Are you moving to a new country? Do you know what its New Year’s celebration customs are? 

If you are planning to move to another country, here is an example of how it is welcomed in some countries and their cities. Maybe it will help you to adapt to the new environment faster!
New Year's Eve celebration around the world, countdown, customs, fun facts...
ARPIN INTERNATIONAL GROUP

It is believed that the first celebration of the New Year was held by the people of Mesopotamia more than 2,000 years ago, and then it was celebrated in the middle of March. Today, New Year’s Eve celebrations are among the oldest customs many people worldwide have accepted.

Greece and Serbia

In Greece and Serbia, traditionally, on New Year’s Eve, a cake is cut into with a hidden coin, which, according to belief, brings luck to whoever finds it. When this cake is cut, the first piece is for baby Jesus, the second is for the father of the house, and the third is for the house.

According to belief, if a coin is found in the third piece, spring will come early that year, and the family can expect good luck. When the New Year is celebrated, it is a custom in Serbian and Greece that whichever one of the close friends or family members enters the house first, according to this person’s personality characteristics, the year will have similar characteristics to the family. If a good, successful, and healthy person enters first, it is believed to bring good luck and prevent bad things from happening in that house.

Austria

To ensure happiness and well-being for their family in the new year, Austrians prepare a festive lunch, which must include baking, but also dessert – menthol ice cream in the shape of a four-leaf clover.

Denmark

Danes break plates, no less, than in front of their house. Old plates are kept all year round, and at midnight they are thrown in front of a friend’s front door. According to their beliefs, the more plates you break, the more friends you will have. So, if someone throws a plate at you, don’t get mad – it’s probably a Dane.

Germany

Arpin has an office location in Germany. That means we have many stories from our employees living in this beautiful country to share. New Year’s Eve in Germany cannot be complete without fireworks, and Germans spend 100 million euros every year on New Year’s fireworks. According to the tradition, which the Germans respect very much, noise should be made on New Year’s Eve, and this custom dates back to the Middle Ages when people walked down the street rattling bells to dispel evil spirits.

For the festive night, the table is very traditional with many symbols, so there must be lentil or pork soup on it, which symbolizes well-being, while the fish on the table signifies a promising future. It is believed that whoever spreads out the laundry for the New Year will be to blame if he has to work a lot in the upcoming year. 

Norway

Who’s a pudding lover? Traditionally, in Norway, this delicacy is prepared for the New Year, and it is made from rice! It is stored in a large container with only one hidden almond. It is believed that a person who gets an almond in his portion of pudding can expect luck and wealth in the new year.

United Kingdom

In Great Britain, luck in the coming year depends on who is the first to visit them in the new year. According to the belief, you will be lucky if the first guest in the new year is a man with gifts, while it is bad news if a woman visits you first. Whatever, but we’re sure that a man did not make the most delicious mint sauce enjoyed by all Brits 🙂

Japan

According to customs in Japan, the New Year is celebrated all day long. The ritual of welcoming the New Year begins early in the morning with house cleaning, and this part is called “ousouji” – which means that they “dispel the dust” from the past and prepare the home for a successful new year.

The final act of the celebration in Japan is listening to the clock’s chimes, which ring 108 times and are performed to drive away misfortune, discontent, and selfishness. The tradition of making noise on New Year’s Eve dates back to the Middle Ages when people rattled the streets to drive away evil spirits. Later came the turn of drums, church bells, and all other instruments.

China

According to belief in China, red is the color that brings happiness and joy, so this is the dominant color for New Year’s Eve.

Also, preparing for New Year’s Eve involves the removal of all knives from the house for 24 hours. This is done so that no one gets hurt because that accident would mean that one person “cut”, preventing the whole family’s happiness in the new year.

Philippines

Round shapes (as a coin symbol) for Filipinos symbolize success in the coming year. Many Filipino families decorate their tables and house with many round-shaped fruits for the New Year.

Similar to the Spanish, some Filipino families believe that eating exactly 12 fruit trees at midnight will ensure good luck in the coming year, and some even wear tufted clothes for good luck.

Brazil

In Brazil, wearing white clothes on New Year’s Eve is customary for luck and peace in the following year. After midnight celebrations, fireworks, and dinner, Brazilians go to the beach, where they jump over the “seven waves”, and throw flowers into the ocean, while some of them light candles so that the New Year will bring them luck and wealth.

Finland

A long Finnish tradition makes it possible to predict what will happen in the coming year by pouring molten tin into a bowl of water.

Predictions for the next year are interpreted based on the shape of the metal that cools in the water – so the shape of a heart or a ring predicts a wedding in the family, a ship symbolizes a journey, and a pig symbolizes a fruitful year in which there will be plenty of food.

Panama

During the New Year’s holidays, bonfires are organized in this country where dolls with the likenesses of celebrities who marked the previous year are burned. It can be a character from a movie, a famous athlete, or a politician.

The idea behind this custom is that by burning a doll, representing someone who marked the previous year, evil spirits are driven away, and a fresh start for the next year is enabled.

