Movies, TV series and books have given us a pretty amazing picture of how people celebrate the upcoming new year. Big parties, amazing celebrations, music, food, and lots of Instagram-worthy moments.
But how do people really celebrate the new year? Now that 2021 is approaching, it might be worth it to learn how different cultures and countries around the world like to celebrate. Whether it’s a quiet affair with your closest family or a big party with hundreds of strangers, there’s no right way to have fun!
New Year in Japan is called “Oshogatsu”. During this special day the Buddhist temples ring their bells for 108 times, a tradition that is meant to “cleanse” the new year from negativity and bring forth abundance and happiness.
Japanese people usually take time to clean their homes and use traditional decorations such as pine branches and plum blossoms.
Parents and relatives give children envelopes with money, and the family celebrates with parties and typical food.
Many people choose to visit nearby temples during New Year’s morning, to salute the new year and to pray for the period to come.
New Year is the perfect occasion to start things anew in Mexico. Traditions include throwing buckets of water out of the window to signify getting rid of “old things” and opening up their front doors.
Another interesting tradition is burning scarecrows, another symbol of leaving what’s old behind, and welcoming new beginnings.
There are also lots of celebrations, fireworks and parties during the last day of the year.
The New Year is usually welcomed with big celebrations, fireworks and parties that last until the dawn breaks.
What’s really traditional in Italy is the food that is usually eaten during New Year. Even though restaurants and fancy bars have now very expensive and complicated menus, the most traditional food is “cotechino and lentils”. Cotechino is a gelatinous pork sausage, usually boiled, always served with a side of lentils.
Another typical food is “panettone”, a sweet bread usually consumed during Christmas and New Year’s Eve, which includes raisins and candied fruit.
Spain is another country that adopted the more “international” way of celebrating New Year. There are a lot of events, parties and dinners to participate in.
What’s really typical of this country is the tradition to eat grapes at New Year’s Eve. You need to eat a grape for every strike of the clock at midnight. This is symbolic of good fortune and luck for each of the twelve months in a year.
Similarly to its South America counterpart, people in Thailand also celebrate by throwing water out of their houses.
Another peculiar tradition consist in smearing other people with talc. The talc symbolizes the sins or wrongdoings of the past year, and they get eventually washed away by water.
Thailand also enjoys celebrations with friends and family, as well as visits to temples to bring offerings.
A very interesting traditions of Philippines concerns what to wear on the New Year. Here, round shapes are considered lucky and a symbol of prosperity.
That’s why people often eat dishes that have a round shape, wear clothes with polka dots, and keep coins with them. After all, the circle reminds a lot of the shape of money! So it’s an auspicious sign to bring good finances in the new year.
What about you? What are your country's traditions for New Year's Eve?