Friday 8 December 2023

New Year's Eve Traditions Around the Globe

Explore some of the interesting ways that New Year's Eve is celebrated around the globe, which might give you some inspiration for your own celebrations this year!

New Year's Eve Traditions

New Year’s Eve holds great significance in the UK, with celebrations across the country being fairly similar to each other, featuring drinking, eating and dancing – in typical British fashion!

However, have you ever wondered if these mirror festivities worldwide?

We’ve unearthed some unique New Year’s traditions observed around the world. Some of these quirky customs might pique your interest and could even inspire additions to your own celebrations this year.

Spain: Eating Grapes at Midnight

In Spain and other Spanish-speaking nations, as soon as the clock hits midnight on New Year’s Eve, it is customary for everyone in the country to consume 12 grapes. Each grape symbolises one of the upcoming 12 months, aiming to bring good luck for the approaching year.

In the major Spanish cities, elaborate celebrations unfold in the city centre precisely at midnight, where residents gather for large-scale festivities and enjoy their grapes together as the clock strikes twelve.


Denmark: Throwing Plates

Taking a unique approach to midnight celebrations, the Danes gather with friends and family on New Year’s Eve. When the clock strikes 12, they engage in a tradition of hurling old plates and glasses against the door, a symbolic act to dispel lingering bad spirits from the previous year.

Additionally, in Denmark, there’s a tradition of ‘leaping’ into the new year. Before the stroke of midnight, individuals stand on chairs, and as the clock chimes, they joyfully jump off to signal the commencement of the year on an upbeat note.

Scotland: First Footing

In Scotland, the New Year festivities, known as Hogmanay, encompass many different traditions, one of which being ‘first footing’.

The premise is that the initial person to step across a home’s threshold once the New Year begins should bring a gift. The gift doesn’t need to be excessively costly or lavish, but the notion of ushering in luck and joy to a household at the onset of the New Year is a wonderful tradition!

Greece: Onion Hanging

As surprising as it may sound, New Year’s Eve traditions in Greece incorporate the use of onions. In Greece, it is customary to hang an onion on the front door of your residence on New Year’s Eve. Then, on the first day of the New Year, parents awaken their children by gently tapping their heads with an onion.

The ritual is intended to symbolize a sense of renewal for the household as they welcome the New Year.

Philipines: Circular Motifs

A significant New Year’s Eve custom in the Philippines involves adorning spaces with circles and round shapes. Crafted to symbolise coins, these decorations are believed to convey wishes of prosperity to the people as they enter the New Year.

On New Year’s Eve in the Philippines, it is common for individuals to don polka-dot clothing. Additionally, families arrange circular fruits in rounded formations within their homes, aligning with this tradition.

So why not give some of these a try this New Year's Eve? Or, if none of these are quite for you, our New Year's Eve Ball might be the ideal choice for you!

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If you want to celebrate this New Year's in a colourful celebration of Mardi Gras, limbo, calypso, flamboyant costumes, exotic food and crazy cocktails, then the London New Year's Eve Ball is for you. Don't miss out! Get your tickets now by clicking the link below. uses cookies to enhance your experience. By continuing to use our website, you’re agreeing to our use of cookies.