New Year’s Traditions from Around the World

Published: 03/01/2020 and written by P Smith

At Mr Lender, we offer short term loans between £200-£1,000.

New years traditions infographic

Happy New Year from everyone at Mr Lender, we hope you’re having a great start to 2020! Did you know that people all over the world celebrate the turn of the year in many different ways? Maybe next year you will be fortunate enough to spend the evening celebrating differently, perhaps wearing red underwear for good luck and throwing pots and pans out of the window to let go of the past. If so you may want to double-check that your travel insurance is still valid as some of these can be quite risky!


Eat a grape with every strike of the bell at midnight for prosperity – only then can you say “Happy New Year!”


Throw molten metal into cold water then predict the future from its shape – a heart or ring means a wedding, a ship signifies travel and a pig means plenty of food.


Write down a wish, proceed to burn it and then throw it in a champagne glass. They then must drink the champagne before 12th January.


Dress up in the coming years’ zodiac animal, decorate your house with lobsters for longevity and clean the house from top to toe.


Celebrate on the 13th-15th April (as this is the start of the New Year in Theravada Buddhism) by throwing water on each other to wash away bad luck.


It’s OK to have roast pork, wild boar or rabbit stew for dinner on New Year’s Day but not lobster or crab as they move backward (or sideways!) which can lead to setbacks in the coming year.


Wear red underwear for good luck. Throw pots, pans, and clothes out of the window to let go of the past.Eat lentils for money and good fortune.

South Africa

Throw old furniture or appliances out of the window – However police in Johannesburg have cracked down on this due to the number of pedestrian injuries!


An onion is traditionally hung on the front door of the house on new years eve as a symbol of rebirth for the coming year. Parents then wake up there children the next morning by tapping them on the head with the onion.


Many Germans welcome in the New Year by eating doughnuts filled with either jam or liqueurs. However, as a practical joke, some of the doughnuts have unpleasant fillings such as mustard, having one of these is seen as bad luck.


Wear white to ward off bad spirits and in coastal towns give offerings (usually flowers) to Lemanjá, Goddess of the Sea, and jump seven waves for good fortune.


Make a large scarecrow-like doll, often in the image of some disliked person or celebrity, and set them on fire at midnight. This symbolizes riddance of the bad things from the past year.


Walk around the block with an empty suitcase for lots of travel in the New Year and wear yellow underwear for good luck!


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