How New Year's eve is celebrated around the world

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  • 1 Wearing white in Brazil

    In Brazil, people wear white as a symbol of peace on New Year's eve. They also eat 7 raisins at midnight and keep the seeds in their wallets to bring more wealth. They also jump over 7 waves while making their wish and throw flowers in the sea. 

  • 2 Eating lentils at midnight in Chile

    In Chile, people eat lentils at midnight and put money in their shoe to bring luck and prosperity throughout the new year. Some other daring people spend New Year's eve at the graveyard with their loved ones who died. 

  • 3 Wearing red in China

    In China, people dress in the color red and give their children money in red envelopes. They also put on a spectacular fireworks show, as they are the ones who invented fireworks. 

  • 4 House sweeping in Cuba

    In Cuba, sweeping the house and throwing water out of the window brings good luck. For travelers or tourists visiting Cuba on New Year's eve, it is recommended that they circle their house with their luggage at midnight. This is to find more traveling opportunities in the new year. 

  • 5 Breaking plates and glasses in Denmark

    In Denmark, people throw plates and glasses at the houses of their friends and family. It is also a tradition for Danes to stand on a chair and jump off of it at midnight for good luck. 

  • 6 Burning dummies of politicians in Ecuador

    In Ecuador, it is customary to burn the dummy of disliked politicians and other people at midnight. This is to do away with the negative energy that existed in the previous year. Another tradition is to hide money around the house to find prosperity and wealth in the new year. 

  • 7 Lead reading in Germany

    In Germany, instead of reading tea leaves, the people melt lead in a spoon, put it in ice cold water and read the shapes which tell them about their future. Germans also watch an English TV sketch called 'Dinner for One' on New Year's eve. 

  • 8 Turning off the lights in Greece

    In Greece, it is customary for children to sing carols to their family and friends to get money. Greeks also turn off the lights during the countdown of the new year. They also eat a cake called Vasilópita that has a coin or small object hidden inside it. Whoever finds the coin will have good luck.

  • 9 Cleaning the house in Japan

    In Japan, it is customary to clean the house before the new year so as to start the new year with a fresh beginning without any conflicts or troubles of the past year. New Year’s Bonenkai, or 'forget-the-year parties' are also held to say goodbye to the past year's problems. 

  • 10 Blowing up milk cans in The Netherlands

    In The Netherlands, there is a dangerous and prohibited tradition of blowing up milk cans. It is also a tradition to swim half-naked in the North Sea, which is called 'The New Year's Dive'. 

  • 11 Wearing polka dots in The Philippines

    In The Philippines, it is a tradition to wear polka dots and have coins in pockets, as round objects are believed to bring prosperity and wealth, which is also why some families eat and show around round fruits. 

  • 12 Drinking ashes in Russia

    In Russia, it is customary to write down a wish on a paper, burn it, put the ashes in champagne and drink it. This is a way to make the wish come true. See also Why new year resolutions fail

  • 13 Bringing gifts in Scotland

    Scots bring gifts and presents to their friends and families when they visit them. Having bonfires, making large fireballs and getting drunk are also customary in Scotland on New Year's eve. 

  • 14 Throwing out old objects in South Africa

    It is customary to throw out old furniture, appliances such as a TV or radio out of the window in South Africa on New Year's eve. 

  • 15 Eating grapes in Spain

    In Spain, it is a custom to eat 12 grapes at midnight, one for every month of the new year. This is to bring good luck and it has to be done in sync with every bell toll. 

  • 16 The ball drop in USA

    In the US, there are many festivities on New Year's eve, but the most famous one is the ball drop in Times Square. This tradition has been going on since 1907. 

  • 17 Fireworks on the Thames in the UK

    In Britain, crowds gather and watch the fireworks along the Thames as Big Ben strikes 12 o'clock. 

  • 18 Family gatherings in France

    France celebrates the new year by having a special feast called 'Le Rveillon de Saint-Sylvestre' where families gather and enjoy luxurious parties filled with foods and drinks. 

  • 19 Banging on doors in Finland

    In Finland, it is a tradition to bang on doors and walls of the house with Christmas bread. This is to get rid of bad luck and welcome in good spirits in the new year. 

  • 20 Wearing red underwear in Italy

    Wearing red underwear in Italy on New Year's eve is believed to bring good luck in the coming year.