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The Color of the Undies You Wear on December 31 Might Determine How Lucky You’ll Be in 2023

New Year’s traditions are a time-honored way of ringing in the new year with celebration and joy. These traditions vary greatly from culture to culture, but they all share the common goal of welcoming the new year with optimism and hope. From fireworks displays and parties, and superstitions, people all over the world find unique and meaningful new year’s traditions that symbolize things like good luck and prosperity for the new year.

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1. Color of your underwear

For many Latin American cultures, deciding on what underwear to put on is not a decision to be made lightly. It requires a lot of pre-planning and careful thinking. They say the color of your underwear worn on the 31st of December will influence how your year will pan out.

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What color will you be wearing?
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2. Eating something round

All over the world, cultures celebrate the new year by eating something round. In the Philippines, they say you must eat 12 round-shaped fruits. In Italy, they serve lentils, and in Spain, they say one should eat 12 grapes and make a wish with each one they swallow.

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round fruit new year's traditions
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3. New year’s traditions for Brazil

In Brazil, they like to wear white clothing over the 31st of December. This new year’s tradition symbolizes good fortune, peace, and prosperity in the upcoming year.

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Brazilian new year's tradition
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4. Breaking plates as new year’s traditions

In Denmark, they do not throw away any broken plates, bowls, or mugs. They store them up for new year’s eve. When the 31st arrives, they smash them as a new year’s tradition in front of their friend’s houses and their own. On the morning of the 1st of Jan, you will have a scattering of broken crockery outside your home. The more you have, the more luck you will have in the new year.

Broken plates
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5. A hidden delight

They have a rather sweet and delicious new year’s tradition in Greece. Everyone comes together to eat the traditional vasilopita or sweetened bread. A coin is cooked inside the bread; whoever finds it while enjoying the sweet bread will have a year of luck.

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There's a hidden coin in there!
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6. New York’s new year’s traditions

New York has a new year’s tradition that is unique to the city. When the 31st of December is looming in, you will suddenly notice little peppermint candy pigs being sold everywhere. That’s because they allegedly bring good luck in the new year. At a new year’s gathering, everyone gets a chance to use a small hammer to chip off a piece of the peppermint pig.

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Peppermint pig new year's tradition in New York
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7. Can you hear bells?

This new year’s tradition is native to Japanese culture. During the Japanese new year, ōmisoka, the Buddhist temples will ring their bells 108 times up to 12 o’clock. The last chime would be at midnight, and each one symbolizes the banishment of negative emotions.

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Buddhists ring bells 108 times leading to their new years
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8. New year’s tradition in Ecuador

The locals of Ecuador have an interesting new year’s tradition they practice each year. They decide on a certain public figure and make a model of them out of straw (like a scarecrow). Next, they burn them. Some even try jumping over the burning pile 12 times to bring luck for each month of the year.

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They burn a model of a public figure made from straw.
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9. Russian new year’s tradition

In Russia, the locals write down what they wish for the new year on a piece of paper. Then, they set it alight in a fire-proof bowl. Finally, they add the ashes of the burnt wish into a glass of champagne. At midnight they toast together and drink the champagne.

New year's tradition in Russia
Image credit: New year’s tradition in Russia

10. Irish new year’s traditions

In Ireland, new year’s traditions are not taken lightly. In fact, they are adhered to by thousands of people as if the state of the new year depends on it. They prefer not to tempt fate. On New Year’s Eve, an old Irish tradition is to open your door at midnight and let the Old Year Out and the New Year In. I think this year deserves the doors, windows, and garage doors to be open! 

opening door to welcome in new year
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11. Kiss at midnight

Pucker up, and get ready for a smooch! All over the world, people celebrate the new year’s tradition of kissing someone at midnight. If you don’t have a partner, grab a friend and give them a friendly peck on both cheeks. It might bring you both good luck. This should go without saying, but please remember to get their consent first.

kissing at midnight
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12. Watching fireworks

As much as the dogs in the neighborhoods may not like it, many people do. Around the world, fireworks have become a staple over new year’s eve.

Fireworks on new years eve
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Read: ‘My Family No Longer Celebrates Thanksgiving—We Learn Indigenous History Instead’

13. New year’s traditions of eating Hoppin Johns

If you are unsure of what a Hoppin John is, you might want to add it to your new year’s eve menu. It comprises a bed of sticky rice, peas, collard greens, and pork. The greens symbolize paper money, and it is supposed to bring you financial luck. The person serving will hide a coin under the plate, or they will add more pork. You’ll usually see people in the southern United States practicing this tradition.

Enjoying her Hoppin' John
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14. New year’s traditions like wearing dots!

Here is another one of the Phillipean new year’s traditions. They say one should wear polka dots on new year’s eve. They believe it will ensure you have a lucky year ahead.

wearing dots brings you luck
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15. Watching the ball drop

Have you ever been to Times Square over new year’s? Well, there is a new year’s tradition that started in 1907. People would gather there to watch a ball drop. It was initially made of wood, but it is now an 11,875-pound geodesic sphere covered in Waterford Crystal triangles and LEDs.

Times Square
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16. Brazillian new year’s traditions

Brazil loves the wild side of life. They have a new Year’s tradition where you must jump over seven waves. For each wave you jump, you get one wish.

New year's tradition of jumping over seven waves
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17. Eating fish as a new year’s tradition

In various places worldwide, fish is a delicacy reserved for New Year’s Eve. Nearing the end of December, people start researching their favorite fish recipes.

fish meal on new year's eve
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18. Make a Toast

Everyone gathers on New year’s eve for a night of celebrations. As midnight gets closer, champagne glasses are filled. The host usually prepares a toast, a wish for good health and wealth in the new year.

the host gives a toast
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19. Go out with a bang!

This new year’s tradition is similar to the fireworks. It is customary for everyone to make a considerable amount of noise as the clock strikes midnight. The more noise, the more prosperous your new year will be.

Make some noise!!!
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20. New year’s tradition of decorating your front door

Here is another Greek tradition over new year’s eve. The locals will decorate the front doors with bundles of onions hanging. It is said to bring prosperity to the new year to everyone there.

bundle of onions
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Keep Reading: Mom puts ban on Christmas presents as she says they cause ‘stress and debt’

Sources

  1. 35 Best New Year Traditions to Bring You All the Luck.Good Housekeeping. Marisa LaScala December 27, 2022.
  2. 25 Best New Year’s Traditions to Celebrate the Start of 2023.The Pioneer woman. Rebecca Norris. December 12, 2022.
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