New Year’s Eve Traditions Around the World

  1. In Spain, people eat 12 green grapes to bring good luck in the coming year to bring 12 months of good fortune. They believe it’s bad luck if you can’t eat them all by the final midnight chime. 
  2. The French usually have a huge traditional feast known as le réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre. The meal consists of the following: foie gras, oysters, lobster, and escargot with champagne as their drink.
  3. Italians will eat lentils because they think their coin-like shape symbolizes luck and prosperity. Some Italians throw out their old items such as furniture, clothes, etc., to represent the slogan “Out with the old in with the new.” To celebrate they will have prosecco and watch fireworks. 
  4. One of the traditions Colombians do is place three potatoes—one peeled, one unpeeled, and one half-peeled—under their beds. At midnight, they pull out the first potato they touch. Peeled means they’ll have financial problems, unpeeled indicates abundance, and half peeled somewhere in between.
  5. In Australia, they will watch firework shows. The most common firework show would be at the Sydney Harbor Bridge, Australia. People will attend with a packed picnic basket to enjoy the show, spend time with their loved ones, and sit back and relax. 
  6. The Chinese New Year occurs between late January and the third week of February. Parades of dancing dragons and lions, representing longevity and wealth, weave their way through crowded streets. People will light firecrackers to create loud noises that scare away evil spirits. Families give out lucky money that includes good luck messages to their loved ones. 
  7. In Mexico, you will find people attending parties, parades, and festivals, as well as seeing beautiful firework shows. People will often wear different color underwear to bring them certain things. For example, red underwear attracts love, yellow brings in money, and white brings peace. 
  8. In Brazil, seven is the lucky number on New Year’s Eve, so seven pomegranate seeds are eaten to bring wealth as seven grapes ensure abundance in life. Some Brazilians also jump over seven waves in the ocean and make seven wishes for the new year as they leap.
  9. To get ready for the new year, people in Ireland clean their entire houses. When it gets closer to midnight, it’s tradition to throw bread at the walls to chase evil spirits away. They will then have dinner where they talk about those who passed away. They will also leave the door unlatched and set a place at the table to honor their loved ones.
  10. The people of Denmark gather in masses to celebrate the new year. It’s tradition to listen to the Queen’s speech and then head to the Royal Palace in Copenhagen to wait for the clock’s chime. Some will shatter new dishes and plates, climb on top of chairs, and jump into New Year’s Day at midnight to bring good luck.