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Global New Year’s Traditions

Global New Year’s Traditions

December 02, 2023

The new year is celebrated by people around the globe and in nearly all countries. However, not everyone celebrates the same way. These diverse traditions from various countries are rooted in custom, fun, and hope for a good year ahead.


Luck and Prosperity


Place potatoes under the bed
Colombians place three potatoes—one peeled, one unpeeled, and one partially peeled—under the bed of each family member. Whichever one they pick with their eyes closed foretells their fortune or misfortune in the new year.


Throw and smash old plates.
Danish legend has it that the more broken kitchenware you accumulate on your doorstep and in the streets, the luckier you’ll be.


Hang an onion on the front door.
Onions were a symbol of fertility and growth in ancient Greece. Today, hanging them on the front door is thought to welcome positive energy for the new year.


Eat twelve grapes.
Las doce uvas de la suerte, or the twelve grapes of luck, started in the late nineteenth century to ward off evil and increase luck and prosperity in the coming year. However, it only works if you eat twelve grapes during the twelve bell strikes after midnight.

New Beginnings


Throw white flowers into the ocean.
White flowers represent purity to Brazilians, so they toss white flowers into the ocean and let them float away to wash away their past and start the year with a clean slate.


Bang bread against walls.
The Irish believe that banging loaves of bread against walls scares away bad spirits and old energy and allows for new and better memories to be made in the new year.


Slurp thin soba noodles.
For the Japanese, eating thin soba noodles by chewing them into halves and slurping them symbolizes a clean break from the past.

Good Food and Drink


Ice Fish.
Canadians in rural areas love to brave the cold and ice fish on New Year’s Eve. Afterward, they have a hot fish dinner with their catch while sitting next to a cozy fire surrounded by loved ones.


Drink champagne.
What better way to ring in the new year in Champagne, France, than to drink some of the world’s finest champagne? You can find the French enjoying this treat all throughout New Year’s Eve and Day.


Share soup joumou.
January 1 is also Haitian Independence Day. As such, Haitians enjoy a special squash soup known as joumou with loved ones to celebrate their freedom, as their ancestors were unable to enjoy the dish until after they revolted against slavery.



This article was prepared by ReminderMedia.

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