7 Different New Year Celebrations Around the World

7 Different New Year Celebrations Around the World

Find out how people around the world, from New York to The Bahamas, celebrate the New Year!

The end of the year is nearing with incredible speed, and just like every year, there is the same old question: what to do on New Year’s Eve? While those in your country might be celebrating with the usual fireworks and parties, you might be surprised to learn that other countries celebrate the New Year very differently. Let’s find out what goes on around the world on this special day.

1. The Bahamas

Image credit: SimplyPanda

Celebrating the last day of the year in the Bahamas is a truly exciting idea. In most cases the two days become one – in form of an extra long party marathon. This colourful street parade comes with dance, music, costumes and more across various towns in the Bahamas. The biggest and wildest parade is surely in the capital Nassau. Just get off the grandstands and get involved on the street, as you swing your hips in the African-Caribbean rhythm.

2. New York, United States

Image credit: gigi_NYC

The New York City’s Ball Drop is perhaps the world’s most widely broadcasted New Year’s Eve celebration. Happening in the magnificent Times Square and first organised by the New York Times more than 100 years ago, the event has become incredibly famous worldwide and is a once-in-a-lifetime experience – unless you travel to New York every year, of course. The Ball Drop gets activated one minute before midnight, and thousands of balloons are released into the sky. Get there early to soak in the atmosphere, and start the new year partying away.

3. South Korea

Image credit: Republic of Korea

Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Korea is totally different as compared to New York or The Bahamas. The festivities should not be confused with those celebrated during the Korean New Year. The latter falls on the first day of the second new moon after winter solstice, usually in late January or early February.

On New Year’s Eve, one can attend the Bell-Ringing Ceremony at Bosingak Belfry, and watch fireworks. However, many families choose to get together and dine at home or enjoy a fancy dinner in a nice restaurants. Another popular tradition is to watch the first sunrise of the year.

4. Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Image credit: Сан Саныч

This might be one of the coldest locations to celebrate the New Year, but it is also a truly unique one that you will never forget. Siberia comes unexpectedly alive around New Year’s Eve with celebrations that can last up to one month. These festivities are considered very important and they mark the beginning of a 10-day holiday. The entire city of Krasnoyarsk is equipped with a colourful display of lights. Although it will be freezing, it isn’t an uncommon sight to see locals swimming in the city’s river. This tradition is part of the New Year celebrations and if you want to go local, you better bring your swimsuit with you.

5. Copenhagen, Denmark

Image credit: Thomas Rousing

Within the last couple of years, the Danish capital has advanced to become one of the hippest cities in Europe. However, when it comes to New Year’s Eve, the city exudes a different vibe. You can call it early spring cleaning, but the Danes are throwing dishes in front of the doors of their close friends and family. This old traditional is said to bring luck to the person with a broken dish in front of their door. Hence, the more dishes you have in front of your door by the end of the night, the luckier your year will be. Want an excuse to throw dishes around? Head to Copenhagen on New Year’s Eve.

6. Scotland

Image credit: Ed W

The Scots call the last day of the year ‘Hogmanay’ and they celebrate it the Scottish way. The festivities can easily last until the second of January, as that day too is a holiday. A common sight on New Year’s Eve is fireballs swinging over the people’s heads – I’m not kidding! According to tradition, the fire is supposed to bring purification for the coming year. Another interesting tradition in Scotland is called ‘first-footing’; in Scottish houses, people look out for the first person who steps over the threshold – this person is supposed to bring luck. Tall and dark men are the best you can wish for, while red-haired, blonde men and women will supposedly bring less luck.

7. Ecuador

Image credit: Agencia de Noticias ANDES

Just like Scotland, this South American country likes to play with fire. In the days leading up to New Year’s Eve, locals build scarecrows that are filled with paper. These scarecrows will be burned on the last day of the year, with hopes that it will bring good fortune for the coming year. Old photographs can also be burned to wipe off bad memories and to symbolise a fresh start. If you desire some change in your life or to seek a fresh start, then hey, why not book a holiday to Ecuador?

Also Read: 15 Awe-Inspiring Hot Air Balloon Rides Around the World

Interested to experience an interesting New Year tradition? Don’t stay home and do the usual stuff. Book your flights and go!

About Author

Peter Schimke
Peter Schimke

Peter is a freelance writer and author of the novel ‘Beyond Blue’. He has travelled extensively over the past decade and for some reason ends up where there are no tourists to be found. Cocktail bars, bookstores and skate parks are the places you might run into him. He currently calls Singapore his home, as he his banned from Shinjuku, Tokyo (after publishing his book).


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