New Year Traditions Around The World

Written By Vratika Singh, Festivals Story

  • Scotland (Hogmanay)

    One of the traditions is –“ First Footing”, shortly after midnight on New year’s eve, neighbors pay visit to each other and impart new year’s wishes. Traditionally, first foot used to bring along a gift of coal for the fire, or shortbread. It is considered especially lucky if a tall, dark and handsome man is the first to enter your house after New Year is rung in.

  • Japan ( oshogatsu)

    The New Year is the most important holiday in Japan, and is a symbol of renewal. In December, various Bonenkai or “forget-the-parties” are held to bid farewell to the problems and concerns of the past year and prepare for a new beginning.

    At midnight on dec. 31, Buddhist temples strike their gongs 108 times, in a effort to except 108 types of human weakness. Children receive otoshidamas, small gifts with money inside. Sending New Year’s cards is a popular tradition.

  • Spain

    A Spanish ritual on New Year’s Eve is to eat 12 grapes at midnight. The tradition is meant to secure 12 happy months in the coming year.

  • The Netherland

    The Dutch burn bonfires of Christmas tree on the street and launch fireworks. The fires are meant to purge the old and welcome the new.

  • Greece

    In Greece, New Year’s Day is also the festival of St. Basil, one of the founders of the Greek Orthodox Church. One of the traditional foods served is – Vasilopitta or st. Basils cake. A silver or gold coin is baked inside the cake. Whoever finds the coin in their piece of cake will be especially lucky during the coming year.

  • United States

    The most famous tradition in the United States is the dropping of the New Year ball in Times Square, New York City at 11:59 pm. The tradition first began 1907. The original ball was made of iron and wood; the current ball is made of Waterford crystal, weights 1,070 pounds, and is six feet in diameter.

    A traditional southern New Year’s dish is the Hoppin’ john-black eyed peas and ham hocks. An old saying goes” Eat peas of everything the rest of the year.”

    Another tradition is the rose bowl in Pasadena, California.

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