It seems that the human race has always recognised the significance of the new year, with early
settlers celebrating mother nature and the earth’s varying cycles, celebrating the lengthening of
days, the ‘rebirth’ of the sun and the thriving of crops once again after a long, dark winter.
As time progressed and with the establishment of the Julian calendar, January 1st was
eventually coined as the ‘first’ day of the year rather than the arrival of spring in March. Although
this date is the most widely accepted around the world, a minority of other cultures have their
own calendrical conventions and as such celebrate New Year on a different day.
Fast forward to modern-day and the new year is still widely celebrated the world over, with
celebrations revolving around leaving the past behind and looking forward to a clean slate; a
chance to break bad habits and achieve new goals.
Overview It seems that the human race has always recognised the significance of the new year, with early settlers celebrating mother nature and the earth’s varying cycles, celebrating the lengthening of days, the ‘rebirth’ of the sun and the thriving of crops once again after a long, dark winter. As time progressed and with the establishment of the Julian calendar, January 1st was eventually coined as the ‘first’ day of the year rather than the arrival of spring in March. Although this date is the most widely accepted around the world, a minority of other cultures have their own calendrical conventions and as such celebrate New Year on a different day. Fast forward to modern-day and the new year is still widely celebrated the world over, with celebrations revolving around leaving the past behind and looking forward to a clean slate; a chance to break bad habits and achieve new goals. In western culture, New Year’s traditions consist of excitedly counting down the seconds, kissing at the stroke of midnight and fireworks erupting overhead into the night sky. It’s a celebration of the closing of an old chapter and the highly anticipated opening of a new one. With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, this got us wondering how other countries ring in the new year. From eating twelve grapes at midnight to throwing pomegranates from a balcony, read on to find out some of the weird and wonderful New Year’s traditions from around the globe. How to celebrate the New Year at home The home plays an important role in many countries’ New Year’s traditions, which can involve everything from intense cleaning sessions to inviting special guests. Regardless of how it’s done, home is where many people celebrate New Year’s Eve and Day. England For good fortune in the newly arrived year, Brits believe the first guest to enter through the front door should be a young, dark-headed male bearing gifts such as bread (to be full), salt (to be wealthy) and coal (to stay warm). Japan Oshogatsu is celebrated with family, which both cleans and decorates the entire house together. Then natural decorations such as pine branches, plum blossoms, and bamboo play a special role in preparing for the New Year celebration. Denmark As a sign of friendship, people save their old dishes in order to break them on each other’s front doors. Residents will allow these broken dishes to pile up in order to show who has the most friends. China To symbolize happiness and good luck in the New Year, Chinese celebrants paint their front doors red. In general, red colors New Years Eve in China, with red packets of money for children, red rackets for married couples, and red lanterns. Puerto Rico In addition to cleaning their homes as the Japanese do, Puerto Ricans clean everything— the car, the garden, and even the streets. They also have a practice of throwing buckets of water out the window in order to do away with the bad juju of last year. South Africa Some South Africans—particularly those in the neighborhood of Hillbrow in Johannesburg— take cleaning house for the new year to an entirely new level. Throwing old furniture and appliances (think fridges!) from the windows of tall buildings somehow helps to make the new year bright. It’s actually a very serious health hazard there! Celebrate with New Year’s Eve food traditions Food is used to celebrate the New Year around the world. In many countries, eating the right thing has a strong influence on the next year’s outlook. Many of these New Year’s food traditions are delicious, but they don’t necessarily make a lot of logical sense… deliver health and wealth over the next 12 months. Brazil Lentils are the alimentos do dia for Brazilian New Year’s celebrations. The legume can come in different forms, such as soup, to help with finances in the New Year. Then, before midnight, they believe people should also eat seven raisins The French are known for their weird food preferences. On New Year’s Eve, edible opulence steals the show in the form of le reveillion de la Saint-Sylvestre. Partiers will feast for hours on foie gros, goose or turkey, oysters, and of course plenty of champagne. The top-flight fare is meant to signify wealth in the year to come. Spain