New Year's traditions around the world

New Year's traditions around the world remind us that every beginning is sacred and eternal. Our ancestors have celebrated it since ancient times. From Sumeria and the Saturnalia in Rome to Christian Christmas, the New Year has always brought with it a promise of prosperity.

Each country celebrates it in a different way, as it responds to the customs of each region. We present a summary here. With which do they identify?

Spain: eat the 12 grapes of good luck

The New Year in Spain is celebrated as a family with a good dinner, drink and the most important ritual: eating twelve grapes for good luck. Some begin to eat them to the rhythm of the chimes of the Puerta del Sol clock in Madrid, which many follow on television. Others go to the squares and there are those who prefer to stay at home with their relatives.

It is believed that the origin of this custom is linked to the manufacture of wine in the region and an overproduction of the fruit. The one that influenced the spread of the tradition to all Spanish homes at the beginning of the 20th century.

Greece: play on New Years Eve and hang an onion

The old night of the Greeks is accompanied by various rituals. Games, including cards or dice, because it is believed that winning augurs them a good year. Another custom is to serve bread with basil; one will have a coin hidden and whoever gets it will be lucky.

Of the most widespread and traditional is the onion that is hung from the front door to attract prosperity and resurgence in the New Year. Or the grenade, just behind the door, that a relative will throw to make it explode; spilled seeds will bode well.

Basil bread is part of the Greek traditions for the New Year, always linked to good fortune.

Japan: they prepare special dishes in the traditional washoku

The Japanese ring in the New Year by preparing various ornate delicacies to welcome the gods of the coming year. In ritual food or washoku They use natural and local ingredients, such as rice, fish, vegetables and edible wild plants, which are then served on special tableware.

Finland: casting horseshoes

A few minutes after January 1, they take horseshoes and put them on fire in a suitable frying pan. Once the tin horseshoe is melted, the liquid is cautiously thrown into a bucket of cold water. Depending on the form it takes when it cools, so will luck in the year that begins.

You may be interested in: 7 tips to not get fat this Christmas holidays

Denmark: jumping on a chair and breaking dishes

And when it comes to curious New Year traditions, the Danes are ahead of the game. The ritual consists of throwing dishes at the doors of the houses of friends and family at midnight. The complete tableware if possible, since the number of fragments is proportional to the good luck they wish to accompany them. Before that, they have jumped at exactly twelve o'clock on a chair to guarantee their own luck.

Russia: the grandfather of the cold hands out gifts

The night of December 31, the grandfather of the cold, Ded Moroz, visit homes with her granddaughter Snegurochka, the snow maiden. From an old and small city in the northwest of Russia he travels the vast country and, to wait for him, the Russians prepare with various activities.

The variety of foods is important because it represents abundance, as there is a belief that they will spend the following year as received.

Colombia: carry a suitcase to guarantee travel

In Colombia they go out for a suitcase to plan future trips in the New Year. It should be full, just as if the real journey were to be undertaken. In some places in the open air, while they are in the hubbub of the embrace, they burn a doll at midnight that represents the old year.

They also have customs of European influence. For example, from Spain, eating the twelve grapes for good luck. And from Italy the lentils to have plenty.

Christmas Island: the first to ring in the New Year

To the northwest of Australia, in the Pacific Ocean, there is an archipelago of about 5,000 inhabitants. There, on that coral island reservoir of animal life, the New Year will arrive earlier than in the whole world. How do you celebrate it? With fireworks, parties and masses in the villages.

Argentina: burn the old year

As in many Latin American cities, in Argentina the burning of the old year is a purifying ritual in which the entire community participates. For it to work and bring prosperity, the doll must be recharged with colors and symbolism. And when it burns, it must burn for a long time and explode loudly.

Fireworks are common in various countries to ring in the new year.

Cape Town, capital of South Africa, celebrates the second New Year

Cape Town residents celebrate January 2, the Tweede Nuwe Jaar, and they call it the 'second New Year'. That day they remember the feast that their slave grandparents were allowed, once the festivities of their masters had passed.

And in Johannesburg, South Africa's largest city, a strict clean slate is made at the New Year's party. They throw away old or disused furniture and objects on the street with the idea of ​​purifying and attracting prosperity.

See also: 8 things you should say goodbye to before starting the new year

India: as many New Years as there are great cultures

We have already seen that the end of the year is not just a calendar issue; it is cultural, religious and geographic. In India, for example, there are various New Year traditions. In Bengal it falls on April 15, the first day of the Bengali lunar calendar.

And in the second week also of April, the new Malabari year, known as vishu, takes place in Kerala. They consume the traditional sadya, served on a banana leaf. Elephants are adorned and local temples are scented with incense.

But the most widespread is the new diwali year, in the month of November. On this date the victory of light over darkness is celebrated, with candles and lanterns that cover the fascinating Hindu territory.

The winter solstice marks the difference from New Year's traditions

In the northern hemisphere, the winter solstice begins on December 21. The Christmas and New Year holidays are marked by this event that, in different cultures, represents a time of renewal and rebirth. Countries and regions under the influence of the solstice celebrate the end of the year in a similar way: pyrotechnics, ornate trees, colorful streets, and gifts.

Other regions and cultures come under the influence of the spring equinox, March 20-21, and the autumn equinox, September 21-22. At the end of the year festivities, in their variety and diversity, the seasons meet and contrast.