World-wide New Year Traditions

Here is Will and Guy’s collection of interesting traditions to start
the New Year.


The Top Twenty Funny, Fascinating, and Unusual World Wide Customs To
Celebrate New Year

  1. Baby New Year Tradition – The tradition of using a baby to signify
    the New Year was started around 600 BC by the ancient Greeks, who, at
    the start of a year would carry a baby around in a basket. The purpose
    of it was to honour Dionysus, the God of Fertility and symbolize his
    annual rebirth. This custom is still practised in parts of Greece.
  2. Hogmanay – The New Year in Scotland is called Hogmanay. Some
    people in Scotland follow a ritual that appears quite strange but it
    actually has a great significance. One can find barrels of tar set on
    fire and gradually rolled down the streets in the villages of
    Scotland. This ritual symbolizes that the old year is burned up and
    New Year is going to begin.
  3. Burning “Mr Old Year” – In Columbia, Cuba and Puerto Rico families
    stuff a life-size male doll with things and then they dress it up in
    old clothes donated from each family member.At the stroke of
    midnight, this “Mr Old Year” is set on fire. This is done with the
    simple belief that a doll thus stuffed have bad memories or sadness
    associated with them, and that the burning of these will help one to
    do away with past unhappiness and usher in happiness in life with the
    coming year.
  4. Eating Noodles – Late on the evening of December 31st , people
    from Japan might eat a bowl of buckwheat noodles called “toshikoshisoba”
    [year-crossing noodles] and listen for the sound of the Buddhist
    temple bells, which are rung 108 times at midnight.  The sound of
    these bells is said to purify the listeners of the 108 sins or evil
    passions that ‘plague every human being’.
  5. Eating 12 Grapes – In Spain people eat 12 grapes as the
    clock strikes midnight (one each time the clock chimes) on New Year’s
    Eve.This peculiar ritual originated in the 20th century when
    freak weather conditions resulted in an unseasonable bumper harvest of
    grapes. Not able to decide what to do about so many grapes at
    Christmas time, the King of Spain and the grape growers came up with
    the idea of the New Year ritual.
  6. Gifts in Shoes – In Greece children leave their shoes by the
    fireside on New Year’s Day, which, incidentally, is also the Festival
    of Saint Basil in Greece, with the hope that Saint Basil, who was
    famous for his kindness, will come and fill their shoes with gifts.
  7. Carrying a Suitcase – In Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, and
    Mexico, those with hopes of travelling in the New Year carry a
    suitcase around the house at midnight.  Some people may even
    carry it around the block to ensure travelling at greater distances.
  8. Burning Crackers – People in China believe that there are evil
    spirits that roam the earth. So on New Year they burn crackers to
    scare the evil spirits.The doors and windows of many homes in
    China can be seen sealed with paper.  This is to keep the evil
    demons out. See more Chinese
    New Year stories here.
  9. Foods – It was thought that one could affect the luck they
    would have throughout the coming year by what they did or ate on the
    first day of the year.It is still held, for example, in some
    regions that special New Year foods are the harbingers of luck. For
    that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year’s Day
    will bring good fortune. The hog, and its meat, is considered lucky
    because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another “good luck”
    vegetable that is consumed on New Year’s Day by many. Cabbage leaves
    are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of
    paper currency. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on
    New Year’s Day.

    The ancient Persians gave New Year’s gifts of
    eggs, which symbolized productiveness.

    Here is the second half of our
    World-wide New Year traditions.

