Ring in 2019 with these fun, festive, and unique ways to say goodbye to the old and hello to the new!
No matter where you find yourself this New Year’s, you probably have a tradition or two to help ensure your next year starts the right way. Maybe you toast to good fortune and kiss some lucky person at midnight or sing a boisterous round of Auld Lang Syne. Perhaps you follow the Southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for luck and prosperity.
If you want to load up your celebration with all the possible traditions you can to ensure an amazing 2019, check out these other traditions from around the world.
Writer’s Favorite: Spain
In Spain, it is customary to eat 12 grapes at midnight, whether you are at home or gathering together with your community. Simply eat one grape at each stroke of the clock at midnight on New Year’s Eve. The grapes represent good luck for each month of the new year, and this is a super easy tradition to partake in.
Warning: Choking is not a great way to ring in 2019. Usually, the grapes used in Spain are small wine grapes NOT the ginormous table grapes we have here in the U.S. Take it from someone who has tried this tradition — find the smallest grapes you can, and chew, chew, chew. It’s nearly impossible to eat 12 big grapes in 12 seconds, so please take it easy and go easy on cramming your mouth full. It’s always best to ring in a new year with a clear airway.
Many Central and South American countries have decided that the key to a successful new year is wearing lucky underwear on New Year’s Eve. Different colors will bring different tidings in 2019: Red will bring you love, white brings you peace, and yellow will bring you wealth.
To have a travel-filled new year, residents of Colombia grab empty suitcases and take a stroll around the block. Consider adding in another tradition, wearing special-colored underwear (see Brazil) to help fund those trips!
Go to Goodwill, grab some dinnerware and go to town, Denmark style! In Denmark, people greet the new year by chucking old plates and glasses at the doors of family and friends to ward off bad spirits. Bonus tradition: The Danes also jump off chairs at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve to leap into January with good luck.
Ring in 2019 with an … onion? Greeks hang onions on the front door of their homes on New Year’s Eve as a symbol of rebirth. On Jan. 1, parents wake up their kids by tapping them on the head with an onion.
If you’re into divining your future, Finland’s tradition is for you. Simply cast molten tin into cold water and interpret the shape that results. A ring or heart means love, a pig (seems pretty specific) means food, and a ship means travel.
It’s all about the coin in this country. Round shapes, representing coins and prosperity, are everywhere. People eat 12 round fruits at midnight, and many also wear polka dots for good luck.
Join in the tradition of first-footing, which is practiced all over Scotland. It’s a lovely tradition where the first person to cross a threshold of a home in the new year brings a gift for luck.
Other interesting traditions include wishing cows a happy year in Belgium, burning effigies in several countries like Panama and Ecuador, sleeping in the cemetery with deceased loved ones in Chile, hitting the walls with bread in Ireland, and eating seven meals for abundance on Jan. 1 in Estonia.
What’s your favorite New Year’s tradition? Share them with us in the comments below, and Happy New Year!