11 New Year’s Eve Traditions From Around the World
Throughout the world, many celebrants believe in taking special, superstitious actions to prepare for the New Year. In the US, this usually involved the writing of resolutions and celebrating with champagne at midnight – maybe even a midnight kiss.
Around the world, a wide range of cultures believes in a variety of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day actions that can influence one’s fortune for the upcoming year. Whether purported to drive out the bad or draw in the good, these traditions are deeply rooted in local culture and are important aspects of every successful New Year’s celebration.
Which superstitions will you practice this year?
Out with the old, literally, in this European country. Danes break old plates, glasses, and bowls against the doors of friends, family, and neighbors. As midnight approaches, celebrators stand on chairs and then jump off of them, in unison, when midnight strikes. “Leaping” into the New Year is supposed to cast off bad spirits and bring good fortune in the coming months.
A popular Finnish tradition involves a bit of metalwork. After heating up tin until it is molten, the liquid tin is doused in a container of water, and then the shape interpreted after solidifying. A circle might signify a ring which would mean a wedding in the new year, a heart shape is equal to romance, a ship or plane suggests travel, and animal shapes forecast good fortune and plenty of food.
In Rio de Janeiro, over 2 million celebrants gather to welcome in the Ano Novo (New Year) on for Reveillon (New Year’s Eve). Dressing all in white, the participants go to the famous Copacabana Beach to drink, eat snacks, and wait for the New Year.
When midnight strikes, an impressive fireworks display lights up the sky for at least 20 minutes – one of the longest fireworks shows in the world. After that, partiers rush into the ocean to jump over 7 waves, to bring luck for the New Year, in addition to sending little boats filled with rice, white flowers, perfume, and prayers into the waves to appease the sea goddess and bring good fortune.