Top 10 New Year’s Traditions Around the World

Welcoming and celebrating a new year is believed to be the same in all countries, but in fact this is not true. Although most of the countries around the world celebrate the same occasion, they differ in the way of celebration to the extent that you may find weird traditions. Welcoming a new year in different ways is caused by the several differences that can be found in cultures and beliefs. Fireworks, music, light shows and laser shows are considered to be highly essential for celebrating a New Year in any country; however there are still many differences that you can find in celebrating a New Year whether it is on the New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. There are specific things or actions that are believed in some countries to bring good luck or at least affect the person’s fate in the New Year if they are made, do you know anything about these beliefs? If your answer is NO, take a look at the following top 10 New Year’s traditions around the world to discover more about the different ways of celebrating a new year.

10 Throwing dishes at front doors – Denmark

throwing dishes

In Denmark, Danes welcome the New Year and celebrate New Year’s Eve by throwing dishes at front doors to bring good luck. Your luck in Denmark is decided by the number of dishes thrown at your front door. The number of broken dishes signifies the number of loyal friends whom you have. So, the more broken dishes you find in front of your door, the more friends you have and the luckier you will be in the upcoming year.

9 The first one to enter the home should be lucky – Greece

the first one to enter the home should be lucky
smashing pomegranate

Your luck in the New Year in Greece is associated with the first one who enters your home. This is why the first one to enter the home in the New Year should be lucky in order to bring good luck and this person should also enter with the right foot to make things go right in the coming year. Smashing a pomegranate to the floor is also necessary to guarantee abundance, good health and joy to all the residents of the home in the New Year. Children are also believed to bring good luck because of being the most innocent in our world.

8 Melting tin for telling the future – Finland

Melting tin for telling the future

Do you want to predict what will happen to you in the next year? You have to do like the Fins. Look for any piece of tin and pour it into cold water after melting it. The molten tin will be turned into a random shape that is used for predicting what is going to happen in the upcoming year. Random shapes like animals especially cows signify abundance, rings and hearts refer to marriage or engagement, ships indicate travelling, horses signify a new car and keys indicate career achievement. Any broken or fragile shapes signify misfortune.

7 Predicting the next fiancée by playing games – Belarus

Predicting the next fiancee by playing games

There are several ways that we know for predicting what is going to happen in the future, but games are considered to be the strangest and funniest way for telling the future. Single ladies in Belarus play a nice game on the New Year’s Eve to predict the next fiancée. A pile of corn is placed in front of each single lady and a rooster is released to walk towards the single ladies and the piles of corn in front of them. The first single lady to be approached by the rooster is expected to be the next fiancée.

6 Want to travel, carry an empty suitcase – Mexico

want to travel
want to travel.
carry an empty suitcase

Travelling to new places for experiencing exciting adventures is really one of the most amazing things that you can ever do to enjoy your time and forget all the problems that you may face in your life. If you want to make the next year more exciting by travelling and experiencing new adventures, you have to make what the Mexicans do on the New Year’s Eve. The Mexicans believe that carrying an empty suitcase and walking with it when the clock strikes midnight brings travel and exciting adventure to the New Year. So, why do not you try this idea if you want to travel in the coming year?

5 Painting doors in red & hiding knives – China

Painting doors in red
Painting doors in red (1)
hiding knives

The New Year in China is welcomed by hiding all the knives at home in order to make sure that no one will be harmed or cut by those knives at the beginning of the New Year. Cutting yourself by a knife on the New Year’s in China signifies misfortune and means cutting the good luck of the whole family in the upcoming year. In addition to hiding knives, the Chinese paint the front doors of their houses in red to ensure good luck and happiness in the New Year.

4 Communicating with animals – Belgium & Romania

Communicating with animals
communicating with cows
Communicating with animals (1)

Farmers in both Belgium and Romania believe that the animals have the ability to talk on New Year’s Eve at midnight and this is why they try to communicate with them to hear what those animals say. The clever farmers who succeed in communicating with their cows and hearing what they say are believed to be lucky for the upcoming year. Do you have cows to try hearing what they say at midnight on New Year’s Eve?

3 Throwing old furniture – South Africa

Throwing old furniture

Most of the people around the world welcome the New Year by decorating their homes trying to change their look to be more inviting, but for those who live in Johannesburg they believe that this is not enough for welcoming the New Year. Locals in Johannesburg welcome the New Year with new furniture and throw the old appliances and furniture out of the window. So, be careful while walking in the streets of Johannesburg and watch your head!

2 Banging bread against walls & doors – Ireland

Banging bread against walls

In Ireland, the Irish try to chase out the evil spirits and bad luck on New Year’s Eve to keep them away in the upcoming year by banging bread against the doors and walls of their houses. Doing such a thing is not only thought to bring good luck and invite good spirits to the next year, it is also believed to make the food plentiful for the upcoming year.

1 Staying with the dead relatives – Chile

Staying with the dead relatives
Staying with the dead relatives (1)

We may forget to invite some of those whom we know and are still alive to celebrate this happy occasion with us, but for the locals in Talca it is completely different. Locals in Talca are not like us at all as they spend the New Year’s Eve in the graveyard to welcome the New Year while being with their dead relatives. Welcoming the New Year in Talca with the dead ones is accompanied by using candles and playing classical music.

Other New Year’s Traditions 

There are other weird new year’s traditions around the world such as wearing red underwear on New Year’s Eve in Italy, bringing a gift for others to bring good luck in Scotland, eating round foods in Philippines, swimming in a frozen lake in Russia and Siberia, wearing white clothes in Brazil, burning scarecrows, putting a coin in the cake to bring good luck to the one who finds it in Bolivia, eating lentils in Chile, wearing colorful underwear in Ecuador, eating seven times on new year’s day in Estonia, ringing the bell 108 times in the temple in Japan, swinging fireballs around the head in Scotland, planting trees at the bottom of Lake Baikal, eating 12 grapes in Spain, throwing buckets of water on others in Thailand, kissing another one when the clock strikes midnight in the United States in addition to other traditions that are really interesting and make the celebration more exciting.

burning scarecrows
burning scarecrows (1)
burning scarecrows (2)
swinging fireballs
swinging fireballs (1)
eating lentils
throwing water at others in Thailand
throwing water at others in Thailand (1)
throwing water at others in Thailand (2)
swimming in frozen lakes
putting a coin in the cake
having 12 grapes
wearing white in Brazil
new year China

“Happy New Year in Advance” 

Sara Nagi

Sara Nagi is an Egyptian writer and activist. After earning a degree in English literature from Cairo University, she began working as a journalist and publishing articles on social issues.Nagi rose to prominence with her debut short story collection "Hawaween" in 2008, which explored feminist themes and was groundbreaking for Arabic literature at the time. She has since published several other acclaimed short story collections and novels that have been translated into multiple languages.In addition to her literary work, Nagi co-founded Basma, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting women survivors of violence and single mothers. She has been vocal on women's rights issues in Egypt through columns, public speaking engagements and advocacy campaigns.Her contributions to both Arabic fiction and social activism have earned Nagi several international awards, including the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature from the American University in Cairo. Forbes Middle East recognized her as one of the 100 most powerful Arab women in 2018.Nagi continues to push boundaries with her writing while raising awareness about gender equality through her work with Basma and other organizations.
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