Food, Drink & Health | Review

How The World Celebrates New Year's Eve

Jun 16, 2023

How The World Celebrates New Year's Eve

While many of us toast to the new year with champagne and confetti, the other parts of the world are doing so differently—and sometimes bizarrely. While these traditions are fun, they play a pivotal role in keeping cultural practices grounded in their respective places. Check out these exciting new year’s celebration customs from around the world;

close up of flames


In India—particularly Bombay—locals would gather around and build a sculpture of an old man, which symbolizes old grievances from the past year. They would then burn it to make space for the new year to be born. Besides this custom, there are many different festivals that would take place on New Year’s Eve since India is home to various faiths.

broken plate on floor


Though the concept of this custom may brush non-locals the wrong way, the Danish believe that throwing plates brings good luck. The more broken kitchenware they gather at the end of the day, the better their luck will be in the new year.

boats gathering off a shoreline


What is Brazil without beach parties? Since it’s summer during the new year, locals would gather at the beach to party before jumping into the water after midnight. Then they would jump seven waves while making seven wishes, dressed in white to symbolize purity. This tradition is also to honor Yemanja, the goddess of water. 

plums in a bowl


In the Philippines, families serve twelve nicely rounded fruits such as; grapes, plums, and oranges on New Year’s Eve. Round fruits are believed to symbolize prosperity—particularly the shape of coins—while the number ‘12’ represents the months of the year.

pumpkin soup in a bowl


Coming from a strong history of enslavement, the first of January is also their Independence Day. To celebrate their glory, Haitians would make and share ‘soup joumou’ or pumpkin soup—a delicacy that enslaved Black people were prohibited to have. They would often go to each other’s houses to share and swap their soups.

bowl of onions with one sprouting


Because onions are able to sprout on their own, the Greeks believe that they symbolize growth and fertility. Hence, on New Year’s Day, Greeks would hang an onion outside their door after church service to welcome luck and new opportunities.