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This Is How the World Celebrates the New Year Slideshow

This Is How the World Celebrates the New Year Slideshow


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Are you ready for 2016? Take some advice from New Year’s traditions from around the world

Different countries around the world celebrate the New Year in many ways. Check out these 10 traditions that might bring luck in 2016.

This Is How the World Celebrates the New Year

New Year’s Eve is a time for reflection, introspection, and goal-setting, but it’s also for spending time with loved ones and seeing the present year out with one last hurrah. It’s followed by people trying desperately to remember to add one to the year number they’re used to writing on documents and sticking to New Year’s resolutions, which 45 percent of Americans usually make.

Celebrating the New Year dates back to 4,000 years ago, when the Babylonians celebrated at the first full moon after the spring equinox. It’s a time of hope and new beginnings, and at the conclusion of each year, many welcome that mental milestone for starting again. Maybe that’s why over one million people gather together in New York City’s Times Square to watch the ball drop, and over one billion watch it on television. Fireworks are set off over the Thames River in London and over Sydney Harbour in Australia. And all over the world, people celebrate in different ways, often with traditions believed to bring luck, financial fortune, love, and happiness. We’ve rounded up 10 ways the world celebrates the New Year — try some of them out to see if they bring you luck in 2016.

Belgium

New Year’s Eve in Belgium is known as Sint Sylvester Vooranvond, or Saint Sylvester’s Eve. It’s customary to toast with Champagne, kiss, and exchange good tidings. Belgian children craft letters to their parents or godparents complete with decorations like angels and roses and read them aloud on the morning of New Year’s Day.

Colombia

Travel opens the mind and expands the worldview, so it’s no wonder many Colombians want to ensure the most travel possible in the coming year. Tradition says to run around the block with empty suitcases, but maybe participants should train for it first. The faster they run, the more they’ll supposedly travel.

Denmark

On New Year’s Day in Denmark, hearing banging and crashing outside one’s home isn’t cause for fear — it’s just proof the resident has a lot of friends. Tradition holds that the amount of broken glasses and plates outside a person’s door is directly related to the amount of luck and friendship he or she will enjoy in the coming year. Besides broken dishes, another Danish tradition is baking a New Year’s treat called kransekage, a ring-shaped cake with steep sides.

Estonia

Tradition in Estonia suggests eating 12 different meals on New Year’s Eve to have the strength of 12 men in the year ahead. People don’t finish the meals, however. Parts are left out for the hungry spirits of ancestors that may visit on the night before the New Year.

Finland

The start to Finland’s New Year for many people includes molybdomancy, or divination with molten metal. Tin or lead is melted on the stove and then put into a bucket of cold water. The resulting shape is analyzed to determine what the New Year will hold for that person.

Ireland

One New Year’s tradition in Ireland brings a whole new meaning to the term “gluten-free.” It’s customary to bang loaves of bread loudly against walls and doors in order to drive out evil spirits from one’s home.

Peru

One New Year’s tradition in Peru is to use three potatoes to tell a person’s financial fortune for the New Year. One is peeled, one is half-peeled, and one is left untouched, and all three are placed under a chair or couch. The one chosen at midnight at random will foretell the person’s upcoming luck in terms of money. Peeled represents no money, half-peeled suggests a normal year, and the unpeeled potato signifies great fortune.

Philippines

New Year’s Day in the Philippines is a great excuse not to do laundry, as legend has it that washing clothes on this day will lead to the death of someone in the household. More cheery customs include keeping money in one’s pocket to ensure incoming funds in the New Year and opening doors and windows to let negative energy out and positive in.

Russia

Like many countries, in Russia it’s customary to spend the holiday with loved ones. It’s unlucky to start the New Year with unpaid debt. Another New Year’s custom is for a person to write down a wish for the New Year, burn the paper with a candle, mix the ashes into a glass of Champagne, and drink it before the last stroke of midnight. This tradition is so glamorous that it might just work.

