Many people will soon be out celebrating and ringing in the new year with friends and family, while others will choose to head to huge parties in major cities. The giant ball of lights that drops in Times Square has become an iconic image to most Americans, so here are some New Years Eve traditions from around the world that you may not be aware of!
New Year’s Celebrations Around The World: Traditions & Style
Auckland is the first major city to celebrate the new year. Of course the streets are filled with all kinds of people waiting for the fireworks at midnight.
In Austria, most people spend New Years with friends and family. At midnight, many television and radio stations traditionally play Johan Strauss’ “The Blue Danube” while people waltz in their homes, and in many cases, the city streets!
In Paris, aside from the incredible fireworks launched from the Eiffel Tower, many Parisians choose to eat intimate dinners with friends and family, consisting of special foods, deserts and drinks.
In Ireland, fireworks are illegal, so the ringing in of the new year is done by the church bells all over the country.
Some of the Italian New Years traditions including wearing red undergarments for good luck (a tradition also followed in Spain), and getting rid of old unwanted items by dropping them out the window. I hope people don’t get rid of couches and pianos this way!
Beginning in 1972, many German television began to broadcast a short English play called Dinner for One. One of the comical punch lines from the play is “same procedure as every year,” and this has become a catch phrase in Germany.
The city of Prague has a tradition that equates to one thing: fireworks! At midnight you will want to get a glimpse of the traditional fireworks, but what makes this celebration unique is the massive amount of hand held fireworks that are lit in the Old Town Square!
One of the more interesting traditions in Spain takes place at midnight. When the clock chimes at midnight, people eat an individual grape for each strike of the bell. This is to represent good luck for the coming year. Many coastal cities serve breakfast at dawn to those who stay awake through the night, and want to see the first sunrise of the new year.
Whether you wear a kilt or not, Edinburgh is one of the best places to celebrate the coming of the new year in Scotland. The festival known as Hogmanay lasts for five days, ending on New Year’s Eve. Sipping a delicious Scotch Whisky, parades and fireworks are common, as the tradition of giving shortbread to the first person to enter your home on New Years Day.
Bangkok celebrates the coming of the new year three times! Once on December 31st with a down town celebration that attracts around 200,000 people, once in the middle of January for Chinese New Year, and once to celebrate the Thai calendars final day in April. Sounds like a trifecta of fun!
Reykjavik is the northern most capital city in the world, so they know a thing or two about celebrating long nights! Traditions include a mass that is broadcast for those who can’t attend, a comedy show that pokes fun at local personalities, bonfires and fireworks. Sounds like a good time!
Some people think that New Year’s Eve in Cape Town is not only the best New Year’s celebration, but the best overall celebration period! The Waterfront area of the city is filled with many fine places to eat and drink, as well as many of the cities famous rooftop parties. You will find costumed dancers everywhere, followed by face painters, live music, street parades, and much more.
However you choose to celebrate New Years Eve, please be safe! Drink responsibly and make sure to use a designated driver. Best wishes from all of us here at Auto Europe.