10 Interesting New Year’s Traditions from Around the World

In the Gregorian calendar, which is the most widely-used calendar system in the world, the start of the New Year is celebrated on January 1. In North America, bottles of champagne are popped, kisses are exchanged, and everyone sings and makes noise to celebrate the arrival of the New Year. Some traditions that we take part in are unique to our culture, even if it seems like everyone does them. In other parts of the globe, the celebration of the New Year looks quite different — some cultures even celebrate it on a completely separate day.

Here are some of the most interesting and unique New Year’s traditions from around the world.

1. Scotland

In Scotland, the holiday that celebrates the closing of the old year and the beginning of the new year is called Hogmanay, which takes place every year on December 31. The origins of Hogmanay are not fully known, but it’s been a tradition in Scotland for centuries, possibly dating back to the Norse invaders.

Although many modern Hogmanay celebrations look exactly like a New Year’s party, the major difference is the tradition of the first-foot. Traditionally, the first person to cross a threshold is symbolic of the luck the household will have for the year. Tall, dark-haired men bearing the traditional gifts of salt, coal, whiskey, and sweet treats like black bun or shortbread are preferred. In different parts of the country, the first-foot carries objects that have regional significance, like cakes or herring.

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