Spain

Got grapes? In Spain, the first 12 seconds of the New Year are often dedicated to quickly eating 12 grapes — one for each month ahead. People who finish them all before the last stroke of midnight are said to be in for a very lucky year.


    , especially those with silver scales, are thought to symbolize money. Pickled herring is a must for Poles at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve.
  • Greens, usually cabbage, are associated with money and, thus, thought to bring good fortune. Eating cabbage probably worked its way into New Year lore because it is a late-fall crop and the best way to preserve it for the winter was by turning it into sauerkraut. Brining cabbage typically takes six to eight weeks, and would be perfect to eat around New Year. Sauerkraut's long strands also symbolize a long life.
  • Legumes, lentils, and peas also symbolize money as their appearance resembles coins that swell when cooked. are considered a lucky food in Poland, so you will find them throughout the cuisine and especially on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. 's rich fat content symbolizes wealth and prosperity. Pork is also considered a symbol of progress because pigs root forward. Spit-roasted pig is common, as is roast pork loin, sausages and more. The tradition of eating pork probably has more to do with slaughter times than ensuring good fortune.
  • Ring-shaped foods like cookies, doughnuts, and bagels symbolize the year coming full circle and represent eternity.

Lobster and crab are considered bad luck because they move backward and could lead to setbacks. Chicken is also a no-no because they scratch backward, and eating any winged fowl is disadvised because this could portend one's good luck flying away.


    , especially those with silver scales, are thought to symbolize money. Pickled herring is a must for Poles at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve.
  • Greens, usually cabbage, are associated with money and, thus, thought to bring good fortune. Eating cabbage probably worked its way into New Year lore because it is a late-fall crop and the best way to preserve it for the winter was by turning it into sauerkraut. Brining cabbage typically takes six to eight weeks, and would be perfect to eat around New Year. Sauerkraut's long strands also symbolize a long life.
  • Legumes, lentils, and peas also symbolize money as their appearance resembles coins that swell when cooked. are considered a lucky food in Poland, so you will find them throughout the cuisine and especially on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. 's rich fat content symbolizes wealth and prosperity. Pork is also considered a symbol of progress because pigs root forward. Spit-roasted pig is common, as is roast pork loin, sausages and more. The tradition of eating pork probably has more to do with slaughter times than ensuring good fortune.
  • Ring-shaped foods like cookies, doughnuts, and bagels symbolize the year coming full circle and represent eternity.

Lobster and crab are considered bad luck because they move backward and could lead to setbacks. Chicken is also a no-no because they scratch backward, and eating any winged fowl is disadvised because this could portend one's good luck flying away.


    , especially those with silver scales, are thought to symbolize money. Pickled herring is a must for Poles at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve.
  • Greens, usually cabbage, are associated with money and, thus, thought to bring good fortune. Eating cabbage probably worked its way into New Year lore because it is a late-fall crop and the best way to preserve it for the winter was by turning it into sauerkraut. Brining cabbage typically takes six to eight weeks, and would be perfect to eat around New Year. Sauerkraut's long strands also symbolize a long life.
  • Legumes, lentils, and peas also symbolize money as their appearance resembles coins that swell when cooked. are considered a lucky food in Poland, so you will find them throughout the cuisine and especially on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. 's rich fat content symbolizes wealth and prosperity. Pork is also considered a symbol of progress because pigs root forward. Spit-roasted pig is common, as is roast pork loin, sausages and more. The tradition of eating pork probably has more to do with slaughter times than ensuring good fortune.
  • Ring-shaped foods like cookies, doughnuts, and bagels symbolize the year coming full circle and represent eternity.

Lobster and crab are considered bad luck because they move backward and could lead to setbacks. Chicken is also a no-no because they scratch backward, and eating any winged fowl is disadvised because this could portend one's good luck flying away.


