13 Unique New Year Traditions To Celebrate Across the Globe – You Must Be Surprised To Know

new year traditions

Celebrating New Year following New Year Traditions is the original way rather than making fun, putting up candles in churches, cutting cakes, and parting. There are lots more that most of us still don’t know. You can find some long-established traditions that are carried out in different countries across the world to blow the New Year’s whistle.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s uncover some New Year traditions that are still unaware of.

Versatile New Year Tradition from Different Cultures across the Globe

1. Spain: Consuming Twelve Grapes

Consuming Twelve Grapes

Spanish people start the new calendar differently. They eat 12 grapes in the middle of the night on New Year’s evening. With each stroke of the clock, they eat one grape; it continues until it reaches 12. They believe each grape ensures good luck for each month of the new year. In Madrid and Barcelona, people set out of their homes to meet a large group of people in the main squares. They eat their grapes together and share bottles of cava with each other.

2. Brazil: Gathering In Beach to Worship Yemanja

Gathering In Beach to Worship Yemanja

Since it is summertime in Brazil, people tend to go to the beach. After midnight of New Year’s Eve, they jump seven waves to make seven wishes. This is the tradition to worship their Goddess of Water, Yemanja. All need to wear white during the ritual as it is considered the symbol of purity.

3. United States: Ball Dropping Event Watching & Eating Black-Eyed Peas

Ball Dropping Event Watching & Eating Black-Eyed Peas

People in the United States gather near the sets of television or on Times Square’s streets to witness ball-dropping events. The ball drops at the stroke of midnight every New Year’s Eve. They also have black-eyed peas for good luck while singing “Auld Lang Syne” to welcome New Year.

4. India: Burning an Old Man Effigy

Burning an Old Man Effigy

India is a colorful country and it has many traditions to carry on, and New Year is no exception. Though, today we speak up about one of the most popular New Year traditions carried out long back in Bombay. They used to build an old man’s effigy and burn it at the midnight on New Year’s Eve. It was believed that the ritual will help to start a New Year afresh putting off all the worries and grievances of the old year.

5. Japan: Having Soba Noodles

Having Soba Noodles

Japanese people start New Year with a bowl of soba noodles. The bowl should be warm but easy to eat. It is believed that having a bite of such long yet firm thin noodles helps to break away all old odds of last year and start everything afresh. Long back in Japan during the Kamakura regime, a Buddhist temple used to treat warm bowls of noodles to the poor on the Eve of New Year.

6. Haiti: Having Pumpkin Soup Together

Haiti Having Pumpkin Soup Together

1st January is Independence Day for people in Haiki. They eat pumpkin soup aka soup Joumou on New Year’s Eve. Haiti people go to the house of other people carrying the pumpkin soup they prepare, and swap soup bowls with other to exchange tastes. Because every house has its recipe to prepare soups.

7. Denmark: Breaking Old Kitchenware

Denmark Breaking Old Kitchenware

People in Denmark usually do very unique things to celebrate New Year’s Eve. We generally break kitchenware when something goes out of order/angry. But Denmark people break kitchenware on their doorsteps on New Year’s Eve to welcome good luck. The more they break the more they will better; they believe so.

8. Philippines: Serving 12-Rounded Fruit for Good Luck

Serving 12-Rounded Fruit for Good Luck

Philippines people celebrate New Year with 12 rounded fruits. They believe, having rounded fruits (12 fruits) attracts positivity, good luck, and prosperity in their lives throughout the year. They serve 12 fruits including apples, grapes, berries, plums, and so on to a member of families on the count of 12 months of a year. 

9. Greece: Hanging Onions Outside Door to Ensure Growth

Hanging Onions Outside Door to Ensure Growth

People in Greece hang an onion outside their homes. They believe, onions as a symbol of fertility and progress (as onion sprouts on its own). They hang onions on their door on New Year’s Eve after the accomplishment of church service.

10. Colombia: Keeping 3-Potatoes Under Bed

Colombia Keeping 3 Potatoes Under Bed

Colombian people follow an interesting tradition which is known as Aguero. They place three potatoes under the bed of each family member; one potato is fully peeled, one in full skin, and one partially peeled. At the midnight, they wake up to grab one of the potatoes keeping their eyes closed. Counting on the potato they grab, they find how they expect the coming year as good, struggling, or a mix of good and struggle. 

11. Ireland: Hanging Loaves Against Doors & Walls in Houses

Hanging Loaves Against Doors & Walls in Houses

People in Ireland do something that you would be surprised to know. They tie bread loaves and hang them against the walls and doors to get rid of the evil eye. They believe it is a healthy and wealthy start to the New Year. Is not it very cute?

12. Norway & Denmark: Eating 18-Layer Towering Cake on New Year’s Eve

Eating 18 Layer Towering Cake

People in Norway and Denmark eat an 18-layered ringed cake on the eve of New Year. The ring cake is known as Kransekake and it is very traditional on its own. 18 layers are the minimum; more layers can be added to the towering cake if anyone wishes.  

13. Scotland: Practicing “First-Footing”

Scotland Practising First Footing

In Scotland, people practice ‘First-Footing’ to draw luck into homes. It is also called Hogmanay. The 1st member of the family who steps off the threshold of his/her home needs to carry a good luck gift. Scottish people also put on a bonfire and parade around it and swing fireballs from giant poles to get rid of evils in New Year. they belive bonefire as a symbol of the Sun that purifies all negativities.   

Resting My Case Here,

We hope, you enjoyed reading this blog. We would love to know if you have something new to share on how people in your country celebrate New Year.

Wish you all a Very Happy New Year from the team of Curious Kasturi.



  1. Really they are interesting and unique too. I found the tradition of Denmark the most interesting one. I was thinking how much work(cleaning the mess) they have to do to bring good luck!!! 🙂

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