Top Ten Global New Year’s Traditions

Fireworks may be the most common tradition, or even kissing someone at midnight. Here, in no particular order, are my favorite and wackiest New Year’s traditions from around the globe: [sociallocker] 

  • In Georgia, the very first person to enter your house after midnight is said to bring you good fortune for the year. You may not want to visit your friends for a while after NYE.
  • Ladies, haven’t found that special someone yet? In Hungary, girls write boys’ names on scraps of paper and stuff them inside dumplings. The first dumpling to rise to the top of a boiling pot holds the name of their future husband.
  • If you’re traveling through South America, make sure to visit Brazil on New Year’s Eve. Many people are known to hand out money to improve their outlooks in the coming year.
  • In Poland, there is an old tradition of smudging tar on the doorknobs and windows of houses to symbolize leaving the old year behind and bringing in the New Year.
  • In many Latin American countries, the color of your underwear dictates your intentions. Red underwear is said to bring good luck in love and yellow to bring wealth. However in Bolivia, changing your underwear at exactly midnight is supposed to bring good luck. Please, make sure I’m not in the room!
  • In the Philippines, the eating of round fruit is said to bring luck. Some even take it so far as to wear clothing with circular patterns such as polka dots.
  • In 1963, it became a popular and painfully strange tradition in Germany to watch the British sketch “Dinner for One.”
  • Puerto Ricans have an interesting custom of rolling a coconut around the house and throwing it into the ocean to get rid of evil spirits.
  • This may sound morose, but in Ecuador, people are known to burn old pictures that may evoke bad memories or hard times in order to start fresh in the New Year.
  • Americans have a unique tradition every New Year to join a health club only to desert their membership three months later.

Happy New Year everyone!  [/sociallocker] 

About the author

Rebekah Mahru was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. While she still resides in her home town, she has also lived for extended periods of time in Madrid, Braunschweig, Germany and Santa Fe, Argentina. When not traveling, she is studying to become a sommelier. Rebekah is a lover of all things food and wine and the ever-encompassing culture that is associated with it. She is extremely humbled and excited to be a part of TravelSages and cannot wait to share her stories with all of you!

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