    New Year Traditions

  10. American resolutions – We learn that 40% to 45% of American
    adults make one or more New Year’s resolutions each year.These range may from debt reduction to giving up bad habits. The most
    common resolutions appear to deal with weight loss, to exercise more
    and to giving up smoking.
  11. New York Times Square Celebrations – The first Ball lowering celebration
    atop One Times Square in the USA was held on December 31st , 1907 and
    is now a worldwide symbol of the turn of the New Year, seen via
    satellite by more than one billion people each year.The
    original New Year’s Eve Ball weighed 700 pounds and was 5 feet in
    diameter. It was made of iron and wood and was decorated with 100
    25-watt light bulbs.
  12. Black-eyed peas – Many parts of the USA celebrate the new year by
    consuming black-eyed peas. These legumes are typically accompanied by
    either hog jowls or ham. Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been
    considered good luck in many cultures.
  13. Rings – Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring
    is good luck, because it symbolizes “coming full circle,” or
    completing a year’s cycle.
  14. Wearing new slippers – In China, many people wear, in the new
    year, a new pair of slippers that were bought before the new year,
    because it suggests stepping on the people who gossip about you.
  15. Sealed doors and windows – During new year, the doors and windows
    of every home in China can be seen sealed with paper. The Chinese
    think that this will succeed in keep the evil demons out.
  16. Jewish New Year – is known as Rosh Hashanah. It is a holy time
    when Jews recall the things they have done wrong in the past, and then
    promise to do better in the future. Special services are held in the
    synagogues, children are given new clothes and New Year loaves are
    baked to remind people of harvest time.
    See here for more Rosh
    Hashanah jokes.  Also note the
    Jewish festival of Hanukkah
    which occurs each December.
  17. Japanese New Year – On New Year’s Day in Japan, everyone
    gets dressed in their new clothes. Homes are decorated with pine
    branches and bamboo, both of which are considered to be the symbols of
    long life.
  18. New Love – Apparently, in Mexico, wearing red underwear on New
    Year’s Eve is said to bring new love in the upcoming year.
  19. First city to celebrate – Sydney, Australia, hosts the first major
    New Year’s Eve celebration each year.
  20. “Auld Lang Syne” was written by
    Robert Burns in 1741
    and literally means ‘old long since,’ or ‘days gone by.’ This song is
    traditionally sung in many countries at midnight on January 1st ,
    signalling the beginning of the New Year. See here for the words:
    Please send
    Will and Guy details of your traditional New Year celebration so we
    may add it to our list.

Here are the lyrics:
however, many people seem to remember only the first

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days
of auld lang syne?
And here’s a hand, my trusty friend
And gie’s a hand o’ thine
We’ll tak’A cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

Will and Guy’s
Recommended Recipe for New Year

Take twelve, fine, full-grown months, see that these are thoroughly
free from all old memories of bitterness, rancour, hate and jealousy;
cleanse them completely from every clinging spite: pick off all specks of
pettiness and littleness.

In summary, ensure that these months are freed from all the past; have
them as fresh and clean as when they first came from the great storehouse
of Time.

Cut these months into thirty or thirty-one equal parts. This batch will
keep for just one year.

Do not attempt to make up the whole batch at one time but prepare one
day at a time, as follows:

Into each day put twelve parts of faith, eleven of patience, ten of
courage, nine of work, eight of hope, seven of fidelity, six of
liberality, five of kindness, four of rest three of prayer, two of
meditation, and one well selected resolution.

Vigorously add in a teaspoonful of good spirits, a dash of fun, a pinch
of folly, a sprinkling of play, and a heaped cupful of good humour.

Mix well and cook thoroughly in an honest heat; garnish with a few
smiles and add a sprig of joy; then serve with quietness, unselfishness,
and cheerfulness, and Will and Guy guarantee that a Happy New Year will be

Mari Lwyd TraditionMari Lwyd - New Year Tradition

The tradition of the Mari Lwyd
(Grey Mare) is unique to Wales.
What happened on or around New Year’s Eve was this, a group of friends would dress up in costume with the star attraction being a real horse’s head.  What distinguishes the Mari Lwyd celebrations from other types of New Year
merriment is that the revellers challenge house-holders to a singing contest in Welsh.  In a nutshell the Mari Lwyd tradition is wassail singing par excellence, with mummer animal head costumes,
coupled with trick-or-treat menace.

Year Tradition: Time to Diet

New Year Diet

Well, well.  It seems that your weight is perfect.  It just happens that
you are eleven feet too short.  See also Women’s parts.

