NYE Traditions from Around the World

"One of the things we love about travel is getting to know the local customs. When in comes to New Year's traditions in some countries, there's no shortage of things to learn if you're looking to do as the locals do. Which one are you doing this year?" 



      by World Mark 

      Smashing Plates in DENMARK

      It's Danish tradition on NYE to smash plates and glasses on your friends and neighbour's front door. It's said to leave all any ill-will and aggression behind as you move into the New Year. And the more smashed dishes you have in front of your door at the end of the night, the better luck you'll have in the new year!

      by Mental Floss 

      Eating Grapes in SPAIN

      This is a simple one as Spaniards eat exactly 12 grapes at the stroke of mid-night. Each grape represents the 12 months of the upcoming year and is said to bring good fortune and prosperity.    

      by Uniqueness

      Burning Scarecrows in ECUADOR

      Bonfires light up the skies in Ecuador, and at the centre of each are scarecrows. These burnings of the "año viejo," or "old year," are held to cleanse the world of all the bad from the past 12 months and make room for all that is good to come. 

      by World Mark

      First Footing in SCOTLAND

      According to Scottish tradition, the first person who enters you house on New Year's Day should be a dark-haired male if you're after good luck in the upcoming year. Typically these men will bring gifts of salt, coal, shortbread and whiskey...all of which bring good fortune to the house.  

      by Greek City Times

      Smashing Pomegranates in GREECE

      In Greek Mythology, the pomegranate represents life, fertility and abundance while in more modern times, it represents good fortune. Just after midnight, Greeks will smash a pomegranate on their front doors, and the number of seeds that fall to the ground is directly related to how much good fortune you'll have in the upcoming year.    

      by Spruce Eats

      Eating Olibollen in the NETHERLANDS

      There's no consensus on where this tradition actually began, but one theory is that the delicious balls were used as a deterrent. Tradition goes that the cruel pagan goddess Perchta would fly around on New Years's looking to cut open the stomach's of people she came across searching for food, BUT the fat from the Olibollen would make her sword slide right off your stomach. Eat up!

      by Spruce Eats

      Pouring Lead in GERMANY

      Each person melts a piece of lead or tin over candle light then drops it in cold water. It's said that the shape it takes once cooled reveals a person's fate in the upcoming year.

      by Getty

      White Flowers into the Ocean in BRAZIL

      Every NYE, Brazilian's throw white flowers into the ocean as an offering to Yemoja, a water-deity who controls the ocean and can bring blessings for the year to come. 

      by Evolving Table

      Cutting Apples in the CZECH REPUBLIC

      On New Year's Eve, an apple is cut in half and the shape of the core is said to reveal the fate of everyone surrounding it. If the core looks like a star, then everyone will soon meet again in happiness and health—but if it looks like a cross, then someone at the New Year's Eve party should expect to fall ill. 

      by Irish Times

      Sleeping with Mistletoe in IRELAND

      It's suggested that single-gals in Ireland should sleep with mistletoe under their pillows on NYE as it'll help them find their future husbands!


      • Posted by Karen on


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