year in Germany. Bleigießen in German means pouring hot lead into a pot of water. Pouring lead is a tradition in which hot lead is heated in a spoon over a candle or other fire. The molten lead is poured into cold water where it takes whatever shape the future is read from. You can also toast to the New Year with a glass of sparkling wine.
Did you enjoy reading about unique New Year's Eve traditions around the world? Then you might also enjoy our blog on some of the most Fascinating Foreign Customs and Traditions. Although we will be celebrating New Year's a bit differently this year, there's plenty of winter activities that you can do at home that you'll enjoy so check it out. Happy New Year!