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Happy New Year

Are you ready to say Goodbye to 2022 and Hello to 2023? How will you celebrate the coming of the new year? Many people will have parties and participate in the tradition of watching the lighted ball drop at the stroke of midnight in New York City’s Times Square. One million people typically flood Times Square for this annual event, with 1 billion people watching it on television.  

Let’s look at how other countries ring in the new year! 

Brazil: The new year is during summertime in Brazil, so people head to the beach to celebrate. At midnight, Brazilians jump into 7 waves, making 7 wishes for the New Year. 

India: Indians in the Bombay area create an effigy of an old man and burn it at midnight, signaling the letting go of grievances in the old year and creating space for the new. 

Spain: At midnight, people eat 1 grape at each strike of the clock for a total of 12 grapes. To have a prosperous new year, all 12 grapes must be eaten by the last strike of the clock. 

Japan: People eat soba noodles and believe biting the soft noodles symbolizes breaking away from the old year. 

Colombia: On New Year’s Eve, people place 3 potatoes under their bed- one peeled, one unpeeled, and one partially peeled. At midnight, each person reaches under their bed and pulls out 1 potato…representing either financial struggle, a year of prosperity, or a mix of both. 

Denmark: Usually throwing plates at people’s doors would not be a good thing, but on New Year’s Eve, the more broken dishes you have at your doorstep, the more friends one has.  

Philippines: At the New Year celebration, 12 round fruits are served (one for each month), such as apples, plums, grapes to mirror the shape of coins.  

Greece: On New Year’s Day, you will see onions hanging from people’s front doors to symbolize growth and fertility, just as an onion sprouts on its own! 

Haiti: January 1 is also Haiti’s Independence Day, so people eat a special pumpkin stew that used to be considered a delicacy, reserved for the elite, ruling class. Sharing your stew with your neighbors is part of the tradition. 

Canada: You better like wintry weather to celebrate New Year’s in Canada. Families go ice fishing together, building heated huts and roasting the freshly caught fish on the spot. 

Here’s a funny video to ring in the New Year!

Happy New Year! 


Tiffanee M. Wright, MA, MPH | Executive Director
AHLI – International Education and Homestay

Students, reach out to me on WeChat to tell me how you plan on celebrating the New Year!