A challenge in speed-eating, Spain’s New Year’s food tradition requires that people eat 12 grapes at midnight on New Year’s Eve– one for each time the clock chimes. Otherwise, the new year’s superstition suggests that you’ll miss out on extra good luck for the coming year! New Year’s festival around the world Some of the world’s New Year’s traditions have an air of seriousness about them. They’re tied up in ancient religious rituals. They’ve been created by lawful decrees. Or maybe they just involve impressively huge fires in public spaces. Regardless, it’s important to recognize why we celebrate the New Year the way we do. United States Where: Times Square What’s in here: Each year, hundreds of thousands of people flock to New York City to see the Big Apple drop at midnight. This New Year’s Eve tradition actually began as a replacement for fireworks, which had been banned in New York. Netherlands Where: Clubs at Rembrandtplein, Nieuwmarkt, Museumplein, and Dam Square What’s in here: One can very easily find impromptu street parties in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam for the best New Year celebration 2021. However, for more organized parties, one can head to just about any large public space, including Rembrandtplein, Nieuwmarkt, Museumplein, and Dam Square. Where: Hong Kong’s Times Square shopping mall What’s in here: Watch the world’s most dramatic skyline light up this New Year’s Eve with a stunning display of fireworks that concludes with a dazzling finale: a gigantic pyrotechnic dragon that whirls across the sky! France Where: Eiffel Tower, Elysées Avenue, Seine River What’s in here: With magical fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower, street dance, and a rioting spillage of drinks, the lanes and streets near the iconic monument come to life with revelers swarming in, making Eiffel Tower the best place to celebrate new year in world. England Where: Banks of the Thames River, Big Ben, Opposite the Houses of Parliament What’s in here: Your New Year celebration 2021 will have a crowd of some 250 thousand revelers chant the countdown to Big Ben’s stroke of midnight. There is a light show and an elaborate display of fireworks. Denmark: Smash plates Shattering them against the doors of your friends’ homes to ward off bad spirits and welcome happier vibes in the chaos. Thailand: Throw water on your friends The act of dunking water over someone is seen as a sign of respect, sending the sentiment of good wishes for the year ahead and symbolically washing away any bad luck. South Africa: Throw furniture out the window The physical act of tossing unused goods from their window sends a signal to the universe that you have let go of past grievances and are hopeful for the future. Scotland: Be picky about your first house guest Here, locals seek out a tall, dark man to be the first person to enter their home in the New Year, often carrying specific gifts—like salt, shortbread, or whiskey—to bless the home with good luck for the next 12 months. Philippines: Find 12 round fruits The idea is that circles represent coins and bring wealth, so the more circle shapes you can collect, the better. Most locals will attempt to get to 12 round fruits, each representing a month of the year. Brazil: Wear white For a year that will promise you luck, wonder, and adventure, your outfit only needs to have one characteristic: white! Japan: Ring a bell 108 times Tradition dictates that Buddhist temples ring bells 108 times, based on the belief that it brings cleanness. New Year Wishes and Messages • Wishing you a year full of blessing and filled with a new adventure. Happy new year! • May this new year bring you much joy and fun. May you find peace, love and success. Sending my heartiest new year wish for you! • I hope that the new year will be the best year of your life. May all your dreams come true and all your hopes be fulfilled! • I hope your life will be full of surprise and joy in the new year that’s about to begin. May You be blessed with everything you want in life. • Life is full of ups and downs but thanks to you guys, I can never feel down. Thanks for being my support. I love you so much, Happy New Year. May God bless you. • Wave a goodbye to the old and embrace the new with full of hope, dream and ambition. Wishing you a happy new year full of happiness! • Wishing for a year filled with laughter, success, and peace my dear colleagues. May God bless each and every one of us and our families. Happy New Year. • New is the year, new are the hopes, new is the resolution, new are the spirits, and new are my warm wishes just for you. Have a promising and fulfilling New Year! • May the 12 months of new year be full of new achievements for you. May the days be filled with eternal happiness for you and your family!
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The home plays an important role in many countries’ New Year’s traditions, which can involve everything from intense cleaning sessions to inviting special guests. Regardless of how it’s done, home is where many people celebrate New Year’s Eve and Day.