New Year's Good Luck Traditions Around The World

The new year is the perfect time for a fresh start. People engage in a lot of different, unique and sometimes considered weird, activities to ensure that their new beginning starts off right. Even non-superstitious people secretly participate.


If you chose to spend the holidays in Denmark, don't be surprised if you see a lot of broken plates and dishes at the doorsteps of people's houses on January 1. Old unused dishes are saved year round to throw and break at the stroke of midnight for good luck.


This is a very old tradition. Single women put mistletoe leaves under their pillows hoping to find love in the upcoming year. It is also believed that this will make them see their future partners in their dreams. A way for the Irish to chase away bad luck in the new year is to band the walls of the house with bread.


Burning photographs taken during the year and scarecrows filled with paper at the stroke of midnight is believed to bring good luck in Ecuador. This symbolizes the cleansing of the bad from the previous 12 months before the new year starts. Some people even jump over the flames 12 times.


Spaniards' tradition should be no problem for you if you like grapes. It's very important that they eat 12 grapes in the first 12 seconds of the new year – one for each stroke of midnight. The 12 grapes are also meant to symbolize 12 lucky months ahead.


Argentines make sure they step forward with their right foot as soon as it's midnight. This is a ritual step that is supposed to help people start the new year right. This should be easy to remember: Right foot for the right way.


Some people in Germany rub chimney ashes on their forehead for good luck. Another widespread tradition is to tell people's fortune by dropping molten lead into cold water. Depending on what shape it takes, the new year will bring love (heart) or hardship (anchor).


If you want to ensure you will travel lot in 2017, run around your house with empty suitcases as fast as you can. Colombians also eat 12 grapes at midnight. Another popular tradition is eating lentils and rice on New Year's Eve to make sure the new year will be one of lavishness.


Greeks spend the days during Christmas and New Year gambling. December 31 is prime time for people to try their luck. Even houses and cars have been lost over a card game or the throw of a dice. Don't be surprised if you are in Greece this time of the year and you walk into a café to see people sitting around card tables.


If you are not sure what to wear on New Year's Eve, wear white. You can put on clothes in other colors, too, but white should be the predominant one. It symbolizes peace and a fresh start. Another good luck tradition is to jump seven waves – one for each day of the week.


New Year is one of the most important holidays in Russia. People take it very seriously. Even people who are not superstitious participate. If you want your wish to come true, write it down on a piece of paper as soon as the clock strikes at midnight. Burn the paper right away and mix the ashes with your champagne. Drink up!


Locals wear yellow underwear for good luck and fortune. Some people choose to wear red underwear, which is believed to bring love in the coming year.


Dinner on New Year's Eve is an important custom in Austria. It is prominently planned and based on the core of pig, which is considered to be a symbol of good luck. Apart from the special dish of suckling pig, various other food items and ingredients such as cookies, chocolates, maple sugar, fudge, and marzipan are prepared in the shape of a pig.

The Philippines

Everything should be round on New Year's Eve. The round shape symbolized coins (money), which is why this custom is believed to bring wealth in the year ahead. There have to be 13 different round fruits for each month of the year, plus one. Thirteen is considered a lucky number.


In China many people paint the front doors of their houses red. They believe that this symbolizes good fortune and happiness. New Year couplets are also pasted on doors, China Highlights explains. "On the couplets, good wishes or statements are expressed."


The promise of a fresh start in Turkey begins with opening your front door and sprinkling salt on the doorstep as the bells ring in the New Year. Another tradition involves smashing a pomegranate on your front door at midnight.


In Bolivia if you want a new year full of happiness and money you wear bright yellow underwear on New Year's Eve. Red underwear for love, green for prosperity and white for peace and hope.


Every Italian will be wearing red underwear on New Year's Eve to welcome in the New Year. They believe doing this will keep the negative energy away and bring them good luck, love and prosperity.

The Netherlands

The Dutch traditionally burn bonfires of Christmas trees and let off fireworks to drive away the spirit of the old and welcome the new year. Eating donuts on New Year's Day is another way they ensure good fortune.


In Switzerland many people believe that dropping a dollop of cream on the floor on New Year's day will bring them luck. They also take part in the tradition of dressing up in costumes; this chases evil energy away and brings good spirits into people's lives.

Puerto Rico

At midnight Puerto Ricans welcome the New Year by throwing pails of water out of their windows. They believe that this chases away evil spirits. Another tradition is sprinkling sugar outside of their homes for good luck.


In Portugal it is a tradition to keep money in your pocket on New Year's Eve for a wealthy upcoming year. They also eat 12 raisins at midnight, as the clock chimes 12 times; this symbolizes the 12 months of the year and guarantees a happy coming year.


Bonfires are lit on New Year's Eve to chase away evil forces in Iceland. At midnight they take part in a unique tradition in which they enter their house through the front door and exit out the back door for good luck.


In Peru people are encouraged to settle their differences. A small village believes that it is important to confront social tensions and let out pent up aggression. They participate in fist fights to settle old conflicts. This way they can start new year off on a clean slate.


New Year's Day is also known as St. Vasile's Day in Romania. Locals believe it is important to start the New Year off on a positive note by throwing spare coins into a river for good luck.


The people in Poland believe that no one should be lonely on New Year's Day. One of their most important traditions is smudging doorknobs and windows of their house with tar to drive out the old year and welcome the new year. They also eat salted cod and herring, washed down with vodka, for a long life.