Did you know that the small Pacific islands of Tonga, Samoa, and Kiribati are the first countries to welcome the New Year, while the uninhabited islands of Howland and Baker Islands near the United States are the last places to welcome the New Year?
There are many unique and interesting ways the countries around the world usher in the New Year! Ringing in the New Year with Champagne toasts, partying to Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, and watching fireworks seem like this is a way we celebrate every year. As we get older, it’s always a bet if we can stay up to watch the ball drop and make it to the stroke of midnight.
As we welcome 2023, perhaps you will consider including some of these creative, and unique ways of celebrating New Year’s Eve traditions from other countries.
- Spain: The locals eat exactly 12 grapes at the midnight, with the hopes that it will bring them good fortune and prosperity throughout the new year.
- Brazil: Make an offering to Yemoja, Queen of the waters, and a major water spirit, by throwing white flowers into the ocean. She also controls the seas and the small white flower offering gives blessings for the new year.
- Greece: They hang onions as a symbol of rebirth, and promote growth throughout the new year, they also smash a pomegranate against the door of their house. The number of seeds that end up scattered equates to good luck to come in the new year.
- Japan: It is tradition to welcome the new year with a bowl of soba noodles known as Toshi Koshi soba. The long and thin shape of the soba noodle signifies a long and healthy life.
- Denmark: Leaving aggression and ill-will behind before the New Year begins with throwing a plate or two at your friend’s and neighbor’s front doors. The bigger your pile of broken dishes, the more luck you’ll have in the new year.
- Ecuador: Cleansing the world of all the bad from the past year, and making room for the good in the new year comes with the burning of scarecrows, typically representing politicians, icons, or other figures from the past year.
- Armenia: On New Year’s Eve, they bake “good luck” bread with a special “lucky” ingredient, by kneading “good wishes” into the dough.
- Turkey: Sprinkling salt on your doorstep as soon as the clock strikes midnight is considered good luck to promote peace and prosperity.
- Italy: Lentils symbolize luck and prosperity and are incorporated into foods enjoyed during their New Year’s Eve dinner.
- Columbia: On New Year’s Eve, Columbians place three potatoes under their beds. One potato is peeled, one is unpeeled, and one is half-peeled. The first potato they touch will indicate their luck for the upcoming year. A peeled potato means financial problems, an unpeeled potato means abundance, and a half-peeled is somewhere in between.
We hope you had an amazing 2022! We sure did, thanks to all your support over the past year. Here’s to an equally great 2023! From our entire team here at New Windows for America, we want to wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!