Before the clock strikes midnight, countries around the world get ready and prepare their unique New Year’s Eve Traditions to ensure that the start of their new year is done right. 

We wanted to make sure this December 31, you not only are celebrating with family, friends and your new colivers but that you consider adding in an element that you may not have known even existed, just to give yourself some extra luck with 2023.

Here are some countless traditions that have been passed down through the generations across several countries on how to welcome in the New Year:

It is important to note that all the countries we will be sharing with you today, typically start off their last night of the year, at a party or some sort of get-together. They get dressed up, eat great food, have a few drinks, and enjoy each other’s company. However, prior to midnight people get ready for certain things to happen. 

In the USA and Canada, since 1907 the tradition has been to do the countdown while watching the ball drop (typically the one in Times Square). However, as part of English and German folklore, some people even kiss at midnight as a sign of good luck. 

In Scotland, there are many street parties that take place on New Year. Some areas may even have parades, fireworks, and torchlit processions. One of the most famous traditions done by the Scottish is known as “first footing,” where people go door-to-door to wish each other a happy new year and bring gifts such as coal, shortbread, or whisky.

In Spain, people eat 12 green grapes, with each sound of the bell representing each month of the year. We recommend you do this safely and try to get seed-less grapes. 

In Denmark, they do two things: the people believe it is critical to leave their aggression behind in order to move forward, so to achieve this they throw plates (they say the best would be china) at your friend’s and neighbour’s front doors. Once that task is completed, prior to the countdown the Danish hop up on chairs, couches maybe even tables, and once the clock strikes midnight they jump into the new year. 

In Italy, people eat cotechino, a type of sausage, and lentils, which are believed to bring good fortune. In some regions, the Italians also recommend you wear red underwear. 

In France, when the clock strikes 12 you must drink champagne, and as the night continues, you continue to drink champagne. 

In China, New Year’s Eve is known as “Chuxi” where the dragon dance is performed in order to scare away evil for the coming year. Dragons signify wisdom, power, and wealth and are believed to bring good luck. The dragon’s costumes come in various colors, all with different meanings. For example, green symbolizes a great harvest, yellow is respect for the empire, gold or silver is for prosperity and red represents excitement for a promising future.

In Costa Rica, in order to ensure you travel for the following year they recommend you take an empty suitcase and run around the block with it. This is also encouraged in other Latin countries. 

In Greece, they recommend you put onions outside your front door as it is the symbol of rebirth. The idea is that the onions will help people grow and experience a rebirth of their own in the upcoming year. 

In Brazil, they throw white flowers into the ocean as gifts to the Water Goddess Yemanja, for her to fulfill their New Year’s wishes and bring them luck. An extra tradition some Brazilians do prior to the countdown, is to have a folha de louro (bay leaf), also known as the Priest’s leaf, in their pocket. It is known as a very spiritual token and is said to sharpen your intuition. 

In Germany, an 18-minute-long video replays all day on New Year’s Eve called, “Dinner for One” on almost all channels of the tv. It is a tradition to consistently watch this show while preparing for the party, having dinner, and even just before midnight. 

In Portugal, they follow the tradition of putting money in your shoe as a sign of good fortune in the coming months.

We hope you discovered a few interesting traditions, that can easily be incorporated in your New Year’s Eve parties that may even bring you that extra luck next year you are hoping for. 

Happy New Years! 


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Renata Primorac


Renata is our Social Media and Content Manager.