Celebrating New Year’s around the world


Elizabeth Ryan, Staff Writer

In the United States many traditions have been created to celebrate the New Year. Americans all over the country will get dressed up, watch the ball drop in New York City, find a new year’s kiss, make resolutions, and eat different foods that are meant to bring luck into the new year. The U.S. is not the only country that celebrates the new year though, and other cultures and countries have created their own traditions to celebrate the new year.

Like the United States, other countries include food in their traditions. In Spain they will eat twelve grapes for the twelve strokes of midnight (Arneson). This tradition can be challenging, and some people may even practice leading up to New Year’s Eve. The tradition is meant to bring prosperity into the new year for whoever can complete it. The Puerta del Sol Madrid is a public square that everyone will gather in moments before midnight with their grapes ready to eat.

In Brazil they believe that jumping seven waves will bring you good luck in the new year (Arneson). Beaches like the Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro fill with people on New Years Eve. Everybody will gather into the water and wait for midnight. Once twelve strikes they will jump seven oncoming waves to fulfill their traditions. Very Similarly in Denmark, it is a tradition to smash plates against your friend’s front door (Arneson). The more broken plates in front of your door, the more popular you are, and the more luck you will receive.

In Japan they will ring bells 108 times in Buddhist temples (Arneson). This is done according to their Buddhist tradition that says there are 108 human desires and causes of suffering. This tradition is meant to eliminate any negative emotions or mentalities in the New Year.

One of the biggest New Years Eve celebrations takes place in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland (Arneson). It is a three-day celebration, on the first day 8,000 participants will carry torches to create a “river of fire” through the streets. They have drummers and pipers playing music to top of the procession. The second day, which is New Years Eve, there are gatherings with traditional Scottish dancing and music. Then finally on January 1 to finish the celebration you can participate in the “Loony Dook” which is a polar plunge that takes place just outside the city.

New Years is a holiday celebrated all over the world. The traditions may be vastly different when compared side to side, but in the end they all are the same. The point of all these traditions is to celebrate and to bring luck, happiness, success, and everything good into the New Year.