13 Different Ways to Ring in the New Year from Around the World

The New Year is a time steeped in tradition. Seemingly strange rituals are conducted year after year in hopes that the next year will be better in love, finances, food and more! Every human seeks good fortune as we embark on another year with a fresh start.

Out of the hundreds of countries around the world, these 13 give you a peek inside the varied and wide rituals us humans like to partake in. Rituals serve an important role in any society, no matter how “modern.” Rituals allow for people to connect with that which is out of our control and to guide and direct our intentions for the next year. When working with the Universe one must take action in a certain direction to let the Universe know what it is we’d like to experience for the coming year. These rituals do just that.

However you choose to ritualize this window of opportunity is up to you. But why not spice things up this year? Borrow an idea from one of these 13 countries:

South Africa

It might not be the most financially sound ritual but if you want to take the old adage “out with the old, in with the new” to a whole new level try what South Africans do: throw appliances out the window.


Want more love, prosperity and good luck? It’s simple. Wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve.


Bringing in the New Year is a community event. Get your neighbor’s involved by blessing someone with luck, luck and more luck by smashing plates on their doorstep. It’ll be quite the surprise and the clean up on New Year’s day.


New Year’s Eve is often filled with all kinds of activities like parties and religious gatherings. But how much more fun would it be to show up with a suitcase? Colombians take a suitcase around with them on Dec 31 in hopes of having a year full of travel.

Southern U.S.

In the states, we have our own list of rituals, some of which haven’t even been heard of in some parts of the country: eating black-eyed peas. It’s a southern thing. On Jan 1, we fill our plates with a big serving of black-eyed peas for good luck in the coming year.


Hide your knives and paint your front door red for the best chance at happiness and good fortune. One accidental cut is an ominous sign. But your red front door should save you in the end.


At the end of each year, we reflect on our good fortunes and wrongdoings. So there’s no need to carry negative baggage into the new year. Follow suit with Burma and splash your buddies with water as you ring in the New Year. Better to enter the year with a purified soul than weighed down by the burdens of your past.


For all the daredevils out there and those that live in cold locations, pick the finest frozen lake your city or town offers and dive right in. Siberians like to make sure their senses are fully alive and present to welcome in the New Year.


Although not as shocking as ice diving, Russians enjoy the fine art of drinking and wishing. Write down your wishes on a piece of paper and then light it on fire. When fully inflamed extinguish the fire in your bubbly glass of champagne.


If you want to wake up on the right side of the bed on Jan 1, then be sure to hang an onion from your front door. Then use it the next morning to wake up your children or loved ones by tapping them on the head. Grecians believe this symbolizes rebirth.


Most holidays are accompanied by lots of food. But if you’re Estonian (or simply a food lover) then you eat seven, nine or even twelve separate times on New Year’s day. These numbers are considered lucky and sure to bring you lots of food in the coming year.


Most cities sprinkle salt on the streets and doorsteps for practical purposes. But if you live in Turkey, you sprinkle salt on your doorstep at midnight on New Year’s day to usher in peace and abundance.

Czech Republic

No New Year tradition is right without a little divination. Honor the Czech Republic’s tradition of cutting an apple in half and reading the shape of the core to know what your future holds for the next year.

No matter how you choose to bring in the New Year, like a kiss of a stranger at midnight, know that your actions mean something. Intend well. And have fun while you’re at. Cheers to the New Year!

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