New Year’s Traditions From Around the World


Agatha Lima-Freitas, Reporter

Okay, okay, the holidays are over, you can stop playing Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Now we are working on our resolutions for 2022. But before that, let’s take a look at New Year’s traditions from around the world. 

Every country has a different culture, creating its own unlikely traditions for every holiday. You could be kissing your significant other in Germany, watching the ball drop in Times Square, or even getting under the table in Ecuador. 

Carla Nascimento, a young woman from Brazil, said that her home country has a lot of traditions and superstitions about the New Year, like heading to the beach and jumping the first seven waves that crash on the shore after midnight. The meaning of that tradition is to attract good luck for the next year and to leave behind any negativity from last year. 

Another quirky superstition the Brazilians have is to give meaning to their underwear color. Every underwear color has a meaning imbued with wishes for the next year. For example: if you wear white, you are wishing for peace in the upcoming year; if you wear yellow, you are wishing for money. 

Sofia Silva Rodrigues, a student from Spain who attends Amity High School, said a Spanish tradition for the New Year is eating 12 grapes which represents good luck for the 12 months in the year. The Spanish also go to “La puerta del sol,” a place in the capital of Spain, Madrid, to celebrate and wait for the countdown. 

Kim Athan, an Italian teacher in West Haven High School, said that in Italy, they break new and old dishes at midnight to bring good luck for the upcoming year. Another Italian tradition is to wear red underwear, which is also for good luck. 

Ms. Athan said she doesn’t find any of these traditions weird. “It’s important to have traditions in your culture, this is what makes every culture unique,” she said.

Kemely Gomes-Soares, a West Haven High School sophomore from Cape Verde, mentioned that in Cape Verde the tradition is to get together with your family on New Year’s Eve, cook together and hang out until midnight. And then they open a bottle of champagne and go from door to door singing “Senhor São Silvestre” to their neighbors. 

Danielle Ricketts, a senior in West Haven High School from Jamaica, said that in her home country many people go to the church while some go to the coast to watch the fireworks on New Year’s. 

Ricketts said she always wished to go to the coast to watch the fireworks, but she never had the chance.

Luis Llorente, another senior in West Haven High School, said that in Ecuador they get under the table at midnight, which means that in the next year you will have a girlfriend or a boyfriend. They also burn dolls made of newspaper or other recyclable materials at the beginning of the new year, which represents everything that happened last year.

Llorente mentioned that he participated in the under table tradition on the New Year’s from 2020 to 2021, and in the summer of 2021, he started dating. 

So those were some of the New Year’s traditions around the world. We’d love to hear from you in the comments below: Which tradition was your favorite? And tell us your favorite New Year’s traditions. Happy New Year!