10 New Year’s Traditions From Around the World

by Jillian Chertok

It’s hard to believe another year has come to a close, but for many people it can’t end soon enough. So goodbye 2016, and bring on 2017! After all, it can only go up from here, right?


To give you some inspiration for ways to celebrate what will hopefully be a better year ahead, check out some of the most unique New Year’s celebrations from around the world. If you think standing around Times Square freezing and waiting for the ball to drop is exciting, wait until you hear about how the rest of the world celebrates the close of one year and beginning of the next.



  • Tradition: Walk through the streets banging loudly on pots and pans at midnight. I’m not sure why they do this, but it sounds like fun!



  • Tradition: Jump seven waves for good luck, which sounds fun, but also exhausting.



  • Tradition: Spend the night in a cemetery in the company of deceased love ones. This sounds nice, and a bit creepy.



  • Tradition: Walk around your block with an empty suitcase to ensure a year full of travel!



  • Tradition: On December 31, take all your unused dishes and plates and shatter them against the doors of all your friends and family. But who cleans up the mess?



  • Tradition: Make a paper-filled scarecrow and burn him at midnight to signify the burning away of the old year and the welcoming of the new one, which actually just sounds like Burning Man . . .



  • Tradition: Takanakuy Festival, which is when people, at the end of December, fist fight to settle their differences. Then they can start the year off on a clean slate! I would like to know if there is an age requirement to participate in this? Also, any rules for combat, like not hitting the face or below the belt? Without some rules in place this just sounds dangerous.



  • Tradition: Turn on all the lights in the house on New Year’s Even to ward off evil spirits. Open all the doors, cabinets and windows, and then run around shutting them after it hits midnight.



  • Tradition: Write down a wish on a piece of paper, burn it, throw it into a champagne glass and drink it before 12:01. I’m not too keen on the idea of eating burnt paper, but if it’s mixed in with champagne, I’ll do it.



  • Tradition: Throw pomegranates from your balcony (or, in most cases, window) to the street below. The more they burst, the more plentiful your year is supposed to be. I love pomegranates, and throwing things without consequence, which sounds quite cathartic, so sign me up!


How will you be saying goodbye to 2016 and ringing in 2017?

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