New Year traditions, or How the New Year is celebrated in different countries of the world


Every cor­ner of the world cel­e­brates the New Year in its own way. This year, of course, we will be unit­ed by the obser­vance of mea­sures to com­bat the pan­dem­ic, but still the cel­e­bra­tion itself will be dif­fer­ent. We talk about the most inter­est­ing New Year tra­di­tions from dif­fer­ent coun­tries.

how to celebrate the new year in different countries of the world

Write a wish for the next year on a small piece of paper, quick­ly burn it, throw the ash­es into cham­pagne and drink to the bot­tom under the chim­ing clock — this tra­di­tion is famil­iar to all of us, whether we adhere to it or not, because it is already an inte­gral part of our cul­ture. What tra­di­tions are fol­lowed in oth­er coun­tries?

We have select­ed five coun­tries with inter­est­ing and unusu­al New Year tra­di­tions. After such adven­tures, the desire for the New Year will not be for­got­ten, which means that it will cer­tain­ly come true.

New Year traditions

New Year in the USA

Every year, tens of thou­sands of peo­ple gath­er in Times Square in New York and wait for the ball to fall from a height of 23 meters, which sym­bol­izes the begin­ning of the New Year. At this moment, you should def­i­nite­ly kiss some­one, even if you came to the square alone, even if you are at home with loved ones and watch­ing the cel­e­bra­tion in Times Square on TV.

New Year in the USA

New Year’s wish­es are pre­pared in advance in the form of fill­ing out a form with a wish on a spe­cial web­site. Each wish falls on a piece of paper and then show­ers the heads of the assem­bled crowd in the cen­ter of New York among thou­sands of oth­er con­fet­ti (also called Wish­fet­ti! or wish con­fet­ti).

View gallery

San­ta, of course, is a good helper, but mix­ing your desires with the dreams of oth­er peo­ple from all over the plan­et is def­i­nite­ly worth a try at least once in your life. From 11:00 to 20:00 at Duffy Square until Decem­ber 28 (not count­ing Decem­ber 25), you can tra­di­tion­al­ly write a wish by hand. If you can’t phys­i­cal­ly become a part of this mag­i­cal night in Times Square, write about your dream on Twit­ter or Insta­gram with the hash­tag #con­fet­ti­wish — and it will also fall into this water­fall of wish­es.

Wishfetti!  in New York

New Year Traditions in Thailand

Tra­di­tion­al New Year, Songkran, Thais cel­e­brate on April 13th. On the day of love and respect, locals pour water over each oth­er while shout­ing “Sawas­dee pi mai!” (Hap­py New Year!) from bot­tles, hoses, water guns and oth­er con­tain­ers filled with water. Sea waves, streams of a water­fall, drops of run­ning water — all this, in the view of East­ern cul­ture, is the ener­gy of the most pow­er­ful ele­ment that can ful­fill any desire.

New Year Traditions in Thailand

Since 1940, the Euro­pean New Year has also been cel­e­brat­ed in Thai­land. For most locals, this is an ordi­nary day of the week with­out any offi­cial hol­i­day, and the atmos­phere is cre­at­ed main­ly by tourists: shows, dis­cos, fire­works and noisy fes­tiv­i­ties.

New Year in Thailand

If you came to Thai­land for the whole of Jan­u­ary, then you can prob­a­bly catch the third New Year that the Thais cel­e­brate — Chi­nese. Lions, snakes, drag­ons, fires and fire­crack­ers dur­ing spec­tac­u­lar and bright parades — this is how, accord­ing to Chi­nese tra­di­tions, they dri­ve away evil spir­its. Mon­ey is usu­al­ly giv­en in yel­low and red envelopes for this New Year, and no mat­ter what you doubt or be mod­est when accept­ing mon­ey, it is impor­tant to remem­ber that you can­not refuse a gift here — they will per­ceive it as an insult.

