Wednesday 31 December 2014

New Year Traditions Around The World

When it comes to celebrating the New Year it seems that everyone has their own peculiar way of doing things. Some people throw bread, others burn scarecrows, and still others fist fight for good luck. These are some of the strangest New Year’s traditions I have found from researching New Years Eve on the internet, from around the world.

Broken Plates (Denmark)

In Denmark they save all of their unused dishes and plates until the 31st of December when they affectionately shatter them against the doors of all their friends and family.

Scarecrow Burning (Ecuador)

In Ecuador they celebrate the New Year by burning paper filled scarecrows at midnight. They also burn photographs from the last year. All in the name of good fortune.

Eating 12 Grapes (Spain)

In Spain, if you can manage to stuff 12 grapes in your mouth at midnight you’ve achieved good luck for the next year.

Round Things (Philippines)

In the Philippines it’s all about the cash. They believe that everything should be round so as to represent coins and bring wealth. Round food, round clothes, as long as it’s round.

Coloured Underwear (South America)

In some South American countries wearing coloured underwear will determine your fate for the new year. Red underwear means you’ll find love. Gold means wealth, and white signifies peace.

108 Rings (Japan)

In Japan they ring all of their bells 108 times in alignment with the Buddhist belief that this brings cleanness. It’s also considered good to be smiling going into the New Year as it supposedly brings good luck.

Takanakuy Festival (Peru)

Every year at the end of December people in this small Peruvian village fist fight to settle their differences. They then start the year off on a clean slate.

Dropping Ice cream (Switzerland)

In Switzerland they celebrate the New Year by dropping ice cream on the floor.

Coin Tossing (Romania)

In Romania they throw their spare coins into the river to get good luck.

Water Buckets (Puerto Rico)

In some parts of Puerto Rico they throw pails of water out of their windows to drive away evil spirits.

Don't Forget The Cows (Belgium)

In Belgium they take their livestock seriously. At least seriously enough that the farmers wish their cows a happy new year!

Sweet Coins (Bolivia)

In Bolivia coins are baked into sweets and whoever finds the coins has good luck for the next year.

Pancakes (France)

The French like to keep things simple and delicious. Every new year they consume a stack of pancakes.

Suitcases (Colombia)

In Colombia they carry their suitcases around with them all day in hopes of having a travel filled year.

High Jump (Denmark)

In Denmark people climb on top of chairs and literally “jump” into the New Year to bring good luck.

Talc Smearing (Thailand)

Besides throwing buckets of water on each other in Thailand they also go around smearing each other with grey talc.

Cemetery Sleepover (Chile)

In Chile families spend the night in the company of their deceased loved ones by sleeping at the cemetery.

Animal Whispering (Romania)

Just like in Belgium, Romanian farmers try to communicate with their cows. If they succeed, however, then it means bad luck for the year.

Bread Power (Ireland)

In Ireland they hit the walls with bread to get rid of evil spirits

Furniture Disposal (South Africa)

In some parts of South Africa they throw furniture out the window

Frozen Trunks (Siberia)

Just as you might expect, in Siberia they jump into frozen lakes carrying tree trunks

Metal Casters (Finland)

In Finland people predict the coming year by casting molten tin into a bucket of water and interpreting the resulting shape.

Effigy Burning (Panama)

In Panama effigies of everyone and anyone famous are burned as a way to start the new year off with good luck

First-Footing (Scotland)

In Scotland the first person to cross the threshold of a home in the new year should carry a gift for good luck.

Eating For Abundance (Estonia)

In Estonia people eat seven times on new years day to ensure abundance in the new year.


  1. Interesting reading Jo-Anne, so many countries do different things :)
    Happy New Year to you and your family..

    1. Yes indeed I was surprised there was so many different things that people do

  2. I've got blue underwear, what do I get? BTW Scrappy likes the Swiss way...

  3. Dearest Jo-Anne,
    Don't know if any of these listings are true; never heard of them... But wishing you already a very Happy New Year!

    1. No I have not heard of them either some maybe true some not so much but it was interesting to read what some countries are suppose to do would love to know what ones are true and what are crap

  4. Very cool stuff. I especially like the tossing of furniture out the window one. What a hoot. :)


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