Israel

The Jewish people eat only sweet foods for the new year because it symbolizes fertility and longevity. Sweet apples with honey and honey cake for the welcome or carrot cake for multiplying happiness. 

The celebration of the New Year is a spiritual holiday also called the Feast of Trumpets, which lasts 48 hours as a prelude to fasting and ten days of repentance.

Russia

In Russia, twelve seconds before midnight, everyone stands in complete silence and makes a wish for the New Year, and at midnight, the door opens to let the New Year enter the home. It is also a tradition for them to write down their wish on a piece of paper, which they then set on fire and put the ashes in a glass of champagne and drink before midnight.

If a man comes to visit them first, they consider it a harbinger of good luck. After going out to the squares, they treat each other with prunes filled with walnuts.

Sicily

Sicilians have a simple recipe for good luck in the new year – all you have to do is eat lasagna on New Year’s Day and avoid macaroni or any pasta other than lasagna. Hey foodies, don’t you love their tradition? 

Singapore

What is mandatory in Singapore? Well, fireworks and the release of balloons carrying wishes written on paper, of course! Here, you can read more about the New Year’s celebration in this magnificent country that expats love and move to most often.

Ecuador

These people have a nice and purifying ritual: all pictures that remind them of bad things or events in the old year are lit and gone.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Ricans spill buckets full of water while waiting for the New Year to cleanse all the bad things that happened to them in the previous year.

Romania

On New Year’s Eve, it is believed that if you tell the animals about your wishes for the coming year, those will come true!

Scotland

In Edinburgh, it may not be the biggest celebration in the world, but it is very unusual. Before midnight, the Gothic streets of this beautiful city are filled with revelers dancing to the usual violin and bagpipe tunes and men in kilts often reciting poetry by local writers.

The creative chaos and friendly atmosphere sometimes get out of control, but even the police do not react to harmless outbursts. Few people in Edinburgh choose to celebrate in pubs, because they find it more interesting on the street. Besides, in addition to so many people, you can be sure that at least someone will kiss you (on the cheek) when midnight strikes.

Chile

At midnight, a spoonful of lentils is eaten for business success, negative energies are released by cleaning the house, and in some cities, mass visits are made to cemeteries to welcome the New Year with the deceased.

Peru

They have the Takanakuy festival, which means “boiling blood” because of the fights in the ring between friends mark this event. Although the fights are realistic and almost gladiatorial, they are extremely friendly. For them, it represents a fresh start to the New Year.

Colombia

To travel a lot in the coming year, Colombians walk around on New Year’s Eve with empty suitcases.

Scotland

It is crucial to the Scots who arrive on their doorstep first after the stroke of midnight because that person brings gifts in the form of bread, salt, coins, whiskey, or coal representing food, taste, warmth, well-being, and good mood.

New Zealand

New Zealanders love to ring in the New Year by banging pots and pans.

Sydney

From our Australian employees, we found out that on every New Year’s Eve, more than two million people in Sydney watch the fireworks over the Sydney Opera House, and then celebrate with “streams” of champagne, in the city squares or on the beach. The rumor is that this is the most magnificent view of the year! 

The Sydney fireworks are usually the first thing we see in the New Year’s news, the New Year arrives earlier for them than for us, and that’s because of the date limit.

Argentina

To attract new love, Argentinians enter the New Year wearing pink clothes, and in addition, they have the custom of stepping out with the right foot first at midnight.

New York

The raising of the crystal ball in Times Square in New York has already become a worldwide symbol of New Year’s celebrations, where the last seconds of the old year are counted down to the sounds of the recorded song “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra.

Guatemala

The custom of eating grapes on New Year’s Eve exists in Guatemala, so one grape is eaten every hour, from noon to midnight, and one wish is made with each grape.

Mexico

In Mexico, women must welcome the New Year in red clothes.

Do you want to share specific customs or stories from your country? Please feel free to share it with us! Send your story to marketing@arpinintl.com , perhaps your insights might help somebody who is about to make a final decision to move!

Leave a Replay

About The Author

Recent Posts

Follow Us

My Expat Moving Story

Sign up for our Newsletter

By clicking the button you agree to receive email from Arpin International Group and it’s associates.

Arpin International Group's experienced and knowledgeable employees guide our customers step by step through the moving process.

Make Every Day Exceptional!

By joining the team that is changing the world one move at a time.

Open positions: International Move Coordinator, Customer Service and Operations Support staff. Apply by uploading your cover letter with resume and earn a spot on the A-Team!

Please send PDF files only.

A rewarding career in international moving is just a few clicks away. When you work at Arpin, your experience everyday will be as unique as the families we move around the world.

  • Remote friendly
  • Global spread
  • Opportunities for advancement 
  • Multicultural
  • Family-owned for over 120+ years
Arpin International Group's employees arrange for international pet moving services for our customers.

We use cookies to personalize your experience. By using our website you agree to our Terms and conditions and Privacy Policy.

Get Your
Personal Quote