Happy New Year! Around the World

The celebration of the New Year was already present in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. Not only has the holiday survived, but over the centuries, many new beliefs and traditions have been associated with saying goodbye and greeting the new year.

These days, everyone bids farewell to the past and turns to the future with different hopes and goals. Their traditions are different, but we can say that every nation has its customs:

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In Germany, the traditions are mainly about food. On the 1st January, they eat dishes made mainly from pork, in hopes of new year’s wealth and happiness. In Austria, New Year’s singers walk from house to house with their greetings. While in their capital, Vienna, they celebrate with a ball in front of the town hall. Continuing on the map, we reach Hungary, where according to old customs they try to make as much noise as possible at midnight in order to drive out the evil.

We also find interesting traditions in Italy. The Italians are scattering everything old and unnecessary on the sidewalk in front of their house. They believe the richest will be the one with the largest pile of rubbish under his window. In the Balkans, for example in Bulgaria, we find the most interesting customs. They turn off the lights at midnight, giving New Year’s kisses perhaps to someone they love in secret.

The countries of Northern Europe are not short of beliefs either. In Sweden, they give each other candles of their own making, as light symbolizes joy and prosperity for them. In Denmark, their old pottery is broken, as loud as possible, since they believe that the noisier they do it, the happier the New Year will be.

We can also observe different traditions in the countries of Britain, which are notoriously overlooked. It is typical in England to put mistletoe under their pillow to see in their dream the face of their future partner and bread in the door and windows, for the wealth of next year. In Scotland, a small circle of family and friends celebrates, and with the advent of the New Year, they eat either black-bun, black bread, haggis or stuffed mutton. In Ireland, the direction of the New Year’s wind will determine the country’s political destiny for next year. The west wind means wealth, while the east wind has British influence.

As the Hungarian saying says, as many customs as there are houses. Traditions can often vary from country to country and city to city with the extinction or modification of the previous traditions, but we can be sure that everyone will keep the New Year in some way!