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Exceptional New Year’s Eve Traditions Across The World

There are different traditions to celebrate New Year’s Eve across the world. Read along to know more.

By Scarlett StarkPublished 3 months ago 4 min read

All of us are one when it comes to celebrating New Year’s Eve and making resolutions. But around the world there are different ways of ringing in the New Year. They have traditions they believe will bring good luck and fortune to the coming year. You might call them superstitions, but it’s more part of their culture. Moreover it’s all part of ending the year on a high note. Let’s take a sneak peek into a few new year traditions followed across the globe.

Sydney - The Tradition of Watching The Fireworks

Sydney is one of the first major cities to welcome the New Year which is attended by millions around the world. It’s no doubt that the main event and tradition of the Emerald City is the breathtaking fireworks display on Sydney Harbour. There is a massive countdown at midnight, followed by a colourful array of fireworks set to music, accompanied by laser shows and pyrotechnic displays on the Harbour Bridge. There are many vantage points to view this centre point of attraction, including the New Year’s Eve cruises.

The New Year’s Eve dinner cruises on Sydney Harbour offers you a great waterfront dining experience – you can wine, dine and enjoy the fireworks show in a mesmerising setting.

New York - The Tradition of Watching The Ball Drop

New York is popular for its tradition of watching the ball drop at the stroke of midnight. And it’s no ordinary ball, my mates! This geodesic sphere ball of 12-foot, 11,875 pounds is covered with 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles and illuminated by 32,256 LEDs. It can display a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colours and billions of patterns, creating a kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square. The musical performances, fireworks and the singing of “Auld Lang Syne” are added highlights to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

The tradition began when the New York Times owner Adolph Ochs created this event to ring in the new year 1908, to attract attention to the Time’s news headquarters. Back then, the ball was merely made of iron and wood.

Spain - The Tradition of Eating Grapes

In Spain, for each chime of the clock, it’s a tradition to eat 12 grapes at midnight. Flashback to the 19th century, there was a huge grape harvest during the festive season when the King gave surplus of the produce to the people to consume on New Year’s Eve. It was believed to bring good fortune, health and luck throughout the year. Not easy as it sounds, you are supposed to eat all the grapes till the clock strikes 12.

This tradition is known as ‘las doce uvas de la suerte’ in Spanish. The series of 12 chimes represent the 12 months of the new year.

Denmark - The Tradition of Smashing Plates

Another unique tradition is found in Denmark. It’s the practice among the Danish to throw plates at their family, neighbour’s or friend’s door. Sounds fun? Better still. It’s believed that the more broken plates accumulated on their doorstep, the better off they are. So there’s no question of them being upset about your actions on New Year’s Eve.

There is a belief that this tradition also wards off evil spirits. People even climb on top of the chairs and jump off them at midnight in hope of good fortune.

Japan - The Tradition of Ringing Bells

There is a traditional yet interesting ceremony of bell-ringing in Japan. Bells are rung in the Buddhist temple 108 times to cleanse 108 desires, anxieties or sins leading up to the New Year. Each chime eradicates worldly passion like anger, suspicion etc. You must overcome all these worldly desires to reach nirvana. With the last bell at midnight, you can start the new year, on a fresh leaf, free of vices.

Another interesting tradition in Japan is eating “Toshikoshi soba”, a dish with long buckwheat noodles. The noodles symbolise longevity and the buckwheat plant, resilience. It is believed that eating these noodles breaks you free from the past year.

Didn’t you find these traditions exceptional? If you plan to visit any of these countries, do try being part of it as well.

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About the Creator

Scarlett Stark

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