New Year’s Eve Traditions around the World

So, new year is around the corner, almost literally. Having in mind people do some weird stuff for luck on new years eve, My Design Week gives a list of some os the most amazing new year’s eve traditions around the world. What is yours?

Make some noise

In ancient Thailand, people fired guns to scare demons away; in China they would use firecrackers against the forces of darkness. Nowadays, we take firecrackers to another level:

Firecrackers taken to another level | New Year's Traditions around the World

Lucky Food

In South US, black-eye peas and pork give good fortune (Good Luck Hoppin’ John – see image below). In the Netherlands, they serve some fritters called olie bollen, as eating ring-shaped food symbolizes a ‘full circule’ and luck. In Portugal and Spain, people eating 12 grapes or raisins – counting down the last 12 seconds of the year. In Estonia, they eat 12 meals – it was once believed that if a man is able to eat seven to 12 full meals, he could expect to see an abundance of food through the forthcoming year

Good Luck Hoppin' John | New Year's Traditions around the World

Gift giving

New Year can also new presents, again! In Rome, people give gilded nuts or coins to mark start of the new year. Persians exchanged eggs as a symbol of fertility. In Scotland, they give each other coal, shortbread and silverware for good luck.

Gift Giving | New Year's Traditions around the World

Put you best foot forward

to enter the new year! Yes, in Scotland, people say that the first foot to cross a threshold after midnight will predict the next year’s fortune. Although the tradition varies, those deemed especially fortunate as “first footers” are new brides, new mothers, those who are tall and dark or anyone born on January 1st.

Put your best foot forward | New Year's Traditions around the World

Turn over a new leaf

Not literally. It means change something about yourself. Jews who observe Rosh Hashanah make time for personal introspection and prayer, as well as visiting graves. At the same time, Christian churches hold “watch-night” services, a custom that began in 1770 at Old St. Georges Methodist Church in Philadelphia. And, of course, the new year’s resolutions as a way of planning ahead.

New Years Resolutions | New Year's Traditions around the World

Burn away the Past

In Equator, people scar away bad luck when they burn a newspaper-stuffed-scarecrow outside their homes. It is said that it burns away the bad things of the prior year and scare bad luck away from the next year to pave the way for nothing but good luck. Fidel Castro did this every year.

Burn away the past | New Year's Traditions around the World

New Undies

People say on new year you should wear something new – underwere. In Bolivia the tradition says to wear bright yellow undies to increase fortune for the the new year. In Mexico, red is most popular for bringing in love and happiness after midnight. In Portugal, people use blue.

New underwere | New Year's Traditions around the World

Throw something

In South Africa, people throw appliances out the window (watch out!!). In Denmark, you break a dish for a friend. They save their old dishes only to throw them by the dozen at the doorsteps of family friends on New Years. In theory, the bigger the pile of broken dishes you find on your door steps, the bigger pile of friends you have.

Break some dishes | New Year's Traditions around the World

Sources:, and

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