10 New Year Eve’s Traditions from Around the World

Jan 10 2023

10 New Year Eve’s Traditions from Around the World

Every time we step into a New Year, we try to celebrate New Year’s eve in a way that makes it special and memorable - maybe it’s having a family get-together, having friends over or just being mesmerized at the firecrackers at midnight. 


But before we dive into how each nation celebrates New Year, here’s an intriguing fact - "The first country to celebrate new year’s eve is Kiribati."


Surprisingly, not every country in this world celebrates the special Eve with firecrackers. A vast majority of the countries in this world acknowledge New Year’s eve in their traditional way - one that has been followed for several years.  


And if you’ve been looking to follow or even learn about some unique new year’s traditions, we’ve gathered 10 of our favorite cool and crazy traditions from different cultures around the world that’ll amaze you.

1. Russia - Drinking Ashes

Before you freak out, rest assured that the ashes don’t refer to that of humans. Rather, in the Russian culture, their folks write down their wishes for the new year on a piece of paper, then burn the paper with a candle and drink its ashes with champagne.

2. United States - Ball Drop 

Millions of Americans tune into their television sets or gather around Times Square despite the chilling cold, to watch the Ball Drop as soon as the clock strikes midnight, every year. The USA new year’s eve tradition is an annual spectacle and one of the most popular ones.

3. Japan - Ringing Bells 

Buddhist temples in Japan ring their bells 108 times on the occasion of New Year - 107 on New Year’s eve and once when the clock strikes midnight. The Japanese believe that this wards off all the 108 evil spirits present in every person and cleanse the previous year of past sins. 

4. Turkey - Sprinkling Salt

In Turkey, folks sprinkle salt on their doorstep as soon it's midnight on New Year’s eve. They believe it brings them prosperity and success throughout the new year.

5. Ecuador - Burning Scarecrows 

New Year’s eve in Ecuador is quite lit up (literally) by bonfires where at its center you’ll find effigies. These are often idols of infamous politicians or pop culture icons. The people believe in burning away all the negativity of the “old year” and cleansing the world by making space for all the good of the new year. 

6. Brazil - White Flowers  

The people of Brazil offer up white flowers and candles to the ocean, which is associated with their water deity - Yemoja. They do this to receive her blessings for the New Year. 

7. Germany - Melting Lead

In Germany, the people follow the tradition of BleigieBen or lead pouring. In this, every person takes a piece of lead or tin into a container and burns it with the fumes of a candle. Next, they pour it into a container of cold water. The shape that the lead takes is believed to determine the fate of the person.

8. Chile - Cemeteries

People in Chile don’t attend Churches on New Year’s eve. Instead, they believe in spending time with their deceased loved ones in the cemeteries and include them in the New Year’s celebrations.

9. Greece - Hanging onions 

The folks of Greece associate the vegetable Onion with Rebirth. And they hang onions on their doors on New Year’s eve after church service to promote growth and development throughout the entire year.

10. England - Big Ben’s Toll

In England, it's traditional for people to gather around and wait for Big Ben, the clock tower, to ring as midnight strikes. 

Wrapping Up

Almost every country in this world has its unique tradition of celebrating New Year and welcoming it with grace and happiness. 


Would like to add to the list or share your traditions with us? Drop them in the comments below or share your story with us on History Chip