Rock Talk

New Year’s Eve Around the World

Last updated on November 8, 2019 at 11:59 am

New Year’s is celebrated around the world by almost every country and culture. Plymouth Rock thought it would be fun to celebrate by sharing some of our favorite traditions from around the globe that we have learned about this year.

  • In Great Britain, they practice the first-footing— it has nothing to do with measuring. This tradition states that the first male visitor to the house after midnight brings good luck. The man usually also brings gifts like money or food to ensure a successful New Year.
  • In Germany, folks drop molten lead into cold water and make predictions about the future based on the shape that is formed. Here’s hoping for a piece shaped like a bag of money!
  • Over in Hungary, they practice burning effigies of a scapegoat they call “Jack Straw.” This is a traditional way of removing the bad luck from the previous year and starting fresh for the next. We don’t recommend trying this at home!
  • The people of Poland celebrate St. Sylvester’s Eve in honor of Pope Sylvester I. The Polish legend states that Pope Sylvester thwarted the plans of a dragon that was going to devour the world in the year 1000. That is one amazing Pope!
  • The fun folks in Portugal have a tasty tradition. As the clock strikes midnight, they eat 12 grapes— to ensure happiness for each month of the New Year.
  • Are you fan of round things? Head over to the Philippines, where putting on polka dots and eating round fruits is said to ensure a prosperous New Year for you.
  • Perhaps you and the people of Johannesburg, South Africa, need to work out some anger issues. Locals in the downtown area are known to throw their old appliances out the window on New Year’s Eve!
  • Folks from Columbia who are eager to travel take to the streets toting empty suitcases around the block hoping to have a travel-filled New Year.
  • Are you big on food? Then head over to Estonia, where residents try to eat at least seven times during the day. If a man manages to eat seven times, legend says he will have the strength of seven men next year.

These are just a few of the fun traditions from across the world, and most come as a part of family, neighborhood, and community celebrations. The New Year is a great time to spend with the ones you love.  Make sure to plan accordingly, don’t drink and drive, and make sure everyone will get home safe.

Happy New Year, New Jersey!

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