Weird New Year's Eve Traditions Around the World


Broken dishes, yellow or red underwear, eating grapes...these are just three of the numerous weird New Year's Eve traditions around the world. It is said that most of these traditions will open a new year full of achievements and success.

  • In various South American countries like Bolivia, Ecuador or Brazil, there is this tradition that has to due with yellow underwear. This means that you have to wear it immediately after midnight as it seems that yellow brings good luck. All women in Mexico who want to find their love in the new year have to wear red underwear.

  • In Denmark, it is a good sign when you find broken dishes in front of your door. Danish people specially keep a few plates that they break on New Year's Eve at their friends' doors. However, the tradition is no longer used.

  • In a small town in Chile, called Talca, visiting the graves of your dead relatives already became a tradition. On December 31, after dinner, a few members of the same family go to the cemetery, taking chairs and once they get there, they sit down and welcome the new year with all the dear ones that passed away. It is said that this tradition brings good luck. The tradition began in 1995 and now over 5,000 people have adopted it.

  • People in Ecuador are used to make a scarecrow, which they dress up and fill it with newspapers and pieces of wood. At midnight, each family walks outside and burns the scarecrow. The tradition says that this destroys all the bad things that took place in the last 12 months and the new year can begin.

  • In Belgium, farmers are used to wish “Happy New Year!” to their animals in order to make sure that everything will work great in the new year.

  • Every Brazilian who wears white clothes on New Year's Eve will have a peaceful and successful year. Those who live next to the beach use to jump seven times into the waves, after midnight, and throw flowers in the water, while making a wish. It is said that this thing brings wealth.

  • The New Year in China, “Yuan Ti”, is celebrated on January 17 and February 19. One of the most interesting manifestations is the Lantern Festival, in the 15th day of the new year, when thousands of lanterns lightened will illuminate the path towards the new year.
  • Who would be the first person to pass over the threshold of your home in the New Year? In England, one of the most interesting traditions is related to this specific aspect. English people believe that if the first guest is a tall man with dark hair, the new year will be full of happiness and achievements.

  • In Spain, the tradition says that exactly at midnight one should eat 12 grapes for each chime of the clock. The 12 grapes symbolize the months of the year and it is said to bring good luck and success in the new year.

  • In Japan, Buddhist temples ring their bells 108 times. This tradition is called 'joya no kane' which means “bell rings on new year eve's night.” The rings represent 108 sins, which is said people have in their mind and can commit. Listening to the 108 rings, the soul purifies.

  • In Sri Lanka, New Year's Eve is celebrated on April 13 or 14, based on the Hindu calendar. Sinhalese get their houses whitewashed and thoroughly cleaned to welcome the New Year. They light and decorate the house on the New Year's day as it is thought to be inauspicious decorating it before the New Year. Moreover, they prepare different sweets. The first dish they eat, which is also an old tradition of preparing Kiri Bhaat (milk rice) with rice from new crop. This is prepared by the father or the male head of the family.


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