New Year’s Celebrations Around the World

Here in the United States, the New Year is most famously brought in with the lowering of the ball in New York City. While Times Square steals the show here, other parts of the world have very different celebrations.


In Spain, they eat a grape at each of the twelve chimes at midnight while making a wish. This is to bring them good luck in the upcoming year. This tradition has been going strong since 1895. Many Spaniards will eat a late family dinner and head to the nightclubs after midnight until the early hours of the morning.


Belgium does the traditional toast with champagne, but then the children write New Year’s letters to their parents and grandparents. They decorate these letters and then read them out loud.


In Greece, they hang an onion on their doors on New Year’s Eve as a symbol of rebirth in the upcoming year. Parents also will use this onion to then tap their children on the head to wake them up on New Year’s Day before church. Greeks will also often times break a pomegranate on their doorstep before entering their houses on New Year’s Day as a symbol of prosperity in the coming year.


In Denmark, the evening meal ends with a dessert known as Kransekage. This dessert is a steep-sloped cone-shaped cake decorated with firecrackers and flags. They also throw dishes on other’s doorsteps on January 1st, as they believe that it ensures that they will have many friends during the upcoming year.


Some people in Estonia believe that they should eat up to 12 meals on New Year’s Eve. They believe that with each meal consumed, they gain the strength of that many men during the upcoming year. They don’t eat all of their meals though; some of the food is left for the ancestors and spirits who visit the house on New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Eve celebrations are vastly different all around the world, but the most important common factor is the importance of friends and family in whatever activity you choose. Whether you are standing outside at Times Square or eating 12 grapes in Greece, celebrate the New Year with those who are most important