All around the world as midnight strikes and 2022 begins, we all celebrate a little differently. But one of the things we have in common is celebrating the past and the present. As the world starts slowly opening up again, this year we wanted to highlight different New Years traditions and customs around the world!
Spain ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!
In Madrid, Spain there are so many cool ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve! Whether you are spending the night drinking Cava (Sparkling White Wine) with family or going out with friends this long held tradition can be heard. Right when midnight strikes you will hear bells ring twelve times to represent each month of the new year, and many will have twelve grapes ready to eat. As each bell rings people will eat a grape to bring good luck to the upcoming months. The best part is this tradition is not exclusive to Madrid, but can also be observed in many other regions throughout Spain!
GermanyFrohes Neues Jahr!
While many of us in America watch the Dick Clarks’ New Year’s Rockin 'Eve, Germany has a similar tradition of watching the British short Sketch “Dinner for One” to ring in the new year. Another wonderful tradition that can be observed in Germany is Bleigießen, which is the tradition to melt lead in a spoon and pour water over it to create a shape. Once it has taken form you can have fun trying to determine the shape, different shapes are thought to bring good or bad luck to you in the upcoming year.
Ireland Athbhliain faoi mhaise duit (Irish Gaelic)
If you are being hosted in Ireland on New Years Eve, get ready to clean! It is a custom for many living in Ireland to have an early spring cleaning of their homes to make sure they’re starting their year on a clean slate… and in a clean house. A superstition in Ireland that may seem strange to those in other countries, is banging Christmas bread on doors and walls in their homes. This is done to chase bad luck out of the home and allow good spirits into the home for the beginning of the New Year. Whether families clean the home first or bang Christmas bread on the doorways these traditions are all about starting out the New Year on a positive note and coming together to celebrate!
ScotlandBliadhna Mhath Ùr (Scottish Gaelic)
One of the biggest winter holidays in Scotland starts December 30th and goes through to the New Year. Hogmanay, also known as Night of the Candles ,is the Scottish New Year. It is celebrated with yummy treats like shortbread and scones (and plenty of drinks to go along with it!). In addition the fun festivities and good food, many also participate in "the First Footer". The First Footer is the first person to enter your home on New Years, and it is commonly believed that if it is a dark haired man, he will bring you good luck for the months to come!
Just like in Spain, eating twelve grapes at midnight to bring good luck is also a common tradition in Italy. Eating lentils is also another fun tradition to follow at midnight. Lentils are a symbol of prosperity and paired with eating twelve grapes you can bring good luck and prosperity with you into the New Year. Another fun Italian tradition is kissing under the mistletoe, which is not just limited to Christmas. On New Years kissing under the mistletoe is a symbol of protection and to ward away evil spirits and encourage a long lasting relationship for the couple. And like any other holiday occasion in Italy, you can spend the night celebrating with family and friends and enjoy delicious cuisine and wine from the vast regions throughout the country.
When you think of France, you might think of the beautiful scenes and the nightlife of their cities, which is continued throughout the holidays and New Years. In France, it is common to have multi-course dinners that can feature cuisine such as oysters and goose, as well as their infamous champagne! Champagne isn’t only consumed at family dinner, but also at a Des soirées déguisées (costume party). It's common for citizens to celebrate in the streets and shout out Bonne année! This tradition is thought to scare away demons or evil spirits by making as much noise as possible, to ensure a good year to come!
¡Feliz Año Nuevo!
Just like in Spain and Italy, it is common for people to enjoy twelve grapes at midnight to bring good luck into the New Year. All around Costa Rica fireworks can be seen lighting up the sky! Costa Ricans also celebrate by releasing 'wishing lanterns' for a friend, a loved one, or they can make their own wishes for their year to come. Another tradition commonly observed in Costa Rica is throwing water over your shoulder to symbolize putting all your struggles and hardships in the past and encouraging good luck for the New Year!
Happy New Years!
One of the best ways to ring in the New Year in Australia is by watching the fireworks over the Sydney Harbor Bridge, which is one of the greatest fireworks displays in the world! For the 2021 New Years celebration, Sydney's firework theme was chosen to show respect and representation for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander peoples to acknowledge their history and culture as First Nations Custodians. For many countries New Year’s is celebrated in cold weather, but for Australians it is at the beginning of their summer season!
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