New Years Traditions From Around the World

By Ashlee Peck

New Year’s Eve is almost here, and while many of us in the US will celebrate it with champagne and possibly a kiss at midnight, others around the globe will be ringing in 2018 in very different ways. If you’re looking to do things a little differently this year, we’re sharing details on some of our favorite New Years traditions.

Sipping your wishes

In Russia it’s common to write your wish for the new year on a slip of paper, burn it, and then place it in your champagne glass. You then have until 12:01am to finish your glass of champagne.

Surprising awakenings

Families in Greece often celebrate by hanging an onion on their front door on New Years Eve, as a symbol of rebirth in the new year. The next morning, parents wake their children by tapping them on the head with the onion.

Look out below!

In South Africa, it’s not uncommon to see people celebrate by tossing their appliances out the window. Meant to represent ‘out with the old, in with the new’, we just hope that people shout a head’s up prior to throwing anything too large from their homes.

Settling the score

In Peru, those with differences bring the matter to a close by finishing the year with a good old-fashioned fist fight. The debate is then ended and they start the new year with a clean slate.

New Years carols

Children in Northern Portugal often go door-to-door singing carols that are meant to spread good luck. They are then given coins and treats as a reward.

A glimpse of the year to come

In the Czech Republic, it’s believed that you can predict what the upcoming year will hold, simply by cutting an apple. If an apple cut in half reveals a star, without worm damage, then a healthy year ahead is predicted.

A sea of white

In Brazil the New Year is honored by thousands of people throwing white flowers into the ocean. The flowers are meant to be an offering to the Goddess of the Sea, in hopes that she will grant their wishes in the upcoming year.

12 grapes

While ringing in the New Year in Spain and many Latin American countries, party-goers stuff one grape in their mouth, symbolic of one wish, for each of the 12 chimes of the clock. In addition to 12 wishes, this also is meant to secure them happiness in the year to come.


Does your family have any interesting New Years traditions? Let us know in the comments section!