New Year’s Celebrations Around the World

The new year presents an opportunity to start over with new goals and habits. Therefore, all countries and cultures have different ways of celebrating the New Year. If you’re bored with the New Year’s celebrations in your town, check out these surprising New Year’s traditions from all over the world.

1. Chile

With a bit of resemblance to the Day of the Dead celebrations, a mayor in Chile allows residents to enter the local cemetery to spend time and celebrate the new year with their deceased relatives. This custom began when a family snuck into a cemetery to welcome the new year with their deceased loved ones.

2. Hungary

In the country of Hungary, the symbolization of food is something that is taken seriously. For example, one belief when celebrating the New Year is that people should avoid eating chicken or fish because that means that good luck will fly or swim away. Instead, the common custom is to eat traditional pork dishes, since the pork’s fat symbolizes prosperity and wealth.

3. Ireland

Single women have a tradition just for themselves in Ireland. Those who hope to find a husband in the new year place a mistletoe under their pillow, to attract their wish. Additionally, cleaning the house to welcome the new year with the mentality of a clean slate is also a common custom, as is throwing pieces of bread against the wall, to drive the evil spirits out of the house.

4. Italy

The city of Venice, Italy enjoys a beautiful firework display to celebrate New Year’s. On top of that, it has a unique tradition of gathering up to 70,000 people in St. Mark's Square to participate in a kissing session with their partner. What a way to receive the new year!

5. Ecuador

If someone did you wrong or hurt you during the year, this is the celebration for you! In the city of Quito, all neighborhoods celebrate the coming of the new year, but its most unique tradition is to celebrate in the streets with a scarecrow-like doll, which represents the person who has harmed you during the year. To cast the evil of the previous year, the participants light them on fire.

6. Brazil

The iconic Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is just one of many over the top celebrations in Brazil. For New Year’s, the wild Copacabana beach parties in Brazil are one of the most extravagant festivities in the world. At midnight, the participants throw flowers into the ocean, as a tribute to Yemanja, the goddess of the sea. In addition, celebrants wear white to attract good luck and celebrate the new year.

7. Germany

What better way to welcome the new year than by enjoying a sweet dessert. The year-end parties in Germany are traditionally celebrated by eating some 'pfannkuchens', (a donut-like dessert) with a jam or liquor filling. Interestingly, the Germans have a special name for New Year's Eve, which they call 'Silvester', in honor of a Pope who passed away on December 31.

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