Crazy Ways that Other Countries Bring in the New Year

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to travel, you’ve probably noticed that other countries have wildly different customs and cultures than our own.  This is especially true around the holidays!

We’ve gathered a few of our favorites to share with you before the big ball drops in a few days.  It kind of makes you wonder what other countries think of our own strange customs!  I mean, come on…  a big ball dropping to bring in the New Year?

Let’s see how other countries compare.


New Year’s in Scotland

If you live in Scotland, you hope for a strapping young man to arrive on your doorstep sometime after midnight laden with a loaf of raisin bread, a piece of coal and a bottle of whiskey!  The only catch is that you have to actually let him come in if your want your new year to be lucky.

New Year’s in Japan

This is a cute, yet dangerous custom all at the same time… and leave it to the Japanese to even make this a thing.  Have you heard of mochi?  It is an adorably round snack that they like to consume in hopes of bringing in good luck for the new year.

Alas, it has been known to lead to choking deaths instead.  I guess if you continue to live, that’s considered lucky?

New Year’s in Greece

If there’s one thing that goes hand in hand with the new year in Greece, it’s gambling!  They spend their new year playing dice and card games either in their own homes, or in a casino.  The hope is that if you’re a winner on New Year’s, you’ll continue to be a winner throughout the rest of the year.

New Year’s in Italy

Ooooooh, this one is a little naughty!  On New Year’s, it is an italian custom to wear red underwear on New Year’s eve.  The type doesn’t matter as long as it is red, and red undies can be found in abundance on store shelves shortly after Christmas is over.

New Year’s in Brazil

In contrast to how the italians handle it, in Brazil they opt to wear white underwear instead.  This is meant to symbolize an innocent and pure start to the brand new year so that you’ll be graced with plenty of peace, love and good fortune.  They are also known to leave candles in the sand along the beaches.