    , especially those with silver scales, are thought to symbolize money. Pickled herring is a must for Poles at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve.
  • Greens, usually cabbage, are associated with money and, thus, thought to bring good fortune. Eating cabbage probably worked its way into New Year lore because it is a late-fall crop and the best way to preserve it for the winter was by turning it into sauerkraut. Brining cabbage typically takes six to eight weeks, and would be perfect to eat around New Year. Sauerkraut's long strands also symbolize a long life.
  • Legumes, lentils, and peas also symbolize money as their appearance resembles coins that swell when cooked. are considered a lucky food in Poland, so you will find them throughout the cuisine and especially on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. 's rich fat content symbolizes wealth and prosperity. Pork is also considered a symbol of progress because pigs root forward. Spit-roasted pig is common, as is roast pork loin, sausages and more. The tradition of eating pork probably has more to do with slaughter times than ensuring good fortune.
  • Ring-shaped foods like cookies, doughnuts, and bagels symbolize the year coming full circle and represent eternity.

Lobster and crab are considered bad luck because they move backward and could lead to setbacks. Chicken is also a no-no because they scratch backward, and eating any winged fowl is disadvised because this could portend one's good luck flying away.


    , especially those with silver scales, are thought to symbolize money. Pickled herring is a must for Poles at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve.
  • Greens, usually cabbage, are associated with money and, thus, thought to bring good fortune. Eating cabbage probably worked its way into New Year lore because it is a late-fall crop and the best way to preserve it for the winter was by turning it into sauerkraut. Brining cabbage typically takes six to eight weeks, and would be perfect to eat around New Year. Sauerkraut's long strands also symbolize a long life.
  • Legumes, lentils, and peas also symbolize money as their appearance resembles coins that swell when cooked. are considered a lucky food in Poland, so you will find them throughout the cuisine and especially on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. 's rich fat content symbolizes wealth and prosperity. Pork is also considered a symbol of progress because pigs root forward. Spit-roasted pig is common, as is roast pork loin, sausages and more. The tradition of eating pork probably has more to do with slaughter times than ensuring good fortune.
  • Ring-shaped foods like cookies, doughnuts, and bagels symbolize the year coming full circle and represent eternity.

Lobster and crab are considered bad luck because they move backward and could lead to setbacks. Chicken is also a no-no because they scratch backward, and eating any winged fowl is disadvised because this could portend one's good luck flying away.


    , especially those with silver scales, are thought to symbolize money. Pickled herring is a must for Poles at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve.
  • Greens, usually cabbage, are associated with money and, thus, thought to bring good fortune. Eating cabbage probably worked its way into New Year lore because it is a late-fall crop and the best way to preserve it for the winter was by turning it into sauerkraut. Brining cabbage typically takes six to eight weeks, and would be perfect to eat around New Year. Sauerkraut's long strands also symbolize a long life.
  • Legumes, lentils, and peas also symbolize money as their appearance resembles coins that swell when cooked. are considered a lucky food in Poland, so you will find them throughout the cuisine and especially on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. 's rich fat content symbolizes wealth and prosperity. Pork is also considered a symbol of progress because pigs root forward. Spit-roasted pig is common, as is roast pork loin, sausages and more. The tradition of eating pork probably has more to do with slaughter times than ensuring good fortune.
  • Ring-shaped foods like cookies, doughnuts, and bagels symbolize the year coming full circle and represent eternity.

Lobster and crab are considered bad luck because they move backward and could lead to setbacks. Chicken is also a no-no because they scratch backward, and eating any winged fowl is disadvised because this could portend one's good luck flying away.


    , especially those with silver scales, are thought to symbolize money. Pickled herring is a must for Poles at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve.
  • Greens, usually cabbage, are associated with money and, thus, thought to bring good fortune. Eating cabbage probably worked its way into New Year lore because it is a late-fall crop and the best way to preserve it for the winter was by turning it into sauerkraut. Brining cabbage typically takes six to eight weeks, and would be perfect to eat around New Year. Sauerkraut's long strands also symbolize a long life.
  • Legumes, lentils, and peas also symbolize money as their appearance resembles coins that swell when cooked. are considered a lucky food in Poland, so you will find them throughout the cuisine and especially on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. 's rich fat content symbolizes wealth and prosperity. Pork is also considered a symbol of progress because pigs root forward. Spit-roasted pig is common, as is roast pork loin, sausages and more. The tradition of eating pork probably has more to do with slaughter times than ensuring good fortune.
  • Ring-shaped foods like cookies, doughnuts, and bagels symbolize the year coming full circle and represent eternity.

