New Year’s Eve Around the World

Author: SDanck

So last week, we celebrated Christmas and judged celebrated Christmas traditions from around the world. This week we’re going to explore – you guessed it – New Year’s Eve traditions. Say what you will, this blog keeps it fresh, exciting and is NEVER predictable.  


From writing these traditions around the world posts, I’m just noticing how weird unique the world is and that everyone brings their own special little something to the table.
So why wait? Let’s dig into how everyone else around the world will be celebrating the end of 2017 and the start of 2018 diets that will end February 1st.


The ball drop in NYC is pretty iconic but that doesn’t make it any less weird. Thousands of people gather to stand around outside, where there are no bathrooms and wait until midnight. In the freezing cold. With thousands of other people surrounding you.

And in case you are skimming this… Did you read that I mentioned there are no bathrooms?

Being cold and needing a bathroom = my own personal hell.

Or maybe this is one of the layers in Dante’s Inferno. Pretty sure he mentioned an ice layer as the final circle of hell.

How convenient that you can go visit that layer on December 31st. Either way, we’re talking about Hell. But hey if you’re a sadist, go ahead and plan that trip for a quiet NYC getaway.


Not feeling NYC and the balldrop?

Luckily for you, Boise has you covered for a different kind of evening. Boise hosts a Potato Drop that 40,000 people attend.


I feel like this is their social event of the year. Everyone shows up in their best dressed potato ensemble and talks only about potatoes.
I’m screaming right now that people go watch a potato drop. I can’t decide if watching a potato or watching paint dry is more exhilarating. Why do you have to be like this, Idaho? Why?

But at least there are bathrooms.



In Spain, people ring in the new year by eating 12 grapes. One grape for each bell chime. This tradition is also very popular in Latin America. The grapes represent wishes for the new year. I can definitely get behind wishing on grapes for 2018. Does it still count if my grapes happen to take liquid form?

FYI, my 12 grapes will be 12 glasses of wine.



One of my best friends is Colombian, so I have had the pleasure in taking part of this tradition. In Colombia, people walk around with suitcases to represent the hope of a year filled with travel. I love this tradition, just wished it was more clear on who was paying for the plane tickets. Me? Or does some stranger see me waltzing around with my suitcase and Venmo me?

Really hoping for the second option, TBH.



In Japan, they celebrate Joya no Kane which is a traditional ceremony that takes place on New Year’s Eve. Bells are run 108 times to symbolize the Buddhist belief of the 108 human sins. The 108 chimes rid Japanese citizens of the sins from the past year. 107 chimes happen on the 31st before the stroke of midnight, with the final chime ringing after midnight. I’ve looked at the list of 108 human sins, and I’m pretty sure they’d be stuck ringing that bell for me well into 2050.



Coming from a German family, I’ve also had the pleasure of enjoying this tradition. Every December 31st, Dinner for One (also known as The 90th Birthday) airs on German TV. The British sketch was recorded in 1963 and is about twenty minutes long. The sketch features two British comedians, Freddie Frinton and May Warden, playing the roles of Miss Sophie, an elderly upper-class Englishwoman, and James, her Manservant. Miss Sophie has outlived all her friends, so James plays the roles of each and ends up drinking for four. By the end, James is more lit than the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.
I’m not sure why this sketch has become a New Year’s tradition for Germans, but I love it.


South America

While your clothes you pick out for your NYE celebrations will determine how many Insta likes you get, apparently the color of your underwear can determine what kind of year you’re going to have. This tradition is very common in Latin and South America. Red underwear will bring love, and yellow will bring wealth and success. White underwear stands for peace, green underwear signifies well-being and nature. If you need all of these things, I suggest layering. I also suggest maybe not showing the whole party what color underwear you’re wearing. Might as well start 2018 off with some dignity.
Or don’t.

If you start 2018 at rock bottom, you can only go up, right?


Here’s hoping you and I make some better decisions in 2018. Though I know myself as a creature and foresee good decisions lasting until January 3rd. Which is better than how I did in 2017, so I’m very casually moving up in the world.

Happy 2018 from the Dankie sisters! Bye, 2017. It was horrible nice knowing you.

2 thoughts on “New Year’s Eve Around the World

  1. Very entertaining and informative post!!! When my brother, sister and I were kids, my parents would blow up balloons and string them around our living room while we watched the ball drop and we would pop the balloons during the countdown. Not your typical widespread tradition but that’s what we did!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing your cool tradition! Luckily, it doesn’t need to be widespread to be fun.
    When I was little, my fave tradition was tucking myself in to start the new year off nice and refreshed (and I apparently always had lukewarm feelings about the NYC balldrop). Also not a widespread tradition but one I’m hoping makes a comeback as sweatpants always beat high heels.
    Thanks again for sharing and have a happy 2018! 🙂


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