Watch New year’s traditions from all around the world 2019
Scotland: First Footing
In Scotland, as soon as the 12 midnight bells sound, the traditional “First Footing” can begin. According to custom, the first person to cross the threshold of the house will determine the family’s chance for the entire year. Also, it is wise to bring friends and family members first, but be careful: always with the right foot and never empty
Norway: the hidden almond
On New Year’s Eve, Norwegians have a habit of eating a rice pudding cake in which they have hidden an almond. The person who finds the precious food is sure to be prosperous in the new year.
Poland: carp scales
Poles who wish to attract good fortune for the coming months keep in their wallets two or three scales of carp that they have tasted during the Christmas Eve dinner. Carp is one of the most popular fish in the country especially at the end of the year holidays.
Hungary: marriage in sight
In Hungary, on New Year’s Eve, young girls who want to find love have the habit of writing the names of several boys on scraps of paper and inserting them inside dumplings. The dumplings are then immersed in a saucepan filled with water. The first dumpling to rise to the surface during cooking would contain the name of the future husband
In France, on New Year’s Eve, the dinner is meant to be gastronomic. Foie gras and smoked salmon are usually a must. However, each region has its customs and offers other local dishes. Marennes d’Oléron oysters, South West duck confit, snails from Burgundy, caviar from Aquitaine … Other festive specialties, we kiss under the mistletoe, and once past midnight, we sabred the champagn
Slovenia: no metal if not bad luck
In Slovenia, it is better not to wear oneself: keys, buttons or a metal belt buckle. This would bring bad luck on New Year’s Day. This custom originates from a local proverb that says “If you want to know what will happen in the new year, go up on a wooden fence or a tree during New Year’s Eve. However, you must not wear anything metal on you, otherwise a great misfortune will happen
Czech Republic: a premonitory apple
The Czechs like to discover what the future holds for them. And for that, they help themselves to an apple. They cut the fruit in two and the shape of the core determines the fate of the person. If the stump is shaped like a cross, it’s not a good sign, and the year will be bad. If, on the contrary, it takes the form of a star, then the year will be rich and happy.
● Croatia: crabs and lobsters, persona non grata
In Croatia, you will not find on the menu any lobster or crab. These two crustaceans are considered to bring bad luck because they move upside down. Chicken is also outlawed as any winged bird because they can fly with luck.
● Italy: Lucky Lenses
At midnight, Italians have the habit of tasting “cotechino e lenticchie”. This traditional dish with sausages and lentils is supposed to bring happiness. Eating rounded foods, including lentils, is a sign of prosperity and brings good fortune.
● Romania: talkative animals?
Romania could win the contest of the craziest custom in the world. On the morning of New Year’s Day, many farmers come to their livestock to talk with their animals. According to tradition, if you hear an animal speak that day, the crops will be good for the coming year.
● Moldova: The Bear Dance
On New Year’s Eve, the inhabitants of Moldova put on real bear skins and dance around their city to chase evil spirits, because the bear is a protector in Slavic mythology. In the past, a real bear was present and his dance was supposed to purify and fertilize the soil for the next year. The song of the dance says: “Dance well, old bear, And I will give you bread and olives”.
● Albania: sharing baklava
It is customary to have baklavas on the Albanian tables, a traditional dessert of the country. By tradition, grandmothers begin to prepare the dough long before the long-awaited day and argue that everyone has to eat a piece of this delicious cake in order to get lucky for the coming year.
● Serbia: a well decorated house
The Serbs decorate branches both outside and inside their homes. It is customary for doors, tables and furniture to be decorated with fir, laurel or mistletoe leaves. This bodes, after a long winter, that everything will be green again.
● Bulgaria: the surprise Banitza
In Bulgaria, on the first day of the year, it is customary to prepare a banitza, a traditional dish that looks like a cheese pie. The Bulgarians hide in them various lucky charms. This can be coins or small symbolic items such as pieces of red wicker with a bud, symbolizing health or longevity.
● Greece: a table decorated with jewels
During the New Year’s Eve family dinner, the hostess places her most beautiful jewels on a plate, which will then be placed on the table. This custom would bring prosperity to the family for the coming year. Once the meal is over, tradition dictates that dishes and cutlery are not washed until the next day. The reason is that Saint Vassilis (Greek Santa Claus) is expected. It is therefore courteous to leave some food for the generous visitor.
