13 New Year’s Eve Traditions from Around the World

From the Spanish tradition of eating 12 grapes as the clock strikes midnight to the Greek custom of smashing a pomegranate on the floor for good luck, check out the various ways in which the New Year is rung in with food around the world.

1.Scotland

In Scotland, New Year’s Eve — also called “Hogmanay” — is celebrated by giving gifts of shortbread to friends and neighbours.

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2.Peru

In Peru, traditional belief holds that you can foretell the financial future of the new year by using a potato. Three potatoes are placed under a chair or couch — one unpeeled, one peeled and one half-peeled — with one potato selected at random exactly at midnight. Picking a peeled potato signifies a year with no money, a half-peeled potato means you can expect a typical year, while an unpeeled potato predicts a monetary windfall.

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3.The American South

In the American South, black-eyed peas are typically eaten on New Year’s Day in the belief that consuming them will bring luck in the new year.

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4.Holland

Dutch tradition holds that eating any ring-shaped treat (such as a doughnut) symbolises coming full circle, which will lead to good fortune in the year to come.

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5.Greece

When the clock strikes midnight in Greece, you should smash a pomegranate on the floor right in front of the door, breaking it open and revealing its seeds. The seeds symbolise prosperity and good luck; the more seeds you see, the more luck you’ll have.

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6.Spain

As the clock chimes 12 times at midnight in Spain and Portugal, it’s believed that eating 12 grapes (symbolizing the 12 months of the year) will bring good luck, with one grape consumed at the precise moment of each chime.

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7.Bolivia

In Bolivia, coins are baked into cakes and pastries, and it’s believed the person receiving the coins once the cake is cut up will enjoy prosperity in the coming year.

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8.Switzerland

In Swiss homes, whipped cream or ice cream is eaten (which are meant to symbolize the richness of the coming year), with a small dollop dropped on the floor and allowed to remain there.

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9.France

On New Year’s Eve, the French celebrate with a special feast, called Le Réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre, featuring traditional dishes such as pancakes and foie gras along with champagne, with this meal believed to bring prosperity and good luck all who attend the feast.

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10.Russia

A Russian New Year’s custom is to write down a wish for the coming year on a piece of paper, then burn the paper and place the ashes in a glass of champagne. In order for the wish to come true, the champagne must be guzzled with before the New Year is rung in.

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11.Estonia

Estonians eat seven meals on New Year’s Eve, a superstition that is believed to ensure an abundance of food in the coming year.

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12.Ireland

An ancient Irish tradition is to bang loaves of bread on the walls of the house in order to chase away evil spirits and invite good spirits in for the year to come.

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13.Chile

Chileans eat lentils when the clock strikes midnight, believing that eating them will usher in a prosperous new year.

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Source: food network

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