* All digital cards and invitiations have moved! Check out the new pingg.com >

World New Year's Eve Traditions

Here are six ideas to incorporate unique traditions into your New Year's Eve celebration with plenty of time left over to kiss your sweetheart and sing Auld Lang Syne.

You don't have to adopt another country's New Year's Eve traditions entirely to make your experience special.

Six Worldly New Year's Eve Traditions to Try

People in many cultures thoroughly clean house at the end of the year. Take some time to declutter and clean your space, and start the New Year with a fresh slate.

Spend part of the day on New Year's Eve volunteering. People in Turkey do this because they believe community service brings the promise of a rewarding year.

Enjoy a lavish meal before heading to a New Year's Eve party. The French believe a special dinner, called le Reveillon de Saint-Sylvestre, brings prosperity to the house where it takes place.

Choose your New Year's Eve outfit with the future in mind. Wear white for good luck (a la Brazil) or yellow undergarments (as in Ecuador) to attract positive energy in the New Year.

Snack wisely as the clock strikes midnight. People in many Spanish cultures eat twelve grapes as they count down the seconds making a wish with each one.

After enjoying a night of revelry, settle down with a late night/early morning breakfast Spanish-style where people chow down on a traditional breakfast of chocolate con churros (hot chocolate and fried pastry.)

More New Year's Traditions from Around the World

If you are tired of the same celebration, look for inspiration in these New Year's Eve customs. You might just find a new way to celebrate with your family and friends.


The Japanese actually celebrate New Year's Eve all day. Starting in the morning, people begin cleaning house, a process known as Ousouji. Intended to get rid of the "dust" from the past, it prepares the home for a prosperous new year.

Later on, the Japanese people watch a television program, Red and White Song Battle, which is similar in popularity to Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve in America. The final act of celebrating in Japan is listening to the watch-night bell ring 108 times, which is considered to knock out bad luck, unhappiness and selfishness.


In Greece, gifts are usually exchanged on New Year's Eve rather than Christmas. This means New Year's Eve in Greece often finds shopping plazas crowded with last-minute shoppers before everyone gathers in individual houses to ring in the New Year by cutting the vasilopita or new year cake.

People in Greece often invite one special friend or family member whom they believe to be lucky to enter their homes first in the New Year. This is thought to prevent bad omens from coming in.


While Brazil plays host to fabulous New Year's Eve parties (the famous beach of Copacabana is overcrowded with visitors), there are other traditions that Brazilians perform to welcome another year.

After celebrating at midnight with concerts, fireworks and dinner, Brazilians head to the beaches where they jump over seven waves and throw flowers into the ocean. Some people also light candles in the sand. These are all ancient rituals through to bring good luck and fortune throughout the New Year.

Find more party planning inspirations for New Years Eve

Inspiration to your inbox

Want to receive the latest Celebrations.com ideas?

Get our newsletter »
Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

Read More »
Exotic Cocktail Recipe Video Link to video gallery. Upgrade your spring sips with this cocktail tutorial. »

Inspirations Delivered to Your Inbox

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter and have party tips and ideas sent straight to your inbox! You'll be the first to know about our best recipes, decoration ideas, invitation inspirations and more.