Lobster and crab are considered bad luck because they move backward and could lead to setbacks. Chicken is also a no-no because they scratch backward, and eating any winged fowl is disadvised because this could portend one's good luck flying away.


    , especially those with silver scales, are thought to symbolize money. Pickled herring is a must for Poles at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve.
  • Greens, usually cabbage, are associated with money and, thus, thought to bring good fortune. Eating cabbage probably worked its way into New Year lore because it is a late-fall crop and the best way to preserve it for the winter was by turning it into sauerkraut. Brining cabbage typically takes six to eight weeks, and would be perfect to eat around New Year. Sauerkraut's long strands also symbolize a long life.
  • Legumes, lentils, and peas also symbolize money as their appearance resembles coins that swell when cooked. are considered a lucky food in Poland, so you will find them throughout the cuisine and especially on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. 's rich fat content symbolizes wealth and prosperity. Pork is also considered a symbol of progress because pigs root forward. Spit-roasted pig is common, as is roast pork loin, sausages and more. The tradition of eating pork probably has more to do with slaughter times than ensuring good fortune.
  • Ring-shaped foods like cookies, doughnuts, and bagels symbolize the year coming full circle and represent eternity.

Lobster and crab are considered bad luck because they move backward and could lead to setbacks. Chicken is also a no-no because they scratch backward, and eating any winged fowl is disadvised because this could portend one's good luck flying away.


    , especially those with silver scales, are thought to symbolize money. Pickled herring is a must for Poles at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve.
  • Greens, usually cabbage, are associated with money and, thus, thought to bring good fortune. Eating cabbage probably worked its way into New Year lore because it is a late-fall crop and the best way to preserve it for the winter was by turning it into sauerkraut. Brining cabbage typically takes six to eight weeks, and would be perfect to eat around New Year. Sauerkraut's long strands also symbolize a long life.
  • Legumes, lentils, and peas also symbolize money as their appearance resembles coins that swell when cooked. are considered a lucky food in Poland, so you will find them throughout the cuisine and especially on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. 's rich fat content symbolizes wealth and prosperity. Pork is also considered a symbol of progress because pigs root forward. Spit-roasted pig is common, as is roast pork loin, sausages and more. The tradition of eating pork probably has more to do with slaughter times than ensuring good fortune.
  • Ring-shaped foods like cookies, doughnuts, and bagels symbolize the year coming full circle and represent eternity.

Lobster and crab are considered bad luck because they move backward and could lead to setbacks. Chicken is also a no-no because they scratch backward, and eating any winged fowl is disadvised because this could portend one's good luck flying away.


    , especially those with silver scales, are thought to symbolize money. Pickled herring is a must for Poles at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve.
  • Greens, usually cabbage, are associated with money and, thus, thought to bring good fortune. Eating cabbage probably worked its way into New Year lore because it is a late-fall crop and the best way to preserve it for the winter was by turning it into sauerkraut. Brining cabbage typically takes six to eight weeks, and would be perfect to eat around New Year. Sauerkraut's long strands also symbolize a long life.
  • Legumes, lentils, and peas also symbolize money as their appearance resembles coins that swell when cooked. are considered a lucky food in Poland, so you will find them throughout the cuisine and especially on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. 's rich fat content symbolizes wealth and prosperity. Pork is also considered a symbol of progress because pigs root forward. Spit-roasted pig is common, as is roast pork loin, sausages and more. The tradition of eating pork probably has more to do with slaughter times than ensuring good fortune.
  • Ring-shaped foods like cookies, doughnuts, and bagels symbolize the year coming full circle and represent eternity.

Lobster and crab are considered bad luck because they move backward and could lead to setbacks. Chicken is also a no-no because they scratch backward, and eating any winged fowl is disadvised because this could portend one's good luck flying away.



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