How People Celebrate the End Of the Year Around the Globe

by | Dec 20, 2019 | Blog

People all around the world celebrate the end of the year in fun and interesting ways. How will you celebrate the beginning of the next decade?

Big Fireworks Displays

One of the most popular ways to celebrate seeing in the New Year is with big fireworks displays.

These take place all over the world, as different countries mark midnight.

In New Zealand, crowds gather at Auckland Sky Tower for an impressive fireworks display. In Australia, Sydney Harbour is lit up for more than 30 minutes of pyrotechnics.

In Toronto, Canada, people gather in Nathan Phillips Square, while in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, people flock to the city’s famous Copacabana beach to watch the sky burst with colourful fireworks.

Smashing Plates

In Denmark, finding a smashed plate on your doorstep is considered a good thing for New Year celebrations.

People in Denmark hope to find a smashed plate on their doorstep after midnight as it signifies good luck.

If you were Danish, you might go and smash a plate on a friend’s doorstep to offer them good luck for the coming 12 months.

Eating Lentils

In Brazil, it is a tradition to eat lentils on New Year because they represent money – meaning good fortune for the year ahead.

Dropping Things

In New York, US, huge crowds of people head to Times Square to countdown to midnight when the ball drops.

A glowing ball is lowered down a big flagpole, to signal the start of the new year as the clock strikes midnight

Other US cities also now have their own traditions of dropping things on New Year’s Eve.

In Vincennes, Indiana, people drop watermelons from heights to celebrate the new year.

Visiting Friends First

In Scotland, people go “first-footing”, aiming to be the first person to step foot in their friends’ or family’s homes after the clock has struck midnight, often bearing a gift.

Fortune Telling with Metal

In some countries, like Finland, there is a tradition of melting a special metal and dropping it in cold water. The metal will make a shape in the water when it cools.

People then try to read the shape of the metal to tell them something about their future.

For example, if it makes the shape of a flower, it could mean they have an unknown admirer.

Eating Grapes

When the clocks strike midnight in Spain, people reach for grapes. It is a tradition to eat one grape each time the clock strikes at midnight, bringing you luck for the year ahead.

Dressing As Bears

In Romania, people dress up as dancing bears to chase away any evil spirits.

This is because bears are special according to old Romanian stories and are able to protect and heal people.

Ringing Bells

Some countries, like Japan and South Korea, ring bells to welcome the New Year according to the Gregorian calendar.

In Japan, the bells are rung 108 times to symbolise the 108 human sins in Buddhist belief, and to rid every Japanese citizen of the 108 worldly desires regarding sense and feeling.

Throwing Furniture

In Johannesburg, South Africa, people like to start the year without any unwanted items.

They do this by throwing old furniture out of the window.

Walking an Empty Suitcase

In some South American countries, you might see some people on New Year’s Eve walking around with an empty suitcase.

Some believe that taking what is called a “suitcase walk” means they will have a year full of adventures ahead.

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