● Belgium: New Year’s sauerkraut
The Belgians start the year eating a good sauerkraut made of cabbage, sausages, potatoes and bacon, all washed down with a few centilitres of beer. But beware, there is a whole ritual to observe. It is necessary to savor this traditional dish by holding firmly in his hand a coin to ensure financial security for the year that starts.
● Denmark: breaking dishes
This tradition is a breeze: it is customary to throw all used and broken dishes during the past year in front of the doorstep of your friends’ houses. The higher the stack of broken plates and glasses, the more it shows how much you are appreciated as a friend.
● Spain: the twelve midnight grapes
The Spaniards begin the New Year by eating twelve grapes. However, they can not swallow them at any time. They have to wait until the church bells have rung midnight and eat them one by one every beat of the clock. If tradition is respected, the next twelve months will be filled with happiness and prosperity. It was the winemakers from Alicante (south-east of Spain) who initiated it in 1909 to remedy the surplus grape production that year.
● England: salt and coal
The English have a tradition of putting in their pocket a coin, a little salt and a piece of coal when they leave their house after midnight on December 31st. These elements respectively symbolize the money, the food and the heat that will be abundant for the new year. On the contrary, if they go out into the street with nothing in their pocket, a year of bad luck will fall on them.
● Germany: all in front of the television
It has become an institution: on New Year’s Eve, the Germans, young and old, gather in front of the television at 10 pm to watch together for the umpteenth time an old English comedy in black and white. The short film Diner For One, which lasts a quarter of an hour, has been broadcast for 52 years by all German regional channels. The film shows an old woman and her butler at a table where they pretend to have dinner with deceased friends. The butler tirelessly asks: “The same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?” And the woman responds: “The same procedure as every year, James!” Before starting to drink ..
● Russia: your health!
A tradition reigns supreme in Russia: that of the “wish cup”. As soon as the twelve strokes of midnight sound, the Russians wont write a wish on a piece of paper, burn it and throw the ashes in their glass of champagne. This is not all, then you have to drink this beverage, unusual in the minute to hope to see his wish come true in the year.
● Ireland: blowing the wind
Ireland is known to remain a country of strange superstitions. For the New Year, the Irish predict the political future of the country by checking which side the wind blows at midnight. If the wind comes from the west, it will be good fortune for the coming year. If, on the other hand, it comes from the east, the country will suffer some turbulence from its British neighbors.
● Lithuania: the game of plates
Young Lithuanians play the game plates. They sit around a table and have keys, rings, little glasses of water or some money on plates before covering them. Then they mix the plates. One by one the players choose their plate. Whoever receives a ring will certainly get married in the year, the water means that we will fall on a husband or an alcoholic woman, a key means that we will find a new house, and money will bring the wealth.
● Estonia: a gargantuan meal
In Estonia, a new year rhymes with good eating. Indeed, to ensure that food will be plentiful for the coming year, Estonians must take not one but seven meals in the day. Beware of the liver crisis!
● Finland: a future in molten tin
Finns traditionally melt miniatures of tin horseshoes in a saucepan and pour them into a bucket of cold water. When tin touches the water, it cools and solidifies instantly. This gives random shapes that are then interpreted to predict the future, health, wealth or happiness of a person. If the tin takes the form of a ring or a heart, it means a wedding in sight, if it is a boat or a plane, then the year will be filled with trips.
● Iceland: satirical comedy of the year
On New Year’s Eve, most Icelanders listen to the radio broadcast of Mass and then watch the famous “Áramótaskaupið” (“New Year’s Comedy”). Broadcast for the first time in 1966, the program is broadcast every year without interruption. She remembers the past year from a satirical point of view, without too much mercy for her victims, especially politicians and artists of the country.
● The Netherlands: an invigorating sea bath
Every year, on 1 January, thousands of people travel to Scheveningen, the main seaside resort in the Netherlands, to dive into the sea or frozen lakes. After this icy bath, they find themselves with their family to drink a hot drink and eat fish.
● Austria: a thousand-stroke waltz
A tradition that has been going on for years. At midnight, all Austrians go out into the street to dance. Their favorite music: The Blue Danube, a Viennese waltz by Johann Strauss, composed in 1866.
