Happy New Year

family enjoying and celebrating the New Year with these new year's eve traditions
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25 New Year's Eve Traditions To Celebrate New Beginnings

Pomegranate breaking, anyone?

In a season with so many celebrations, New Year’s Eve is your chance to rejoice in the knowledge that the year is almost over. After all, by this point, you’re probably so tired from all the former festivities that you just want some snacks and a solid nap. But then, the New Year whispers to you, and it’s almost impossible to not get sucked into its siren song. Without even meaning to, you suddenly become excited at the idea of a fresh start and a year that always loftily promises to be better than the one you’re leaving behind. And what better way to start it all off than with New Year’s Eve traditions that will make the holiday even happier for you and your family?

The lovely thing about New Year’s Eve traditions is that they don’t have to be gorgeous and grandiose. They can be quiet, like making that special meal you eat only once a year. It can be everyone wearing a certain color to bring good luck or starting the year off in meditation and mindfulness. But big and brash is certainly fun, too, and if you want to put on your finest frock and break out the noisemakers, by all means, have a blast. It’s all up to you to decide how you want to welcome the New Year and what tone you want it all to take.

So if you’re looking for classic traditions, or inspiration from around the world (like smashing plates at your BFF’s doorstep), you’ll find plenty of ideas to make your New Year magical.

Classic New Year’s Eve traditions

When it comes to celebrating New Year’s Eve, you just can’t beat a ball drop and some tasty snacks. Be sure to include some of these ideas to celebrate in style.

  • Make New Year’s resolutions. Have some hopes and dreams for the New Year? Writing down your resolutions is like making one master wish list of everything that you’d like to accomplish next year. To avoid burnout (and breaking your resolutions within the first week), try to go slow and steady so that you’ll accomplish everything your heart desires.
  • Eat New Year’s foods. This can look different from country to country, culture to culture, and even family to family. But almost everyone has something special that they like to dine on for New Year’s. (In the Southern United States, for example, Hoppin’ John — a meal of black-eyed peas, bacon, and rice is the New Year’s Day meal.) For some, it might be an assortment of apps, and for others, it could be a sweet treat. Bonus points if you make the meal together as a family.
  • Drink/toast. Sure, the drinks might be flowing on New Year’s Eve, and more often than not, they’re of the adult beverage variety. Get out your finest wine or champagne glasses and ring in the New Year with a toast. And so the kids don’t feel left out, they can have grape juice or a mocktail, too.
  • Make some noise. Cheap plastic noisemakers are often the preferred instrument of choice when it comes to getting the party started. You can find them almost anywhere, and many will come with some cute cardboard crowns, too.
  • Give a gift. If you thought that the gift-giving season was over, think again. You can present your child or partner with a thoughtful gift for the New Year; it might be a journal to write down their feelings and frustrations, or something sweet for lovely days ahead.
  • Kiss at midnight. Smooching is synonymous with New Year’s. Be ready to pucker up and plant one on somebody when the clock strikes twelve. It might be your significant other, a family member, or even a kiss on your kid’s head.
  • Sing “Auld Lang Syne.” It’s the song everyone sings — yet no one really knows what it means. This year, try to learn the whole song (beyond those infamous first four lines, that is), and drink a cup of kindness while you’re at it.
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New Year’s Eve traditions for good luck

Who couldn’t use a little good luck for the New Year? You might want to try some of these good luck traditions that are meant to bring prosperity and happiness to your home.

  • Make fish. Food factors into many New Year’s Eve traditions, probably because it implies abundance for the upcoming year. At the top of the ingredient list is fish, most likely because fish swim forward, offering a reminder to always look ahead in life — and never backwards.
  • Open windows and doors. There’s nothing like a clean sweep of your house to make things feel fresh and new. That’s probably why many people like to open up all the doors and windows of their homes, long though to let out bad energy and welcome in good luck.
  • Eat long food. Want to live a long life? Eat long food. That’s a good luck tradition in Japan, where the custom is to eat long noodles for longevity.
  • Wear yellow. Lucky colors might change from year to year, but one always seems to remain consistent: yellow. Many people wear yellow (from gold bracelets right down to yellow undies) as a symbol of good luck for the New Year.
  • Stock up on food and money. It’s not a shocker that having a pantry full of food and cash on hand is a good idea for the New Year. Sure, it might represent abundance, but it also means you won’t have to hunt down an open supermarket on New Year’s Day, either.

Traditions from around the world

Ever wonder what your neighbors across the pond (or down under) are doing for New Year’s Eve? From Spain to Singapore, Ecuador to Argentina, these New Year’s Eve traditions from around the globe are pretty cool.

  • Eat 12 white grapes. In Spain and many other Spanish-speaking countries, eating 12 grapes at midnight is customary. Each grape symbolizes a wish for the New Year. But be prepared to eat them quickly, since you’re supposed to gobble them all up during the first minute of the New Year.
  • Smash some pomegranates. To have an abundant New Year, people in Turkey will take a pomegranate and smash it on their doorstep. The thought is that if the pieces fly as far as possible, you’ll be very prosperous.
  • Don’t wash your hair. Greasy hair is never a good thing, unless it’s New Year’s. Koreans believe that washing your hair on New Year’s will also wash away good luck and fortune. So skip the shampoo, and wash your locks on January 2 instead.
  • Bang Christmas bread on the walls. You probably never encourage your kids to play with their food — unless it’s New Year’s in Ireland. The belief is that by banging Christmas bread on the walls, you’ll get rid of bad spirits.
  • Eat ring-shaped foods. What you eat on New Year’s is almost equally as important as the shape of the food you serve. In many countries, lik France, Italy, and Denmark, for example, people prefer to eat ring-shaped cakes on New Year’s.
  • Wear polka dots. For New Year’s, you might want to wear an Insta-worthy outfit, and if you’re in the Philippines, that frock is definitely going to be covered in polka dots, which is considered to bring good luck and prosperity.
  • Eat beans to get a job. They’re full of fiber and heart healthy — and they can also get you the career of your dreams. At least, in Argentina, the tradition of eating beans on New Year’s Eve is thought to help you land a great job in the New Year.
  • Wear white and jump seven waves. On New Year’s Eve, Brazilians head to the beach to frolic on the sand and jump in the water. That’s right, if you jump over seven waves to ring in the New Year, you’ll have good luck all year long.
  • Break plates. Although Greece might have the market on dish breaking, Denmark isn’t too far behind. On New Year’s, the Danish will visit friends and family members’ homes — and smash dishes on their doorsteps. It’s a sign of good fortune if you have a lot of broken cups and plates, since it means you’ll have a lot of friends… and more mess to clean up.
  • Place mistletoe under your pillow. In Ireland, if you’re single and looking to find your partner in the New Year, leave mistletoe, holly, or ivy under your pillow. You’ll not only have sweet dreams, but you’ll dream of your future partner, too.
  • Add ashes to your champagne. Have a dream? Write it down on a piece of paper, burn it with a candle, and then add the ashes to your champagne and drink it at midnight. At least, that’s how it’s done in Russia, where this long-held New Year’s Eve tradition is still practiced today.
  • Hang onions on your door. No, it’s not meant to keep Dracula away, but the Greek practice of hanging bundles of onions on their doors is an age-old ritual. Onions symbolize fertility, good health, and growth for all members of the household.
  • Grab suitcases and run around the house. In many Spanish-speaking countries, people will grab empty suitcases and run around their home (or the block) carrying them so that they can travel more in the New Year.

Whether you stick to your tried-and-true New Year’s Eve traditions or decide to start something new, it’s sure to be something that your family will want to celebrate every year.