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9 Unusual New Year’s Eve Traditions Around the World

Well, what a year it has been! Everyone is looking forward to 2022. So, let the celebrations begin! Let’s welcome in 2022 with hope, good health, and a positive outlook on life.

How do you spend your New Year’s Eve?

In our travels, we have witnessed various different traditions around the world. Some are interesting, others funny, and still others – strange! Let’s explore them together!


Colombians who wish for a travel-filled year carry an empty suitcase around with them on the 31st December.


If you are spending New Year’s in Denmark, don’t be surprised to see crockery being smashed on your next door neighbour’s doorstep. The more crockery the more good luck!


The New Year’s Eve tradition in Greece is hanging an onion on their front doors that symbolises rebirth for the forthcoming year. Greek children are awaken the next morning by their parents tapping their heads with the onion.


To bring in good luck, prosperity, and love for the forthcoming year, Italians wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve.


Buddhist temples ring their bells 108 times to herald in the New Year. Buddhists believe that there are 108 human sins, and ringing the bells cleanses the sins from the Japanese people from the previous year.


Peru’s tradition is held on the 25th December in the village of Takanakuy in the Andes Mountains. The community celebrates with drinking, dancing, and eating before heading into the local sporting arena to fight it all out and air their grievances of the year with those concerned.

Participants can be any age – from children through to the elderly who want to resolve their conflicts and move into the new year with a clean slate.


Don’t be surprised to see Romanian farmers speaking to their animals on New Year’s Eve in search of good luck. If they are successful in communicating with the animals, they will have good luck for the forthcoming year.


The Russian people welcome in the new year by making a wish, then burning it and throwing it into a glass of champagne which they drink.


If you reside in Scotland, you will want a dark haired male crossing your doorstep with a piece of coal on New Year’s Eve – or Hogmanay as it is known – as he will bring you luck for the year.

Happy New Year!

How do you spend New Year’s Eve? Do you practice an unusual tradition? Please share it with the community!

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The Author

Jane and Duncan Dempster-Smith are nomadic semi-retirees, baby boomers, travellers, House Sitters and co-founders of To Travel Too Their motto is “Age is no barrier when it comes to travel.” Although not yet pensioners, their goal is to travel the world on what is currently the Australian Age Pension of approx. AUD 33,716 (USD 25,110) per year, or AUD 92 (USD 69) per day for two people.

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