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New Year’s Day Around The World

Posted on: December 28th, 2016 | 0 Comments


Chinese New Year parade in Paris 2008

It doesn’t take a lot of research to realize that New Year’s is celebrated the world over with enthusiasm and excitement. What you may find surprising though is how many different tradition there are among different countries and cultures around the world.


In England, huge crowds gather along the river Thames to enjoy fireworks and listen to  Big Ben strike midnight. The English also have a custom for welcoming the New Year. They believe that the first guest for the year would bring fortune for them. Tradition serves the first guest to your house should be a male who enters from the front door and exits through the back. He should bring a loaf of bread, a bottle of whisky, and coal for the fire. If he does that your household will have good luck all year.


In Denmark, it is customary for residents to keep a pile of broken dishes in front of their door They use old dishes for this costume and usually throw their dishes on friends doors during New Years. For this they save old dishes and people usually throw these on their friends’ doors during New Years. This is a symbol of friendship and shows that the one with the dishes outside has the most friends and is respected in their community.


The Chinese celebrate their Chinese’ New Year with as much pomp and parading as possible. These celebrations can continue for 10-15 days and always contain the sounds of loud drums or cymbals. It is believe that these sounds cast out demons and provide a blessing for the new year.


The people of Brazil believe that lentils signify wealth and prosperity. They will serve food made up of lentils, like soup or rice, on New Year’s day. They also send a sacrificial boat filled with jewelry, candles and flowers from the beach of Rio de Janeiro into the ocean. This brings health, wealth and happiness for their people.


In Germany, lead is considered to be auspicious. Germans pour molten lead into cold water and when it cools the shape that it takes predicts the future. For example, a heart shape symbolize marriage, a round shapes denotes good luck, or an anchor shapes tell that you will need help.


The Greeks refer to it as St. Basil’s Day, a forefathers of the Greek Orthodox Church, because it is also a day to remember of anniversary of St. Basil’s death. They bake bread and hide a coin buried inside the dough. The procedure of serving the bread is very unique. Whoever gets the slice with the coin is blessed with good luck.


In Wales, at the initial toll of midnight the back door of your house is opened and then immediately shut. This is a symbol of releasing the old year and locking out all the bad luck it brought. At the 12th toll of the clock the back door is reopened to welcome the New Year will all its goodness, healthy and luck.

Puerto Rico

The people of Puerto Rico throw buckets of water out of their window and also clean their homes thoroughly. This they believe will clean the bad luck of the past year and also drive evil spirits out of their home.

United States

Here in the United States people believe in celebrating with family and friends on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Many believe kissing during midnight as the year approaches, is an auspicious gesture that grants good luck for the rest of the year.

As you can see cultures and traditions vary all over the globe and there are so many you could write a book about them. However, they all contain the same thing. A desire to bring happiness and good luck for the New Year. So if you need some good luck this year, give one of the traditions above a try or research something else and make it a part of your New Year’s traditions.

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