Holiday Occassions

A Cultural Guide for New Years

As New Year’s Day approaches, everyone begins talking about resolutions and personal goals for the next year. New Year’s resolutions are a widespread tradition that countless people partake in globally. On the topic of traditions, we decided to look into unique New Year’s customs that people participate in throughout the world. We listed some of our favorite ones below.

Fill up with Grapes… And Maybe a Drink

A Spanish tradition dating back to the late 1800’s is considered to be superstitious to many. To welcome the year with hopes of good luck and prosperity, Spaniards eat 12 grapes at midnight, one for every month of the year. In bigger cities, people often gather in public places to share grapes and drinks as the new year clocks in.

Break a Leg… Or a Plate

Beware of flying or smashing plates if you find yourself in Denmark on New Year’s! Danes welcome the new year by throwing old plates and glasses on the doors of friends and family in hopes of banishing bad spirits. For more good luck, they jump off chairs at the strike of midnight, symbolically leaping into January.

Pack Light… If At All

If you’re hoping for a year full of travels and adventure, this Colombian tradition is the one for you. The people of Colombia carry empty suitcases around the block at midnight in hopes of travel and adventure in the upcoming year.

Warm Up… Blaze the Past

An interesting New Year’s tradition from Panama includes burning effigies. According to their beliefs, effigies represent the past year, and to chase off evil spirits for a fresh year, Panamanian people burn effigies of well-known people like television characters or political figures.

Remove the Wreath… Hang an Onion

In Greece, people ring in the year by hanging an onion on the front door. The onion is hung to represent the birth of the year on New Year’s Eve. In the morning, parents will traditionally wake up their children by tapping their heads with the same onion.

The holiday season is full of familial and cultural traditions, but who knew we could end the year with such interesting and unique traditions too? Here’s to a happy New Year’s to you and your family!

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