10 New Year’s Eve Superstitions From Around the World

10 New Year’s Eve Superstitions From Around the World


3 minute read

New Year's Eve is a time for celebration, reflection, and of course, a touch of superstition. Around the world, people usher in the new year with unique traditions and beliefs, each carrying its own dose of luck and fortune. Here are 10 New Year's Eve superstitions from different corners of the globe:

1. The 12 Grapes of Luck

In Spain, as the clock strikes midnight, locals eat 12 grapes, one for each stroke of the clock. It's believed that each grape represents good luck for each month of the coming year. Just make sure to chew quickly – a sour grape may hint at a challenging month!

2. Colorful Underwear

Brazilians take their underwear seriously on New Year's Eve. Wearing underwear in specific colors, such as white for peace or red for passion, is thought to attract corresponding energies for the upcoming year. It's fashion with a side of fortune.

3. First-Footing

In Scotland, the first person to enter a home after the stroke of midnight is called the "First-Footer." This visitor is expected to bring symbolic gifts like coins, bread, and whiskey to ensure prosperity and hospitality for the rest of the year.

4. Temple Bells Ringing

Japanese Buddhist temples ring their bells 108 times on New Year's Eve, symbolizing the 108 human sins in Buddhist beliefs. The ringing is believed to purify the soul and bring good fortune for the year ahead.

5. Round Shapes

In the Philippines, round shapes symbolize prosperity. From wearing polka-dotted clothing to serving round fruits, the goal is to attract wealth and good fortune. It's a celebration where even the table settings play a part in the superstition.

6. Throwing Out Old Things

Italians take spring cleaning to a whole new level. On New Year's Eve, it's customary to throw old possessions out of the window, symbolizing a fresh start for the upcoming year. Just be cautious if you're walking the streets of Italy on December 31st!

7. Smashed Plates

In Denmark, friends and family save up their chipped and broken dishes throughout the year. On New Year's Eve, they affectionately hurl these dishes at the doors of their loved ones. The more shards, the better – it's believed to bring lasting friendships.

8. Bread and Butter

Irish superstition dictates that to ensure a year of abundance, you should bang bread against the walls of your home before midnight and leave a door ajar. Some even go the extra mile by smearing butter on the bread, ensuring prosperity on both the material and buttery fronts.

9. Animal Communication

In Russia, people engage in a bit of fortune-telling on New Year's Eve. By observing the behavior of animals, particularly farm animals, they believe they can predict the future. So, if your chicken is clucking enthusiastically, it might be a good omen!

10. Jumping Into the New Year

In some South African communities, it's customary to jump into the new year. At the stroke of midnight, people literally leap off the ground to symbolize jumping into the new year with energy and positivity. It's a literal leap of faith into the future.

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