Travel December 23, 2019
New Year Traditions Around the World

New Year Traditions Around the World

As the new year arrives around the globe, it is time to say goodbye to old habits. People start to think about New Year’s resolutions and review the wonderful year with all its ups and downs. In this blogpost today, we would like to share some New Year’s traditions with you that might inspire you on how to start in the new decade freshly!

The most popular traditions in Colombia for New Year

Colombians have a lot of traditions to help them say goodbye to the year past and welcome the new year in the best way possible. Are you after money, happiness or travel? Whatever your New Year’s resolution, Columbia has you covered! So grab your beans, pack your suitcase and check out how to prepare for the year ahead like a real Colombian:

Yellow underwear

On December 31st almost everyone wears their yellow underwear. Babies, children, teenagers, adults, grandparents. Wearing these yellow clothes will allow them to have a year full of prosperity and happiness.

Carry money in your pocket or wallet.

Receiving the new year without money in your wallet, or in your pocket, should not be a habit. It is said that receiving the new year with money will ensure continued wealth in the year ahead.

Lentils, beans or Garbanzos.

Many people wait for midnight on the first of January with a lot of lentils, beans or garbanzos in their pockets. The intention of this is to have a year full of economic, spiritual, emotional prosperity.

Walk with a suitcase throughout the street.

When the bell tolls at midnight you will usually see many people running through the streets with suitcases. This practice is carried out with the clear intention of having a year full of travel.


Yes, you read that right, potatoes. The idea of this tradition is to have three potatoes under the bed. One potato must be completely peeled, another must be half peeled and the other must be unpeeled. On the first of January, one of the potatoes is randomly picked and the chosen tuber will determine if the year will have a good (peeled), regular (half-peeled), or bad economy (unpeeled). 

Twelve grapes

At twelve o’clock at night, Colombians eat twelve grapes, with each grape, they must make a wish for the coming year.

Climbing stairs

Climbing stairs on December 31, is a very metaphorical practice to reach promotions in all aspects of life during the new year.

New Year’s Eve in Spain

Are you thinking about spending the last day of the year in Spain? Don ́t miss out these tips to feel like a real Spaniard during that day!

Wear red underwear

You can spend weeks and weeks planning your New Year’s outfit, but that’s not what matters in Spain. As it is said, “it’s all about the inside”! If you want to have a lucky 2020, you need to wear red underwear.

10, 9, 8, 7… grapes!

To close New Year’s Eve there is a tradition in Spain that you shouldn’t miss: the 12 grapes. It is said that this tradition began in Alicante in 1909, when winegrowers had a surplus harvest. Today, it is so ingrained that around 500 million grapes are eaten every year!

All you have to do is keep an eye on the Puerta del Sol clock (or any TV Spanish channel) at midnight and have 12 grapes on your hand to eat them quickly (one for each bell). According to the tradition, this will bring you prosperity and luck. You can close this emotional moment with a hug and good wishes to those around you.

Put gold or silver in your cava glass

Right after the grapes, it is time to cheer for a good year! And again, another superstition comes. If you put gold or silver in your cava glass (a ring, for example), the new year will bring you luck.

Churros with Chocolate

Last but not least… after a night of partying, there ́s nothing like going to a bar and order some churros with chocolate! If you stay until 6 or 7 am, you will see how bars are quickly filling up with people starving after a good night out. And there’s nothing as good as churros to start the decade!

And don’t ́t worry, in Spain New Year ́s Eve doesn’t mean the end of Christmas! The three Kings are yet to come, and on the 5th  of January, you can enjoy the parades in every city or town in Spain. 

How to start the New year the German way

Pour lead

Wait.. what? “Bleigießen” or in English “lead pouring” is a famous German tradition that is done by many families every year on the 31st. .A small amount of lead or tin is melted in a tablespoon (by holding a flame under the spoon) before it is  poured into a bucket of water. The resulting pattern is interpreted to predict the coming year. For example, if the lead forms a ball that means luck will roll your way. 

Drink Feuerzangenbowle

That is the typical drink of the night in Germany. Feuerzangenbowle contains sparkling wine, red wine, cinnamon and caramelized sugar. However, what makes this drink so special is the Feuer (fire in English). A flaming, rum-soaked sugar cone in a holder above the “Bowle” is a key element and makes it not only exciting to watch but also very tasty! You should definitely try it (check out this recipe!). 

Watch British television

Have you ever heard of “Dinner for one”? If you are not German then probably not. Every New Year’s Eve German television broadcasts a British comedy sketch called Dinner for One. It has been shown each year since 1963 which made it the most frequently repeated television show ever. It is virtually unknown in its home country  but the Germans love it! And trust me, everyone knows it!

Make some noise!

Every year the Germans love to start their new year with huge fireworks. It is common that every household is doing their own fireworks together with neighbors. For those who love big fireworks, the most popular one is in the capital, Berlin. Berlin is also famous for its disregard for health and safety with fireworks coming at you from all sides. So watch out! 

Wherever you will spend your New Years Eve, enjoy it and we wish everyone a happy new year and a good start into 2020!

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