Even though these holidays are slightly different, and we have to follow safety guidelines and restrictions, nothing stops us from learning about each other’s fascinating New Year’s Eve traditions from around the World. Every country celebrates its own beautiful and unique customs tied to history or legends. We bring you the 10 of our favourite traditions that people celebrate the last day of the year and bring in good luck and positivity for the incoming year.
1.Spain – Twelve grapes
On New Year’s Eve, Spaniards prepare twelve grapes and challenge themselves to eat each one of them with every stroke of the clock at midnight. Twelve grapes represent good luck for each month of the coming year. In bigger cities, people gather around in main squares to eat their grapes together while passing around bottles of Cava.
2. South America – Colourful underwear
In South American countries, you can receive good luck for the upcoming year by wearing colourful underwear. Each colour has its specific meaning:
Red: brings romance and passion
Yellow: brings good fortune and prosperity
Green: brings better luck than the previous year
Blue: brings good health
Pink: brings love
White: brings peace, joy, and happiness
Black: brings bad luck!
Which one will you wear this year? 🙂
3. Colombia – Suitcase walk
If Colombians wish for an adventurous year filled with exciting travels, they need to grab their suitcases at midnight and walk around their block. Suitcases may be empty or packed, but they need to make sure to do a full lap around the street. It’s a great opportunity to make small talk with neighbours as everybody is strolling with their luggage together.
4. Denmark – Plate smashing
In Denmark, at midnight, you gather in front of your friends’ houses and smash plates and glasses against their doors to celebrate your everlasting friendship. This way, you also resolve all the conflicts and arguments from the past year. The more people love you, the bigger pile of shatters you will find in front of your house.
5. Canada – Ice fishing
Initially, traditional ice fishing involved a tiny freezing hut in the middle of nowhere. Nowadays, companies have created a more modernized way of enjoying this typical New Year’s tradition in Canada. Cabins are heated and equipped with all the necessary tools. For a high-end experience, there is an option to book a guide and cooking session so you can enjoy consuming your catch right away.
6. Portugal – Banging pots and pans
In Portugal, people consume 12 raisins at midnight to bring them good luck and fortune in the following year. Right after that, they open their windows and bangs lids of pots and pans or hit pans with a wooden spoon to make the loudest noise possible. This tradition was originally created to keep off evil spirits and energy in the new year. And probably to make sure that sleeping neighbours will listen that the new year has already started!
7. Greece – Hanging onions
For Greeks, it is essential to hang onions at home after the church service. In ancient times, onions always represented growth and rebirth. The reason for that is probably the fact that bulbs seem to want to sprout, even if they are being left alone. This ritual symbolizes good health, fertility, longevity and bringing good luck in the upcoming year.
8. Turkey – Salt and water
Traditional Turkish custom says to sprinkle the doorstep with salt at midnight to call for good luck and fortune in the coming year. Opening the tap water and letting the water run brings abundance and wealth to households.
9. Brazil – Jumping waves
People wait for the clock to strike midnight on any Brazilian beach so they can run to the sea to jump over seven waves, making a wish while jumping over each one of them. After the last jump, they need to return to the beach without turning their back on the sea because that would mean bad luck in the following year.
10. Slovakia – Keeping garbage at home
According to the legends, on New Year’s Day, people in Slovakia swept the garbage to the rooms’ corners but never out of the house. It was to prevent the household members from being “swept away,” which meant not to cause their death. In the modern version of this custom, Slovaks usually do not take their garbage out on this day so that good luck stays at their homes during the next year.
What are your favourite New Year’s traditions? Do you celebrate them in Luxembourg?