4 New Year’s Traditions from Other Countries to Try

Most American households have their own traditions regarding the completion of the calendar year and the beginning of the next. Common American traditions include getting together with friends, drinking champagne, and watching the ball drop in Times Square. All of these are perfectly suitable traditions, but if you want to really end the year with a bang, try out some of these unique methods of celebration from other cultures throughout the world. 


Spain- In Spain, New Year’s Eve is called Nochevieja (Old Night). The Spanish celebration is rather similar to how we end the year in America, but with a twist that has an interesting history. After an evening of eating and drinking with friends and family, everyone gathers around at midnight and counts down to the new year. 


However, at the stroke of midnight everyone attempts to eat 12 grapes as the church bells toll 12 times. If a person succeeds it is believed that their 12 wishes for the next year will come true and they will have good luck. This was all started by a grape surplus in the early 1900’s and a clever marketing campaign. 


Greenland- Unknown to most people, the huge island of Greenland technically belongs to the small nation of Denmark. There is a 4-hour difference in time between the two, so naturally the people who live in Greenland decided to celebrate the new year twice. 


When the clock strikes 8:00, the people of Greenland toast and feast to ring in the new year in Denmark and when midnight comes around, they do it all over again! 


France- Usually American households cook certain foods for New Year’s like corned beef and cabbage or black-eyed peas. However, the people of France go all out for the end of the year. 


The dinner that they have is in honor of a former French Pope now called Saint Sylvestre and only the best should be served. Dishes like lobster, oysters, and foie gras are common at these feasts. These opulent meals are paired with fine wine and champagne.


Denmark- It is common to see piles of broken glass at the doorsteps of homes in Denmark on New Years Day. This isn’t a result of how much partying they did the night before, but because of a rather unusual tradition. 


At midnight on New Year’s Eve, people smash dishes on the stoops and doorsteps of their friends, resulting in piles of broken glass and ceramic. The bigger the pile, the better your luck will be the next year. Don’t try this with Cruvina’s shatterproof glasses!



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