2019 Dec 14

Unusual New Year’s Eve Traditions You Need to Adapt


The New Year’s celebration in Dubai and the UAE is one of the most impressive celebrations in the world. But it doesn’t mean that other countries also don’t have something to offer. There are over thousands of New Year’s Eve traditions from all over the world. Look into how other countries treat the event and what they do to celebrate the last and first days of the year.

So check out our traditions list to maybe adopt a couple and make your year even more successful.

Burn after reading

People stretching their hands to celebrate the coming of the New Year with champaign

The New Year is one of the major celebrations in Russia. And while most of the New Year’s Eve traditions are conventional, like decorating the tree and having family dinners, there is one that isn’t.

In Russia, it is common to write a wish on a piece of paper before the new year and burn it after 00:00. Then each person adds the ashes to their glass of champagne and drinks in one shot. The legend goes, if you do not — your dream will not come true. So, you better do your best!

Colors matter

One of Brazilian New Year's Eve Traditions is to wear white and jump over waves

When waiting for the New Year, people all around the world pay special attention to the colors they wear. It is a tradition in Brazil to greet the New Year in white. Brazilians believe that the color scares off evil spirits. White has deep symbolism in their culture and gets even more at the turn of the year.

So, use the power of colors in your favor. Dess meaningfully, and the luck will be on your side.

Grapes of Good Luck

Red grapes on a white table

In Spain, it is a tradition to eat grapes right before the new year. You need one grape for each second after midnight, 12 in total. The number of grapes represents the number of  — you’ve guessed it — months, symbolizing luck for each upcoming month.

It is a tasty and fun tradition that brings people together on New Year’s Eve.

Blame it on a potato

Peeled and unpeeled potatoes laying on table

Colombians also have a fun way of celebrating the coming of the New Year. The night before the New Year, they place three potatoes under their bed. One of the potatoes should be peeled, one unpeeled, and the other one half-peeled. At midnight they go to their bed and grab one potato without looking.

The people who pull the peeled ones usually aren’t very happy with their choice — according to the tradition, they will have problems with money that year. The people who grab the unpeeled ones have one more reason to celebrate. It represents abundance and prosperity. And the ones that pull the half-peeled one get something in between.

Circle of life

Apples, tangerines, grapes, lemons and other round fruits in a basket

In the Philippines, to celebrate the year coming round, they serve 12  round fruits. The round products remind of coins, symbolizing wealth, and the number 12 represents each month of the year.

Anything from apples, melons, grapes, or oranges counts as a great pick. Give this simple tradition a try: not only you will get in more fruits but also increase your chances of having a luckier (and healthier) year. Sounds perfect to us!

Flying bread

Freshly baked cake thrown on to a table

The Irish have a tradition of banging bread against the wall of their house on New Year’s Eve. They believe it helps to chase away bad spirits and invite good ones. It also represents an abundance of bread and other food.

While we would not suggest eating the bread afterward, you can definitely try out this one out. If nothing else, it might scare off your slightly annoying neighbors.

Coin’s choice

Person finding a coin in the traditional Greek New Year cake vasilopit

In Greece, it is one of the New Year’s Eve traditions to bake and eat vasilopita, a sweet yeast bread that the family cuts into even pieces at midnight. What makes the cake special is that the coin is baked into the bread. The Greeks believe that the person who gets the coin will have a great year.

The family decided who gets which slice. When cutting the bread, one part is set aside for Saint Basil, the other is reserved for the poor. The rest is divided amongst the members of the family, starting from the older member. Sounds like an exciting tradition to us!

Make a leap

Traditional looking white chair on a white background

People in Denmark do not just enter the new year — they leap into it. They stand on their chairs and jump into the New Year at midnight. Just as with many traditions we have talked about above, it is believed that this brings good luck and scares evil spirits.

The small superstition can become a fun tradition and make the evening feel even more fun! And more fun isn’t an easy thing to resist, especially on New Year’s Eve.

Drown the evil spirits

Person throwing up a yellow bucket with mater

It might be not safe for evil spirits (and regular people passing) at midnight on New Year’s Eve in Puerto Rico. To frighten bad spirits, they dump a bucket of water out of the window, drowning evil spirits with their fearlessness. In case you don’t have a bucket, though, a large scary looking mug might work just as well.

To make their houses more inviting and compensate for the meanness, they often sprinkle sugar outside of the house. While overall, it might not be the best use of sugar and water, it is still a fun tradition that makes spending your New Year in Puerto Rico so much more fun. You just need to stay away from the windows.

The ultimate New Year’s Eve tradition

Person turning cubes with number from 2019 into 2020

Now, let’s come back to the tradition of the New Year’s Eve traditions — making a wish. New Year’s Eve is a magical time, and no other day, making a wish feels as special and meaningful as it does on that evening.

There is an extraordinary power to wishes held that night. So don’t skip out on the pleasure of it — hold the most sincere, desirable, and meaningful one you can.

We hope everything you dream of will come true next year!