New York City is home to Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and the infamous ball drop, but it isn’t the only location with quintessentially “New Year” traditions. Kensington Tours has tracked down conventions practiced in multiple nations reveling that celebration comes in forms other than fireworks, and extensive parties. Although these are only snippets of intricate and historical ceremonies, perhaps participating in these ceremonies can bring good luck for your upcoming annum!

Spain, Peru, and Portugal: A simple and practicable custom, eating twelve grapes at midnight is believed to bring good luck for the twelve months of the next year. Paired with a delicious red wine and cheese, this praxis makes a stylish and delicious party.

Japan: Visiting Buddhist temples during the New Year is a popular and long-standing tradition. The Japanese ring in the New Year by literally ringing (striking) gongs one hundred and eight times to expel the one hundred and eight types of human weakness ensuring a year full of spiritual and mental strength.


Image Source: Getty Images

Philippines: The New Year is associated with all things round in Filipino culture. The circular shape represents prosperity (coinage), so Filipinos celebrate by wearing items of clothing with circular patterns, like polka dots, and even eating round fruit.

Finland: Speculation can bring a sense of security and perceptiveness to prepare for life’s many obstacles, so the Finnish like to predict what the upcoming year brings. To make these predictions, molten tin is casted in a container of water, and its shape is interpreted after hardening to see what it forms.

Peru: Another Peruvian practice is to pace the house or the street with a suitcase to guarantee a year of fruitful travel. Knowing us, this is something to add to the resolutions list.


Image Source: Calvin Teo (WikiCommons)

China: The Chinese New Year isn’t celebrated on the first of January, but the 31st of January this year (the date changes annually) to coincide with the Lunar Calendar. It is customary to host large family gatherings and present red envelopes of money to children from married couples as a sign of good luck and prosperity. It is also common to share homemade dumplings during the reunion after the host cleans the home from top to bottom to cleanse the home of demons.

Hungary: We thought N.Y.E. was noisy in Manhattan; imagine visiting Hungary during their annual celebration. It is customary to scare off demons and evil spirits by creating loud noises. Traditionally done with bullwhips and crackers, it has become common to use horns. The neighbors won’t seem so disruptive when you visit an entire neighborhood in uproar.

Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela: In these countries, we find luck in our lingerie! By wearing special underwear it supposedly brings good luck and spontaneity for the year ahead. The funny thing is that certain colors bring certain expectations like red for love and yellow for money; is it still spontaneous when you already know what category the surprise will fall under?

However you celebrate the New Year, it is agreed that everyone has a special observance to follow. What ties millions of people together is the shifting of the annual cycle. If you find yourself in a state of wanderlust, Kensington Tours offers personalized tours to 90+ countries. Bon voyage!


Source: Kensington Tours


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