● Brazil: go to the beach
Brazilians go to the beaches of the country. They must jump over a wave seven times while making a wish. If they succeed in achieving this sporting feat, their wishes will be granted in the coming year.
● Ecuador: burning paper puppets
In Ecuador, the tradition is to burn a papier maché figurine on the stroke of midnight. This puppet is supposed to represent something of the year that ends and we would like to leave behind, or a person that we do not appreciate and we would not want to see.
● Mexico: empty suitcase in hand
Whoever wants to travel in the year must run around the block during the twelve strokes of midnight with an empty suitcase in one hand and a wad of banknotes in the other.
● Peru: boxing matches
New Year’s Day becomes a boxing ring for Peruvians. Tradition allows everyone to put on boxing gloves and to settle their differences with their neighbors sportingly before the coming of the new year. Beware of the blows.
● Cuba: crazy water fights
For many years, in Cuba, it is traditional to throw liters of water through the window. A custom that would prevent the arrival of a drought in the country.
● Uruguay: the rain of “little papers”
It is a well-established tradition in Montevideo, capital of Uruguay. On December 31st, all the paper calendars and agendas of the past year are torn apart and thrown in confetti across the streets of the old city. The children appreciate this custom commonly called “papelitos lluvia”.
● Turkey: grenades jet and red coat
Do not worry, this is about the fruit. The Turks have the habit of throwing from their balcony to get a year full of love, money and work. A second tradition is particularly practiced in Turkey, that of wearing red lingerie on New Year’s Eve. According to the ancestors, this would bring luck.
● Thailand: a question of karma
The temples in Thailand are besieged by the faithful who want to improve their karma. The tradition is that those wishing for the guarantee of a year full of luck must visit the nine official temples in one day. A real marathon!
● Japan: the cleaning
In the Land of the Rising Sun, the New Year is celebrated as a family and starts with a big cleaning of the house. His home is adorned with symbolic decorations such as the shimenawa, a lucky charm, and the kadomatsu, an offering made of rice cakes and a small bitter orange. Just before midnight, the Japanese attend the 108 gongs announcing the arrival of the new year in a Buddhist temple. The tradition is then to lie down to contemplate together the first sunrise of the new year.
● Philippines: little circles everywhere
In the Philippines, on New Year’s day, apples, oranges and grapes are part of the festivities. A meal exclusively made of round fruits, symbols of prosperity and good health. Little girls also like to wear polka dot dresses on this festive day.
● United States: The New York Ball Drop
A tradition that dates back to the year 1907. Every year, thousands of Americans gather at the foot of the No. 1 Tower of Times Square, at the intersection of 43rd Street and Broadway. At 11:59 pm, the eyes are on the huge illuminated crystal ball of 16 million colors that descends every second along the building. To finally reach the ground at midnight. This heavy ball of half a ton is made by the company Waterford Crystal.
● Canada: The Polar Bear Dip
Canadians have a very special custom: to swim in icy cold water near 0 ° C, a lake or a body of water. Each year, “polar bear dipping” attracts tens of thousands of people. For the bravest who would like to try the experiment, it is recommended to bring plastic sandals or flip-flops, essential to enter the water because it is the feet that freeze in contact with sand and cement, not the rest of the body.
● Australia: fireworks concert
Each year, more than 1.2 million participants, including 300,000 tourists, gather in Sydney Bay to observe the sky illuminated by a rainbow of colors. On New Year’s Eve, nearly 80,000 fireworks are fired from Harbor Bridge. A spectacular show that has become famous around the world.
● New Zealand: a hell of hell
In Wellington and other cities in New Zealand, we go out at midnight, with its best pans and other kitchen utensils, to make as much noise as possible. Attention to the ears!
● Cape Verde: On your marks, ready, go
Each year there is “New Year’s Eve”, a sporting competition in which great athletes (Ethiopians, Kenyans) participate. Originally, this competition was held in the evening and the runners finished the event by jumping into the sea to purify themselves from last year. Today, the race is done during the day: December 31st or January 1st.
● South Africa: good storage
This is a tradition as surprising as it is dangerous. On January 1, residents of the Hillbrow neighborhood in Johannesburg routinely dispose of their furniture and used electrical appliances by throwing them out the window. Refrigerators, beds, televisions, ovens, computers … Everything goes. It is therefore safer not to walk the streets of this neighborhood that day.