7 New Year’s Eve Traditions From Around The World

New Year’s Eve is a time of reflection and celebration. While we all have our own handful of unique traditions to uphold at the end of the year, there are plenty you might not have heard of. Here are some New Year’s Eve traditions from around the world.
7 New Year’s Eve Traditions From Around The World

When you think of New Year’s Eve, you might think of fireworks, countdowns, a big party with flowing drinks (we all need it this time of year!), or even a list of resolutions. However, here are some traditions you might not have heard about.

Celebrating the Dead

To honour the people in your ancestry who have already passed on, people in Chile and across South America routinely flock to cemeteries on New Year’s Eve to visit their dead relatives, paying homage to their lives and honouring their memories. Chileans bring flowers, wine, champagne and a party spirit to the dead on this day every year.

Ringing Bells

On New Year’s Eve, people across Japan gather outside Buddhist temples to hear their bells ring 108 times each. The ringing of these bells signals good luck, cleansing their souls of any bad deeds from the past year and acting as a symbol of a fresh start.

Breaking Plates

There’s nothing more therapeutic than breaking something. On New Year’s Eve in Denmark, citizens look forward to throwing old plates against the front doors of their friends’ and neighbours’ houses. Sounds fun, right? On New Year’s Day, people open their doors and check to see how many people broke something against it, determining their popularity. It’s equal parts messy and fun. We kinda wish we did it here in Australia, too.

Eating Grapes

It’s tradition in Spain to eat twelve grapes when the clock strikes midnight to welcome happiness into the New Year. Unfortunately, this means your New Year’s kiss might have to wait a minute. But hey, at least it’ll be off to a sweet start!

Empty Suitcases

Colombians have an interesting way of celebrating the New Year. On December 31st, many of them partake in a ritual that sees them running around their homes with empty suitcases. It’s supposed to signify a desire for more travel in the year to come.

Flowers In The Sea

If you’re ever in Brazil for New Year’s Eve, you’ll notice all the locals will descend upon the beaches dressed head-to-toe in white. This is a national ritual, and sees them light white candles and throw white flowers into the ocean (with fireworks overhead, obviously). This is an offering to the Queen of the Ocean, and a sure-fire way to make sure she grants your New Year’s wishes.

Writing A Will

A newer New Year’s tradition popping up across the globe is writing a Will. The end of the year can prompt a lot of reflection, and often a sudden urge for us to get all of our affairs in order. Making sure whatever we leave behind when we pass will be divided as we want can be a great weight off our shoulders, and definitely makes it easier to soak up the celebrations when the clock strikes midnight.


If you haven’t already written your legal Will, you can start (and complete) yours today with Willed in just 15 minutes. This is a great new tradition to incorporate into your New Year’s Eve.

Share this guide:
share buttonfacebook share buttontwitter share buttonlinkedin share buttonemail share button