New Year’s Traditions from Around the World


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Belgium: Farmers wish their cows a Happy New Year. Family have parties where everyone kisses and exchanges fortune greetings and toasts to welcome the New Year.


Bolivia flag Bolivia: Coins are baked into sweets, and whoever finds the coins has good luck for the next year.


Chile flag Chile: Families spend the night sleeping at the cemetery.



china flag China: Every front door is painted red, symbolizing happiness and good fortune. The Chinese hide all the knives and scissors so they do not cut their luck in the New Year.




Denmark: Save old dishes and throw them on a friend’s doorstep. The one with more dishes has the most friends. Some Danish leap chairs at midnight.




Ecuador: Burn paper-filled scarecrows and photographs from the last year in the name of good fortune.



Estonia: Eat seven times to ensure abundance in the New Year.




Japan: Have forget-the-year parties and ring all the bells 108 times in alignment with the Buddhist belief that this brings cleanliness.


peruPeru: During Takanakuy Festival in a small Peruvian village, people fist-fight to settle their differences. They then start the year off on a clean slate.


puerto rico Puerto Rico: Throw pails of water out windows to drive away evil spirits.





Romania: Throw spare coins into the river for good luck.




Siberia: Jump into frozen lakes carrying tree trunks.


south africa South Africa: Throw furniture out the window.



switzerland Switzerland: Drop ice cream on the floor.


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