Dieting – New Year Resolutions

2007: I will get my weight down below 180 pounds.
2008: I will
follow my new diet religiously until I get below 200 pounds.
I will develop a realistic attitude about my weight.
2010: I will
work out 3 days a week.
2011: I will try to drive past a gym at
least once a week.

A New Year’s Wish

On New Year’s Eve, Marilyn stood up in the local pub and said that it
was time to get ready. At the stroke of midnight, she wanted every husband
to be standing next to the one person who made his life worth living.

Well, it was kind of embarrassing.  As the clock struck – the
bartender was almost crushed to death.

New Year’s Day Quotes

  • New Year’s Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular
    annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them
    as usual.
    Mark Twain
  • One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To
    rise above the little things.
    John Burroughs
  • Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where
    they have no account.
    Oscar Wilde

Ring out the old, ring in the new

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the
Alfred, Lord Tennyson. (1849 –> 50)

How To Say ‘Happy New Year’ in Any Country


Happy New Year

Afrikaans Gelukkige nuwe jaar
Arabic Sana Sa-eeda
Bengali Shuvo Nabo Barsho
CambodianSoursdey Chhnam Tmei
Catalan Feliç Any Nou
Chinese (Mandarin)Xin Nian Kuai Le  謹 賀 新 年
Croatian Sretna Nova godina
Danish Godt Nytår
Dutch Gelukkig Nieuwjaar
Eskimo Kiortame pivdluaritlo
EsperantoFelican Novan Jaron
Finnish Onnellista Uutta Vuotta
French Bonne Année
Gaelic Bliadhna mhath ur
German Prosit Neujahr
Greek Kenourios Chronos
Hawaiian Hauoli Makahiki Hou
Hebrew L’Shannah Tovah
Hindi Naye Varsha Ki Shubhkamanyen
Hong Kong Sun Leen Fai Lok
Hungarian Boldog Ooy Ayvet
Indonesian Selamat Tahun Baru
Iranian Saleh now mobarak
Iraqi Sanah Jadidah
Irish Bliain nua fe mhaise dhuit
Italian Felice anno nuovo
IcelandicFarsælt komandi ár
Japanese Akimashite Omedetto Gozaimasu
Korean Saehae Bock Mani ba deu sei yo
Kurdish Newroz Pirozbe
Latvian Laimīgo Jauno Gadu!
Lithuanian Laimingu Naujuju Metu
Maltese Is Senat Tajba
Nepal Nawa Barsha ko Shuvakamana
Norwegian Godt Nyttår
Papua New Guinea Nupela yia i go long yu
Persian Saleh now ra tabrik migouyam
Philippines Manigong Bagong Taon
Polish  Szczesliwego Nowego Roku
Portuguese Feliz Ano Novo
Punjabi Nave sal di mubarak
Romanian An Nou Fericit
Russian С Новым Годом (S Novim Godom)
Samoa Manuia le Tausaga Fou
Serbo-CroatianSretna nova godina
Slovak A stastlivy Novy Rok
Slovenian Sreèno novo leto
Somali Iyo Sanad Cusub Oo Fiican
Spanish Féliz Año Nuevo
Swahili Heri Za Mwaka Mpyaº
Swedish Gott nytt år!
Sudanese Warsa Enggal
Tamil Eniya Puthandu Nalvazhthukkal
Thai Sawadee Pee Mai
Turkish Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Ukrainian С Новым Годом Z novym rokom
Urdu Naya Saal Mubbarak Ho
Vietnamese Chuc Mung Tan Nien
Welsh Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

Please write to Will and Guy with your
world-wide New Year customs and traditions.

See more New Year jokes and funny pictures:

• New Year
New Year Jokes
• Traditions
• Funny New
Year Resolutions
• Key Questions

• Chinese
New Year Jokes
• Chinese
New Year Stories    •
New Year quotes
• Mari Lwyd

• Happy New Year different languages

Chinese New Year Masks    • World-wide New Year