Thai New Year

New Year in French

Accord­ing to French New Year’s tra­di­tions, all hap­pi­ness goes to the one who finds a small bean in the pie. For the rest, a lit­tle encour­age­ment: a cher­ry — for a fate­ful meet­ing and love; a coin — of course, to wealth.

Don’t be upset if you didn’t get a bean, a cher­ry, or a coin, because the local San­ta, the French Per Noel, a rather sec­u­lar char­ac­ter, but loved by the French and reli­able in deliv­er­ing presents, will pro­vide you with a gift.

New Year in Paris

In 1962, the Min­is­ter of Posts and Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions of France estab­lished a sep­a­rate sec­re­tari­at (five years lat­er he was trans­ferred to Libourne) — the only post office that has the right to open let­ters to Per-Noel and answer them is still work­ing. If you do not con­sid­er reg­u­lar mail reli­able enough to deliv­er your wish­es, then send an email on a spe­cial site.

New Year in Paris
European New Year

New Year’s Eve in Bulgaria

Inter­est­ing New Year tra­di­tions are wait­ing for you not only in dis­tant coun­tries, but also in neigh­bor­ing coun­tries. Name­ly, in Bul­gar­ia, because the New Year here is a large-scale fam­i­ly cel­e­bra­tion. First, the chil­dren sing folk songs at the Christ­mas tree, then the feast begins (the more food, the more hap­pi­ness there will be in the new year). After­ward, the younger mem­bers of the fam­i­ly run around the neigh­bors with dog­wood sticks dec­o­rat­ed with red threads, heads of gar­lic, nuts, coins and prunes. Such sticks are called “sur­vach­ki”. If some child hits you on the back with such a dog­wood stick, do not rush to swear — he is “sur­viv­ing”, that is, he calls good luck, health and pros­per­i­ty to your house for the whole next year.

New Year Traditions in Bulgaria

Anoth­er way to get a pre­dic­tion and stock up on suc­cess for the whole year is to choose the right piece of ban­it­sa (puff pas­try with cheese) with a note baked inside, or find a coin hid­den in a loaf of bread.

Mid­night is the fun part. For three min­utes, the Bul­gar­i­ans turn off the light — in com­plete dark­ness, you need to find and give a kiss to your com­pan­ion or poten­tial lover. The wish will sure­ly come true if you kiss the right per­son, but the lucky one is the one who finds San­ta Claus, or “Uncle Mraz” in Bul­gar­i­an — then your hap­pi­ness will last for­ev­er.

New Year in Bulgaria

Georgia in the New Year

Any toast raised at the Geor­gian table auto­mat­i­cal­ly comes true — such a fer­tile land and a strong faith in tra­di­tion. On the eve of Christ­mas and New Year, Geor­gia becomes even more hos­pitable than usu­al, and a “snow grand­fa­ther” descends from the high-moun­tain­ous vil­lage of Ushguli — in east­ern Geor­gia it is called “Tovlis papa”, and in west­ern Geor­gia — “Tovlis babua”.

Georgian traditions for the New Year

An old man with a long gray beard, dressed in a tra­di­tion­al black or white chokha with a white naba­di cloak and a papana­ki, a light-coloured sheep­skin hat. He brings gifts in a huge bag of “khurzhi­ni” dec­o­rat­ed with bells — churchkhela, goz­i­na­ki, dried per­sim­mon and oth­er sweets.

After the hol­i­days, accord­ing to tra­di­tion, you need to burn “chichi­la­ki” — the Geor­gian ver­sion of the Christ­mas tree: a white tree made of hazel branch­es, dec­o­rat­ed with berries. Accord­ing to the leg­end, the scat­tered ash­es will take away all the trou­bles of the out­go­ing year and open the way to a bright and beau­ti­ful future.

New Year in Georgia

What New Year tra­di­tions do you know? And what unusu­al New Year’s cel­e­bra­tion have you man­aged to vis­it in your whole life?

Relat­ed Arti­cles

The opin­ion of the edi­tors may not coin­cide with the opin­ion of the author of the arti­cle.


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