There are many New Year’s traditions understood by most people. However, there are also many strange traditions as well.

As the new year approaches, we get ready to honor family New Year’s traditions. For most people, these traditions are simple and exciting.

There are other traditions that seem a bit odd, however, but observed none-the-less. These curious traditions are memorable and perfect subjects to talk about during the Christmas holidays.

Curious New Years traditions

Some of you may only celebrate the new year by attending a party or staying up all night to count down the minutes until the new year. Other people around the world may celebrate New Year’s traditions in a whole other way. Here are a few of the strangest New Year’s traditions that will probably be celebrated again this coming year.

1. Twelve grapes in Spain

Since the year 1909, when the grape harvest was flourishing, citizens of Spain have celebrated the new year by eating 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. Twelve, it seems, is a symbolic number that brings good luck for the new year. Grapes are enjoyed either alone or with a glass of champagne.

2. Colorful underwear in South America

What color underwear you’re wearing on the New Year comes will determine your fortune. For instance, red underwear means you will find love, so those who wear this color believe that love resides in the new year. Green signifies money that will come, and white reveals a peaceful new year.

3. Fist fighting in Peru

If you want to take New Year’s traditions to the extreme, then Peru has a curious solution to that. In some parts of Peru, the new year is started off with a fight between rivals. This fight signifies a new start and settled differences.

It is a tradition that may have come from the ancient legend of promising the Gods that all debts would be paid.

4. Ringing 108 bells in Japan

The New Year’s tradition in Japan revolves around bells. Aligned with Buddhist beliefs, the Japanese must ring 108 bells as a symbol of a new start to the year. They also believe that smiling into the new year is also important as a symbol of coming happiness.

5. Graveside in Chile

There’s one tradition that may seem morbid to some people. To others, this tradition is comforting. Citizens of Chile sleep next to the graves of loved ones to bring in the new year.

This could be seen as a way to retain the remembrance of their loved ones as another year passes without them.

6. Spiritual warfare in Ireland

During New Year’s Eve, the Irish celebrate by throwing bread against the wall. Umm….sounds really strange, doesn’t it? Well, apparently, this bread throwing event is used to ward off evil spirits.

7. Drastic renovations in South Africa

When the new year comes, people in South Africa decide to make a drastic change in their homes. No, they don’t make silly resolutions. They go a bit further than that.

They actually throw old furniture out their windows. Talk about making a new start with home renovations!

8. Pancakes in France

The French ring in the new year by eating stacks of scrumptious pancakes. Now, be honest with yourself, this is about one of the best ways to start a new and yummy new year! Caution: as long as you don’t eat too much and spend the first day with a tummy ache.

9. Lentils in Italy

Although not quite as tasty in my opinion, eating lentils in Italy is believed to bring good luck. Apparently, even Romans gave legumes to be exchanged for gold coins. Yes, lentils and other legumes bring fortune, so they are well worth the meal.

Side note: I might want to mention that in the U.S. we eat black-eyed peas and hog jowls….just saying.

10. Jogging to see friends in London

At the chime of the new year, Londoners see who can reach their destination first. Starting on the first hour of the new year, Londoners everywhere will be jogging to the homes of their friends and family as a symbol of being the first bearer of good fortune.

11. Eating and eating in Estonia

According to most health and nutrition rules, you are supposed to have 6 small meals a day. In Estonia, on New years day, seven meals are required. The consumption of these meals symbolizes strength for the new year. Careful once again, you wouldn’t want to overeat.

12. Desert treasures in Bolivia

If it wasn’t weird enough to find miniature baby replicas in King cakes during Mardi Gras in New Orleans, now you can find gold coins in your other deserts in Bolivia.

It’s true, this New Year’s tradition brings great fortune to those who find coins in their cakes or other confections.

Happy New Year!

So, what are your own personal New Year’s traditions and resolutions? I think the most important thing we should remember, whether we enjoy curious traditions or not, is that the New Year symbolizes a second chance. If this past year hasn’t been your best, now’s the chance to change that.

I wish you Happy Holidays during this joyous season! Be happy and be safe!



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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Evelyne Faure

    Hi !
    I am a French lady, book publisher, found of traditions,
    and I can assure you it is the first time I hear about “eating stacks of scrumptious pancakes“ for new year’s eve !
    I hope your other informations are more accurate 😉
    Happy new year to all of you !
    Evelyne Faure

    1. Sherrie

      Oh Evelyne, I hope the information is correct as well. I did find this in several sources, but please feel free to correct me on anything that proves false. Thank you so much for your feedback. Happy New Year to you too!

  2. D. J. Nelson

    “Side note: I might want to mention that in the U.S. we eat black-eyed peas and hog jowls….just saying.”

    Actually, that applies only to a very small portion of the Southern United States! The rest of the United States welcomes in the New Year with a Champaign toast…. Just saying

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